Bill Goodall's Diaries: 1941/1945 
 9 July 1942 to 15 July 1942

Thursday, 9 July 1942. Still at Montreal but I hope and think that my days here are numbered as I have had one successful check flight and after one more it should be only a few days before leaving for home. I could have checked out today but I thought it would be foolish to navigate across the Atlantic without ever having flown at night so I have requested a night training flight next weekend.
Yesterday's flight was great fun - in a Hudson to Detroit and back with Evans doing the work back to Montreal while I did the outward leg. It was my first real cross-country trip and we followed the St Lawrence before cutting across the plain of Ontario past Trenton, Toronto and London with a stretch over Lake Ontario. I was able to plot some good fixes with sun sights and radio bearings so that the whole trip was most enjoyable.

Tuesday, 14 July 1942. While writing these notes last Thursday afternoon I was suddenly told to prepare for a night flight that evening; there followed a busy few hours preparing charts and instruments very carefully. I joined the cosmopolitan crew consisting of Norwegian pilot, Australian observer and Canadian wireless operator for a flight to London, Ontario. I had the homeward flight to navigate and fortunately it was a clear night so that it was easy to identify the stars for sextant work; with this astro navigation and radio bearings I was able to make a fair job of it and we arrived at Dorval within a couple of minutes of ETA.
This completed my training and I reported to Dorval the following morning expecting to be checked out for a flight home; this was duly done but in addition I was told that M. Mirepois, who was on the Detroit flight last week, had asked for me as his Navigator on the transatlantic flight. Naturally I jumped at the chance which began to come true at 1pm yesterday when I was invited to attend a briefing for the flight.
After this I had a frantic afternoon getting my clearance certificate signed by more than 20 departments. After packing surplus kit which would exceed the 50lb limit on the plane, I joined up with John Barras and we decided to have a final night out in Montreal. We left our surplus kit at the railway station for despatch to Bournemouth but when and if we see it again is doubtful. Our night out consisted of an excellent dinner at Chez Ernest, then a visit to the El Morocco night club, but we were not too late in getting back to camp as we had to be at Dorval by 7.30am for final briefing.
Earlier in the day John Barras and I went to Flt Lt Rhodes about our future in Ferry Command and he contacted the CO telling him that we were good enough to be included in the Ferry Command pool of Navigators for further flights. The CO approved even although we are still LACs but Dorval will write to Air Ministry for the award of our beret and stripes. In any case we are to return to Canada at least once (by sea) for another ferry trip which is very gratifying.

Wednesday, 15 July 1942. (still at Gander) On Tuesday morning we prepared a flight plan for Gander hoping to take off at 9am but several minor faults were found in the aircraft, a B25, so that we did not get away until 2 o'clock. The crew is M. Mirepois (Captain - a Free Frenchman), Mr Irving Pischel (Co-Pilot from California - a Hollywood film producer), Mr Highfield (Radio Operator from Yorkshire) and myself (Navigator and the only crew member in uniform).


© 1995 William Motion Goodall & Ian William Goodall 

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