Dambuster widow from Bury St Edmunds to attend anniversary RAF concert

Vera Goodale, 85 from Bury St Edmunds who will  be a guest of honour at a concert by the Bands of the RAF in Ipswich
Vera Goodale, 85 from Bury St Edmunds who will be a guest of honour at a concert by the Bands of the RAF in Ipswich
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The widow of a war time hero who flew the dangerous and vital Dambusters’ missions will be a guest of honour at a concert being staged in Ipswich next week to mark the 70th anniversary of the raid.

Vera Goodale, 85, from Bury St Edmunds is the widow of Flying Officer Brian Goodale DFC who took part in the raids over the Ruhr valley in May 1943.

Flying Officer Brian Goodale DFC who took part in the famous Dambusters'  raid 70 years ago

Flying Officer Brian Goodale DFC who took part in the famous Dambusters' raid 70 years ago

FO Goodale was the wireless operator on AJ-L ‘Leather’, the first Lancaster bomber to attack the Eder Dam during the World War Two raid.

But his widow recalls that he was unassuming and did not speak about the events which cost many pliots’ lives as the Barnes Wallis bomb was released on the German dams in a series of bombing raids.

Vera will be attending Wednesday’s concert at the Ipswich Regent being staged by the Central Band of the RAF and the Squadronaires.

She met her husband in 1949, six years after the raid, and they married that August.

Vera said: “I was 22 when I married Brian, but I was rather naive, the raid didn’t mean much to me - and in those days people just didn’t talk about such things.”

Over the years the couple attended many Dambusters’ reunions and also visited one of the Ruhr dams when Brian was stationed in Germany. She said: “He just went off in a trance, walked around on his own and didn’t say a word.”

Mrs Goodale also met Barnes Wallis who invented the bouncing bombs. She said of him: “He was so very nice and very unassuming.” She also met Richard Todd who played the role of Guy Ginbson in the 1955 film which captured the legendary raid.

Vera added: “Brian himself was a very laid back, quiet character, and he probably thought it would have been boasting to say anything about his service. It was just something they all did, it was a job and they were all so young.”

The concert is one of 14 national tour dates with music reflecting the spirit of those who planned and took part in the raids.

Tickets are available on 01473 433100 or www.trch.co.uk