University of Oxford
2 files

War in the Desert - part 2

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 18:59 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

The continuing story about my Dad - Frederick Goodin.

Dad's fighting career was cut short just before the first Battle of El Alamein, when he was seriously wounded in an air attack on another Retna Box. He was driving an ambulance carrying several men suffering from "shell shock" (post traumatic stress disorder). The ambulance was parked in the very centre of the defensive box formation, with a large red cross painted on its roof, and also on its sides, to make it easily identifiable as an ambulance. My father's position, if attacked, was alongside the ambulance with his Bren gun. An enemy Stuka dive bomber peeled off from its incoming formation and dived directly for the ambulance. Dad lay on his back with his Bren gun pointing skywards. He could see his shells entering the oncoming aircraft, but to little apparent effect. He then saw an ominous black shape detach itself from the underside of the Stuka. Dad immediately started rolling as fast as he could away from the bomb's trajectory. It scored a direct hit on the ambulance, and Dad, who was still rolling for all he was worth, was hit in the back by flying shrapnel. At this point my father lost interest in what happened to the aircraft and what else was going on around him.

Several days later Dad awoke in a hospital bed in Cairo. He had just missed the first Battle of Alamein. It took several months for him to fully recover, and when he did, he was made a senior sergeant instructor of field mechanics in battlefield environments for new regiments arriving in the Middle East and European war zones. This lasted for the remainder of the war.

My Dad returned home in 1945 to a house that had received blast damage from the bombing and the death of his son due to meningitis.

And where do I fit into this story? I was born early in 1944, the result of a relationship between an English lady and a Canadian soldier, who went ashore on Juno Beach, on D-Day, but was later killed near Caen during the Normandy campaign. I was eventually put into an orphanage and later adopted by Kitty and Frederick Goodin, in 1949, to fill the gap left by my adoptive parents' late son, Kenneth.


Item list and details

1. Photo of Frederick Goodin; 2. Photo of this story;

Person the story/items relate to

Frederick Goodin

Person who shared the story/items

David Goodin

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

My Dad

Type of submission

Shared online via the Their Finest Hour project website.

Record ID