Squadron Leader Goodale

Many years ago, when I was young and callow, I was a manager in Short Brothers.

I had, for a period of time Brian Goodale in my department.

Unfailingly courteous and good at his job , Brian came and went without fuss.

It fell to someone else to tell me that he was the radio operator on G for George.

He was still tall and thin, [he had the nickname “concave” when he was with 617 Squadron].

It is impossible for a cosseted boy born after the war , to understand what these men did. But if you want a taste, go sit in a  Lancaster cockpit, the equivalent of the front seats in a Morris Minor and imagine yourself at ten thousand feet , in flak, over Bremen.

Equally , imagine yourself in a ME109 in France in 1945, being hunted down by the Allies.

We have sent endless numbers of young men to their deaths since, in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, whilst saying “never again” and to no effect.

Let the nations of the Middle East solve their own problems. The killing of one or one thousand  Islamist fighters there makes no difference to the security of the UK.

I still remember Brian with fondness and respect. He died in Bury St Edmunds and he is buried in All Saints Church Hawstead , Suffolk.