The conversion course of about a month was uneventful and we
were posted to 620 Squadron at Chedburgh near Bury St Edmunds
in June for night bombing operations. As a new crew our first
operations were mine laying sorties to the Gironde and the Frisian
On our fifth trip we took part in a massive series of raids on
Hamburg in late July 1943 and this one was somewhat special in
that 'window' was dropped for the first time - 'window' consisted
of thousands of metallic strips which confused the German radar
system and on this first occasion it was a great success in that
our losses were much reduced. In time however the Germans were
able to lessen its effectiveness.
We took off for Essen but were shot down by a night fighter over
Holland; we were hit in the starboard wing which caught fire
and Jack gave the order to abandon the aircraft. I can remember
clearly jumping out into the black void and my last conscious
action was pulling the rip cord of my parachute.
An hour later I regained consciousness and found myself wandering
in open country with only a badly sprained ankle as a result
of my landing. My first thought concerned my parachute which
we were instructed to hide in this situation but I was unable
to find it so that in my unconscious state I must have hidden
The time was soon after midnight and I lay low until daylight
before trying to make contact with the Dutch resistance. We were
advised by Intelligence sources to approach people in open country
rather than in towns or villages and this I attempted to do but
my efforts were waved away. During the morning I was picked up
by a German patrol and taken to a building in Arnhem for the
rest of the day; that night I was put on a train under guard
for lodgement in Amsterdam jail.
A telegram was received by my father [William Simpson Goodall]...
THE AIR MINISTRY TO W S GOODALL, ESQ
S Goodall Esq, Ridgeway, Parsonage Road, R'worth.
from Air Ministry, Kingsway.