Number One Fan
and twenty-five years
I have stood here,
watching the game grow.
I am the biggest fan.
In the name of progress,
I make the ultimate sacrifice
for the love of the game.
Regarding the Bazalgette Lancaster FM159 Virtual Exhibit,
The Lancaster at the Bomber Command Museum is a reminder of the sacrifices made by RAF pilots like my Uncle Ted during WW11. My father and uncle both served in the RCAF during WWII. My father was Flight Lieutenant Raymond (Ray) Goodyear, of the 119 Squadron, RAF Coastal Command, and was also attached to Ferry Command. My uncle was Flight Lieutenant Hedley (Ted) Charles Cornick Goodyear of the #61 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command. Both were from Sydney, Nova Scotia.
Both Ray and Ted were trained as pilots under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) at various training facilities across Canada, before transferring to England to serve with the RAF.
My father, Ray, survived the war hence the reason for my existence. Ted was, tragically, killed in action during a bombing raid over Germany. Fortunately for the family, however, Ted was a prolific letter writer and chronicled his life experiences during his entire training and operational service. These letters were sent to his mother (my grandmother) Florence Goodyear, who kept them and eventually they came into my possession. They offer a rare glimpse into the day-to-day life of the pilots who trained on and flew fighters and bombers during the Second World War. Ted was co-pilot on a Lancaster III with letter markings QR-E that took off for an operation to Brunswick, Germany on April 22, 1944. The plane was shot down over Hanover, Germany before reaching its target. Of the eight member crew on board only two survived, the pilot F/L Anthony Bird, DFC and the Navigator, P/O F.J.Davis. Ted’s remains are interred in Hanover War Cemetery.