St. Paul native Goodwin Luck and his brother Edward joined the Marine Corps reserve in 1935. Both served in the maintenance section. After getting his aeronautical engineering degree from the University of Minnesota, he became a Marine pilot and flew F3F-2 carrier biplanes until World War II began. He then flew rescue and reconnaissance missions in the J2F Duck, evacuated wounded personnel from Guadalcanal and performed a daring rescue mission near Munda in 1943. He helped plan the mission that shot down Japanese Admiral Yamamoto the year.
After the war Luck was stationed at Cherry Point, North Carolina, and at El Toro airbase in California. He joined Northwest Airlines in 1946 as a power plant engineer and spent 35 years with Northwest, retiring in 1982.