Lindsay Airman in nerve-wracking trip over Ruhr
With Canadians flying in the RAF – to bail out of a useless aircraft is bad enough, but to bail out, be injured and then narrowly to miss death from a German flying bomb in the rain and blackness of a foul English night was the experience of F/Sgt. Charles Goodman, Halifax bomber rear gunner, from Windsor, Ontario.
With Goodman on the nerve-wracking trip to the Ruhr was F-Sgt. Ed. M. Green, mid-upper gunner, of Lindsay, Ont.
The big aircraft was just entering its bombing run when a burst of flak holed the fuselage and wings. The Canadian pilot struggled with the controls and managed to hold the Halifax steady and level until the bomb aimer got the bombs away, then he turned the nose of the aircraft for home.
The Halifax plunged into a mass of cloud, the air speed indicator became useless and as they were crossing the French coast the oil to the port inner engine leaked out and fire broke out in the damaged engine. The skipper dived the aircraft hoping that the wind would blow out the fire, but the manoeuvre failed.
Once over England the crew was ordered to bail out. Goodman and Green clipped on their parachutes and slipped through the escape hatches. Green made a safe landing.
But Goodman’s chute ripped as it opened and the uselessness of one of the panels let him down hard on the ground, the impact knocking him unconscious. He was just regaining his senses when a flying bomb landed on the rain-sodden ground less than a hundred yards away from him.
The cold rain finally revived Goodman and a few minutes later he was found by police and a group of American soldiers who used their jeep to assist in rounding up the crew of the Halifax, which had crashed in open country.
Goodman was taken to hospital, but was fully recovered within a few days.