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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. W B Goddard


William Bernard Goddard was born in Portsmouth on 14th March 1914, the son of Harry William and Maud Emma Goddard.

He attended Reginald Road Council School and the Junior Technical School there.

Goddard joined the RAF on 27th August 1929 as an Aircraft Apprentice and passed out on 19th August 1932 as an aircraft electrician and instrument maker.

He applied for pilot training in 1935 and was selected.



Granted a permanent commission in February 1938, he was posted to the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment at Martlesham Heath.

He married Mary Margaret Langford in July 1939 in Ipswich, Suffolk.

On 2nd June 1940 Goddard joined 235 Squadron.

On 18th November, whilst on an escort operation, he engaged two He115s. He was severely wounded in one foot by return fire, eventually losing three toes. He pressed home his attack and although suffering from loss of blood he got his Blenheim and crew safely back to base. Goddard was awarded the DFC (gazetted 6th December 1940).

He was killed on 15th June 1941, aged 27.

Blenheim IV V5452 LA-N was on an anti-shipping sortie off Norway when it was shot down by a fighter.

F/Sgt. H Smith and Sgt. AR Cain were also lost. Cain's body was washed up in Sweden and he is buried in Kviberg Cemetery, Gothenburg.

Goddard and Smith are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 29.



Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner.


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