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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J E Goldsmith


John Ernest Goldsmith was born at Sudbourne, Suffolk on 14th November 1921, the son of Percy Charles and Kathleen Elizabeth Goldsmith.

He joined the RAF in late 1939 as a trainee air gunner.

In early January 1940 Goldsmith was posted to AGS at Jurby. In seven weeks of gunnery training there he made fourteen flights and had logged 8 hrs 45 mins before he joined 236 Squadron in late March. The squadron was then in Coastal Command but in early July it was seconded to Fighter Command.



Goldsmith flew his first operational sortie on 6th July. On a patrol on 23rd September Goldsmith, flying with P/O GH Russell, shot down a He111. Two days later, on a sortie to Brest and again flying with Russell, Goldsmith shot down a Do18 flying boat over St George's Channel. On 30th October 1940 Goldsmith made his last flight with 236.

In early March 1941 he was at 54 OTU, Church Fenton converting to Defiants. He teamed up with Sgt. Angell and they were posted to 96 Squadron at Cranage in early April.

On 27th April 1941 they were on a night cross-country flight to Digby. The Defiant, T3389, crashed four miles south of Wellingore and both men were killed. The cause was believed to be pilot disorientation. Goldsmith was a Flight Sergeant at the time of his death.

He is buried in All Saints' churchyard, Sudbourne, Suffolk.








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