Bill Goodall's Diaries: 1941/1945 
 September 1942 to May 1943

September 1942. I arrived in Bournemouth anticipating some home leave after a year's absence in America and Canada. This was duly forthcoming and it was great to be reunited with Moira who was by then a subaltern in the ATS while I was still LAC - so it was a case of "Yes Ma'am".

October 1942. Early in October I was posted to Bobbington in Shropshire for advanced flying training which involved many cross-country trips with experienced pilots in Anson aircraft. These were twin-engined multi-purpose planes and my main recollection of them concerns the undercarriage which had to be raised and lowered by a handle operated manually by the navigator.

November 1942. The course lasted until the end of November and part of the time we had to live in tents during a very cold spell but this was exceptional due to the massive aircrew training programme. I qualified for my Observer badge and was commissioned as Pilot Officer; soon afterwards the Observer badge became obsolete and was replaced by separate Navigator and Bomb-Aimer badges.

December 1942. After Bobbington I was sent on leave for a month and just before Christmas I received orders to report to OTU (Operational Training Unit) at Wing near Leighton Buzzard. The first and very important task at OTU was to form all the different aircrew categories into crews and this was done entirely in a 'pick your own' basis which worked extremely well.
It really was vital to form crews whose members were compatible and who had confidence in each other. My companions were
Jack Patteson (Pilot - Canadian),
George Pearson (Bomb-Aimer - English),
George Adams (Wireless Operator - English),
Harry Bacon (Rear Gunner - English),
Ted Froats (Mid-Upper Gunner - Canadian),
Sid Scott (Engineer - English).
The last two joined the crew when we converted to four engined Stirling bombers but George Pearson was invalided out after OTU to be replaced by Ike Walker (New Zealander). All of these were Sergeants so that I was the only Officer in the crew but Jack as Pilot was Captain of the Aircraft and this situation was not uncommon in Bomber Command - at no time did it create any problem in our crew and there were occasions on the ground when as an Officer, I was able to be of assistance to the crew as a whole.

January 1943 to May 1943. We flew twin-engined Wellingtons at OTU with special emphasis on night flying, as this was to be our function on operations; we soon developed a good and confident relationship with particular faith in our Skipper who was a first class pilot and cheerful personality.
The course finished at the end of March but our progress was delayed by the loss of our Bomb-Aimer and we were all sent on leave for several weeks until a new Bomb-Aimer was found. He was Ike Walker who soon became a valuable member of the crew and our next posting was to Waterbeach near Cambridge for conversion to Stirlings.


© 1995 William Motion Goodall & Ian William Goodall 

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