Preserving the Past – Stuart Goff Wireless Operator

The wireless operator in Horace Bagnall’s crew…

has been found!

crew

Hi Pierre,

Stuart Goff is the last man on the right in the top row. I also have a letter from him taking about his life on the base around the time of his commencement of his second tour. I have sent a copy to Graham Padden as well.

I got re interested in this on seeing the story on YouTube about the Stirling found in Normandy and that the French don’t want to investigate the crash see below.

Thanks Rod

http://home.bt.com/news/world-news/raf-plane-lost-taking-sas-troops-to-liberate-france-is-finally-found-but-french-wont-let-it-be-dug-up-11364040759509

crew-sgt-stuart-john-goff-rafvr-916785-wireless-operator

Sgt. Stuart John Goff was on his second tour. Stuart had survived the first one.

This is the letter he wrote to his Uncle…

page-1

Dear Uncle, many thanks for your letter…page-2

page-3

page-4

page-5

Cheerio and best of luck.
Your loving nephew

Stuart

Letter courtesy Rod Mountford

The letter will be transcribed later  for posterity…

Two airmen in Horace Bagnall’s crew still remain to be identified.

crew-unknown-1

This is Sgt. Arthur Henry Rider, RAFVR 960489 – Mid Upper Gunner or F/S Albert Charles William Parker, RAFVR 909252 – Rear Gunner

crew-unknown-2

This is Sgt. Arthur Henry Rider, RAFVR 960489 – Mid Upper Gunner or F/S Albert Charles William Parker, RAFVR 909252 – Rear Gunner

I believe the one in front is Sgt. Arthur Henry Rider since he looks the taller of the two. Just a guess.

Preserving the past…

crew-warrant-officer-trevor-horace-bagnell-rnzaf-nz40640-pilot

crew-sergeant-gerald-thomas-padden-rafvr-1041966-air-bomber

crew-fligh-sergeant-reginald-william-pearson-rafvr-747858-navigator

crew-sergeant-robert-hart-rafvr-523663-flight-engineer

crew-sgt-stuart-john-goff-rafvr-916785-wireless-operator

 

Preserving the Past – Trevor Horace Bagnall’s crew

crew

Collection Dennis Padden
Courtesy Graham Padden (paddeng@padden.eu)

Warrant Officer Trevor  Horace  Bagnall’s crew is missing since December 17, 1942…

W/O Trevor Horace Bagnall, RNZAF NZ40640 – Pilot

F/S Reginald William Pearson, RAFVR 747858 – Navigator

Sgt. Gerald Thomas Padden, RAFVR 1041966 – Air Bomber

Sgt. Stuart John Goff, RAFVR 916785 – Wireless Operator

Sgt. Robert Hart, RAFVR 523663 – Flight Engineer

Sgt. Arthur Henry Rider, RAFVR 960489 – Mid Upper Gunner

F/S Albert Charles William Parker, RAFVR 909252 – Rear Gunner

Two airmen were easily identified on this photo from the collection of Dennis Padden who is Gerald’s brother.

crew

W/O Trevor Horace Bagnell, RNZAF NZ40640, who was the pilot of Short Stirling AA-X is in the middle

crew-warrant-officer-trevor-horace-bagnell-rnzaf-nz40640-pilot

Sgt. Gerald Thomas Padden, RAFVR 1041966 was the Air Bomber aboard the Short Stirling AA-X.

crew-sergeant-gerald-thomas-padden-rafvr-1041966-air-bomber


short-stirling-i-raf-nz-75-squadron-aa-x-bf396

Short Stirling AA-X

The picture Graham sent me the first time wasn’t clear enough to see the badges except for the badges of the two observers. The other observer had to be the navigator since Gerald Padden was the Bomb Aimer with W/O Bagnall.

This is F/S Reginald William Pearson, RAFVR 747858 the navigator of Short Stirling AA-X.

crew-fligh-sergeant-reginald-william-pearson-rafvr-747858-navigator

I could make out the AG for the three air gunners, but not the badge of the airman on the pilot’s right (left on the photo), so I asked Graham to rescan it.

crew

Zoom in by clicking on the image…

E for Flight Engineer…

e-for-flight-engineer

crew-sergeant-robert-hart-rafvr-523663-flight-engineer

Sgt. Robert Hart, RAFVR 523663 was the Flight Engineer of Short Stirling AA-X.

short-stirling-i-raf-nz-75-squadron-aa-x-bf396-25

Scant information on most of these missing airman is available on the Internet. Putting online what we have might get some people to write us about all these missing airmen.

W/O Trevor Horace Bagnall, RNZAF NZ40640 – Pilot

F/S Reginald William Pearson, RAFVR 747858 – Navigator

Sgt. Gerald Thomas Padden, RAFVR 1041966 – Air Bomber

Sgt. Stuart John Goff, RAFVR 916785 – Wireless Operator

Sgt. Robert Hart, RAFVR 523663 – Flight Engineer

Sgt. Arthur Henry Rider, RAFVR 960489 – Mid Upper Gunner

F/S Albert Charles William Parker, RAFVR 909252 – Rear Gunner

You can use this contact form to reach us. I know Graham will be elated to hear from you.

Lest we forget.

Prologue

My name is Graham Padden. I’m 50 years old and I recently embarked on a mission to familiarise myself with the life of my Uncle “Bunty”. A man I never had the pleasure to meet, that was taken from us on the evening of 17th December 1942.

He was the son of a Headmaster, my grandfather, Gerald Luke Padden (B.E.M.) and the brother of four others: Brian, Norah, Dennis (my father) and James (Jim). His mother Janetta Owen (my grandmother) died of peritonitis in 1934. The family were brought up by their father, Aunty and a housekeeper.

My father Dennis is the only remaining sibling and whilst he can of course remember his brother, Bunty left these shores in 1941 when my dad was only 11 years of age to begin pilot training in the United States and Canada.

My father is now 86, and I wanted to try and fill in as many blanks as possible in my dad’s memory. I want to find out as much as I can about Bunty’s fateful first mission when he was assigned to No.75 (NZ) Squadron who at that time were based in Newmarket. Scant detail was provided by the RAF Bomber Command which at this time were inflicting heavy losses. Little was known to the family.

In subsequent years, Bunty’s siblings set off to find their own way. Norah to Ireland, Brian to Canada, my father and Jim staying in the North East, the world was a big place then. Each of them going on to have their own families.

My grandfather (Bunty’s dad) died in 1964, two years before I was born, and I do not know what happened to any of the documentation he may have had pertaining to the death of his son back in 1942. It quite possibly could have been distributed amongst the wider family.

A couple of months back a perfectly preserved album appeared, containing a personal scrapbook of annotated pictures covering periods in 1941/1942 in which Bunty was training in North America. This really re-ignited my fire to uncover as much as I can to provide an insight into Bunty’s last movements for my father.

With many thanks to people like Pierre, Glen Turner of 75(NZ) Squadron association and Kelvin Young’s of aircrewremembered.com, I have been able to make remarkable progress. Many others have assisted too and my aim remains to build as complete a picture as possible. Who were the crew, who were the people he trained with? When I say who? I really mean I want to know their backgrounds, the hardships, the family they left behind.

I’d be eternally grateful to receive any pictures of information pertaining to this. I thank you for the time you have taken to read this and remind you we have an honourable duty to remember the many thousands of people who will remain forever young.

Lest we forget

Graham Padden

More from Rich Cooper about Americus, Georgia

How I came about to create yet another blog about World War Two?

This message left this week about a post on another blog.

I have some recently uncovered photographs some of which were taken here I think 1941.

bunty3-copie-2

Courtesy Graham Padden (paddeng@padden.eu)

2016-12-20-16-53-06

Courtesy Graham Padden (paddeng@padden.eu)

RAF 23 Squadron

Sorry for posting that much, but I need to put Americus, Georgia on the map…

Rich was been reading Donald Hepworth Bentley’s story unfolding on this blog.

Some more photos of Theo at Southerfield. Hopefully the names of Theo’s colleagues and possibly American staff may be of interest to anyone searching. There are a lot more photographs available but unfortunately are stuck fast in the album and it’s the best I can do at the moment with my iPad. Had hoped I might have found something on Donald Hepworth Bentley for Paul.

Regards

Rich C

If you have any information, please feel free to contact me.

View original post

Introduction

bunty

Courtesy Graham Padden (paddeng@padden.eu)

17/12/1942 – Operations. Attack Against Targets At Fallersleben


Five aircraft were detailed to attack the above target with bombs of 1,000lb. This was to be a low level flight all the way climbing to 5,000 feet to bomb. Four out of the five aircraft unfortunately failed to return. They were the Squadron Commander, Wing Commander V. Mitchell, D.F.C., captain of Stirling I BF396 who took W/O Bagnall and crew who had only arrived a few days previously. Stirling I, BF400 captained by F/O Jacobson, Stirling I, BK620 captained by P/O R.E. Williams, and Stirling I, R9247 captained by F/Sgt. Rousseau.

The one aircraft to return was captained by P/O McCullough who could not find the target owing to rain and bad visibility, and bombed an alternative. This was an aerodrome, the bombs were seen to explode on the flare path and hangars. A.A. fore was fairly heavy and a few searchlights were seen. The aircraft was twice attacked by fighters but they were driven off on each occasion, on return the aircraft was found to have four holes believed due to combat with one of the fighters. The weather was clear to the target but developed to rain and 7/10th cloud on return. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.I BF.396 AA-X

short-stirling-i-raf-nz-75-squadron-aa-x-bf396-25

W/C Victor Mitchell, RAF 37755 – Pilot.
W/O Trevor Horace Bagnell , RNZAF NZ40640 – 2nd Pilot.
F/S Reginald William Pearson, RAFVR 747858 – Navigator.
Sgt. Gerald Thomas Padden, RAFVR 1041966 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Stuart John Goff, RAFVR 916785 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Robert Hart, RAFVR 523663 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Arthur Henry Rider, RAFVR 960489 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Albert Charles William Parker, RAFVR 909252 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

Stirling Mk.I BF.396 AA-X was lost without trace and all crew presumed dead. They are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. The Captain, W/C V Mitchell, DFC, RAF, was the Squadron Commander. W/O Bagnall and his crew had only arrived on the Unit a few days previously.

W/C Victor Mitchell, RAF 37755 – Pilot.
Lost without trace age 27.
Son of John Mitchell, and of Isabella Forsyth Mitchell, of Elgin, Morayshire.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 64.

W/O Trevor Horace Bagnall, RNZAF NZ40640 – 2nd Pilot.
Lost without trace age 26.
Son of Henry Gordon Bagnall, and of Maud Janetta Bagnall (Nee Ames), of Palmerston North, Wellington, New Zealand.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 114.

W/O Reginald William Pearson, RAFVR 747858 – Navigator.
Lost without trace age 27.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Pearson; Husband of Margaret Pearson, of Bilton, Harrogate, Yorkshire.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 72.

Sgt. Gerald Thomas Padden, RAFVR 1 041966 – Air Bomber.
Lost without trace age 20.
Son of Gerald Luke and Janetta Padden, of Chester-Le-Street, Co. Durham.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 91.

Sgt. Stuart John Goff, RAFVR 916785 – Wireless Operator.
Lost without trace age 20.
Son of John Thomas Goff and Norah Goff, of Dagenham, Essex.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 84.

Sgt. Robert Hart, RAF 523663 – Flight Engineer.
Lost without trace age 28.
Son of Phyllis Rose Hart, of Gaddesby, Leicestershire.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 85.

Sgt. Arthur Henry Rider, RAFVR 960489 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Lost without trace age 31.
Son of Arthur H. and Ellen R. Rider, of Dovercourt, Essex; Husband of Ethel G. Rider, of Dovercourt.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 42.

F/S Albert Charles William Parker, RAFVR 909252 – Rear Gunner.
Lost without trace age 22.
Son of James Christopher and Emma Parker, of Gorleston, Norfolk.
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England..
Grave location – Panel 75.

The source of this information is here.

short-stirling-i-raf-nz-75-squadron-aa-x-bf396