Flying Officer Gerald Patrick GODWIN DFC

Service No: 401845
Born: Melbourne VIC, 10 October 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 26 April 1941
Unit: No. 467 Squadron, RAF Station Bottesford, Lincolnshire
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 18 October 1943 (Citation: In recognition for service during a number of operations against targets in enemy territory as a member of No. 467 Squadron).
Died: Air Operations: (No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft DV226), North West Europe, 23 October 1943, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Thomas and Eveline Margaret Godwin, of Surrey Hills, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Camberwell VIC
Remembered: Panel 187, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 110, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Honour Avenues, Kings Park WA

Date: 22-23 October 1943
Target: Kassel
Total Force: Dispatched – 569, Attacking – 486
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 19, Attacking – 19; No. 467 Dispatched – 15, Attacking – 14
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 1,824
Total Aircraft Lost: 42
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 467 – 1

Second in importance to Hanover in this area, Kassel, a centre of locomotive, armoured vehicle, lorry and aircraft-engine production, was attacked in full strength twice during October 1943.

The raid on 22nd-23rd October was nearly spoiled by bad weather and severe icing which forced many bombers to turn back. However, most of them struggled on and were rewarded by fine weather over Kassel which permitted visual marking and the main bomb load, dropped in a record time of only twenty-two minutes (or one bomber every 2 .7 seconds), hit the city squarely, devastating 615 out of the total built-up area of 960 acres. All three Henschel locomotive and tank factories were damaged, although the aircraft works escaped lightly. The main purpose of the attack was outstandingly successful, but it was relatively costly. The undue concentration over the target led to one RAAF Lancaster being hit and set on fire by incendiaries dropped from another aircraft, though luckily it survived not only this, but shell fire and two fighter attacks. A badly timed diversionary raid had failed to keep night fighters away from Kassel and mingling inside the dense stream of bombers they had extremely favourable targets and pursued the bombers for over 100 miles on their return journey. Six RAAF Lancasters were attacked but again Australian losses were very light in comparison with the whole force.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943,
Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 606

Lancaster DV226 took off from RAF Bottesford at 1752 hours on the night of 22/23rd October 1943 to bomb Kassel, Germany. The bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb, 92 x 30 lb (14 kg), 1200 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Fifteen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and one of these DV226 failed to return. Post war searches and enquiries failed to find any trace of the missing aircraft or crew.

The crew members of DV226 were:

Sergeant George Blake-Hales (1267121) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Frank Harry Bloomfield (1331745) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer John Edward Cox (156916) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Gerald Patrick Godwin DFC (401845) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Albert Aubrey King (1316916) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Harry Telford (1099681) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant William Henry Thornhill (1464625) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia on-Line Record A705, 166/16/203

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