James Thomas Goodrick


This page is dedicated in honour of James Thomas Goodrick

James Thomas Goodrick

A415522 James Thomas Goodrick RAAF was an Englishman, originally from Rochester, Kent, born on 14th September 1914, the eldest of five brothers.  On leaving school James had emigrated to Western Australia at the invitation of his mother’s brother James Freed who lived in Waddell St, Palmyra.  At the age of 14, occupation ‘shop assistant’ he embarked on the ‘Ormande’ at the Port of London bound for Fremantle on 18th January 1929.   

Goodrick worked as a stationhand/ stockman until getting an office job with W Australia Trustees Co. as a clerk.  In November 1940 he joined the 10th Light Horse with whom he served as a Trooper for one year.  In November 1941 he successfully transferred to the RAAF to become trainee air observer.  On transfer his vital statistics were recorded as 5’9 ½” tall, weight 165 lbs (11st 11lbs), medium complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, age at 9th November 1941 on transfer to RAAF : 27 years 1 month, date of birth 14th September 1914.

James Goodrick completed his initial training in Australia before embarking for Canada at the beginning of November 1942 and arrived in the UK in mid-December of that year.  He had joined Jim Ives’s crew at 27 OTU in the summer of 1943.

Having progressed through CU on to operations at 625 Squadron as the crew’s navigator Goodrick suffered from anoxia during an early operational sortie due to a defect in his oxygen supply and was rendered unconscious, causing the sortie to be abandoned.  A subsequent abortive operation combined with the incident of F/Sgt William Allan’s 24hour absence from duty led to the crew being split up with Goodrick being posted to 103 Squadron where he remained until 20th January 1944 without adding to his operational flying experience.

James Goodrick’s proficiency in his trade, his character and ability as NCO were consistently recorded as ‘VG’ during training.  The crew’s split-up and posting of some members out from 625 Squadron in early December 1943 was reflected by a drop to ‘sat’ (satisfactory) and his entry against ‘Whether specially recommended, or not recommended for promotion or reclassification’ ‘Not rec’, signed by W/C Preston.  

After his sojourn at 103 Squadron James then moved on to 550 Squadron which had recently been relocated (5-1-44 or thereabouts) from RAF Waltham to a new airfield at North Killingholme.  A subsequent transfer on 1st February 1944 took James Goodrick to Wickenby where he resumed operational flying and went on to complete a further 28 operational sorties with 12 Squadron to finish his tour on 28th June 1944, achieving the rank of Warrant Officer.

James Goodrick’s flying experience:-

Training in Australia  2 AOS flying in Ansons  56.00hrs

   2 BAGS in Battles  37.45hrs

   2 ANS in Ansons  28.50hrs

OTU details (overseas) 27OTU in Wellingtons 79.25hrs

HCU details (overseas) 1662CU Lancaster  32.30hrs

Other (EFTS)  3EFTS (Essendon, Victoria) in Tiger Moths 17.25hrs – it is assumed that, as with many navigators/ observers, James Goodrick initially embarked on pilot training, but his EFTS course found his aptitude as a pilot not quite up to the mark.

Non-operational flying during 1st tour

625 Squadron Kelstern in Lancasters  9.10hrs

12 Sqn Wickenby, Lancasters   24.05hrs

Commenced 10-10-43, finished 28-6-44.

Operational flying details

625 Sqn Kelstern in Lancasters, 2 sorties  10.50hrs

12 Sqn Wickenby, Lancasters, 28 sorties  159.00hrs

Total sorties 30,    total hours ops  169.50hrs

   Grand total 455.00hrs.

At RAF Wickenby F/Sgt Goodrick joined the crew of 1320905 F/Sgt Arthur William Moore.  Moore’s crew flew their first op at 12 Sqn on 15/16th February in Lancaster ND562 –’D’ following their posting in from 1667 CU w.e.f. 6-1-44 and having spent the rest of  January training.  

1320905 F/Sgt A W Moore  – pilot

1064754 Sgt T Ferguson   – F.eng.

R157726 F/Sgt D V Campbell RCAF – Nav  (posted out to RCAF ‘R’ Depot w.e.f. 21st February 1944).

1298816 Sgt P R Hocking  – B/A

1035914 Sgt R Robinson   – W.Op

Sgt V Peters    – M/U

R50270  Sgt F V Shaw RCAF  – R/g

On the night of 19/20th February F/Sgt Moore and crew, now including F/Sgt Goodrick, flew ME632 – PH-‘P’ as markers, primary & secondary.  Target Leipzig.

Following that operation Arthur Moore’s commission to P/O was confirmed.  The rest of their tour progressed thus:-

15/16th March, ME642 –‘W’ comments – ‘X’ incl H2S.  Stuttgart.

18/19th March ME642 –‘W’ Hit by HF, tail unit fabric, port and starboard inner      cowlings.  Frankfurt.

24/25th March ME655 –’Y’ Task abandoned 5450/0500E Navigator sick & unconscious for a time rubber tube of oxygen mask severed from bayonet causing sickness of Navigator.  Target Berlin.  This night became known as ‘the night of the strong winds’.  Last major attack on Berlin by RAF.  72 out of 811 aircraft lost.

20/21st April LL909 –’Y’  WO A W Crozier R/G, F/Sgt W E Edwards M/U replaced existing gunners from now on.  Cologne.

22/23rd April LL909 –’Y’   

24/25th April LL909 –’Y’

26/27th April LL909 –’Y’  PO Kernihan as 2nd pilot.

27/28th April LL909 –’Y’  Landed Woolfax Lodge petrol short.

30th April LL909 –’Y’  Sgt Peters in lieu Edwards.

1/2nd May LL909 –’Y’

3/4th May LL909 –’Y’  Mailly-le-Camp raid

6/7th May LL909 –’Y’  Sgt Cartwright M/U

10/11th May LL909 –’Y’

21/22nd May LL909 –’Y’

22/23rd May LL909 –’Y’

24/25th May LL909 –’Y’

9/10th June LL909 –’Y’  Abortive over enemy territory.  Airfields.

11/12th June LL909 –’Y’

12/13th June LL909 –’Y’

14/15th June LL909 –’Y’

15/16th June LL909 –’Y’

17th June LL909 –’Y’  Abandoned in target area Red TI not seen  Boulogne-sur-mer.

22nd June LL909 –’Y’

23/24th June LL909 –’Y’

24th June LL909 –’Y’

25th June LL909 –’Y’  Finished tour of ops.

While stationed in Britain with the RAAF James Goodrick was able to spend time at the family home in Dale Road, Rochester, Kent, although he would have seen  little of his brothers as three were in the forces.  Brother Frank was in the Royal Engineers, captured in Belgium just prior to Dunkirk to become a PoW in Poland for the duration of the war, Leslie was at sea with the Royal Navy having joined the service at the RN College Greenwich on leaving school.  

Alan served in the Army Service Corps in Palestine and Bernard worked in the RN Dockyard at Chatham and so was able to spend time with his eldest brother James during leave periods.  Thankfully the five Goodrick brothers would all survive the war.

James Goodrick married Elise Coupe (b 27th March 1921) from Rochdale, Lancashire and the couple returned to Fremantle where James worked variously as a manager of Fremantle Fishing Company and for Craig Mostyn & Co. later becoming an Accountant and Tax Agent working in his own business.  

The Goodrick family settled in Melville, where James lived for 45 years until his death in 1992.  James Goodrick is commemorated on the WA Maritime Museum Welcome Walls which  honour the many immigrants to Western Australia who arrived through the port of Fremantle.

James Goodrick suffered setbacks during training and while flying operations but overcame them to complete his tour of 30 ops.  Having emigrated from England to Australia in his youth James returned to Britain to serve as a Commonwealth airman attached to RAF Bomber Command and, happily met his wife in England and went back to Australia to re-establish his life in ‘Oz’.