John Nicol Goodfellow was born in Manly, New South Wales on the 6th January 1921 to John Nicol and Thelma Goodfellow (nee Bennett) of 8 Afford Road South, Port Pirie, South Australia. John Nicol Snr was employed by Broken Hill Associated Smelters in Port Pirie.
John received primary education at Solomontown School, whence he emerged as Dux in the Qualifying Certificate Examination. He went on to St. Peter’s College, where he passed the Intermediate, Leaving, and Leaving Honours Examinations. While at Adelaide University John successfully passed through the first and second year courses in engineering. His sports were football, rowing, swimming, boxing, and boat sailing.
John was residing at 346 Senate Road when he enlisted with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on the 3rd February 1941 at No. 5 Recruiting Centre, Adelaide, South Australia.
John received elementary training at No. 4 Initial Training School, Victor Harbour, South Australia. He emerged from that course with the record number of marks at that time and was placed in the first flight of planes.
At Parafield, South Australia he took the first flying course and went thence to Point Cook, Victoria for the advanced section of training where he received a commission as pilot officer.
Pilot Officer Goodfellow was transferred to Laverton, Victoria where he was given a special course in navigation and reconnaissance. He was sent with 11 other airmen, specially chosen, to Nhill, Victoria for instruction in the management of Lockheed Hudsons, which he went through with great credit.
The Royal Australian Air Force received 247 ‘Hudsons’ between January 1940 and May 1942 in several versions. As the war progressed, a growing number of roles were found for the Hudson, including transport (14 troops could be carried if the turret and other items of equipment were removed), meteorological reconnaissance, VIP transport, and air-sea rescue, for which role an under fuselage airborne lifeboat could be carried. The versatility of the Hudson ensured it remained in service throughout the war and for a significant time afterwards.
John was attached to 13 Squadron, in the Northern Territory and patrolled Australia’s north from January 1942 including Port Hedland, Broome, Darwin and Koepang, Netherland East Indies.
Lockheed Hudson A16-61 MK2 took off on a patrol flight from Penfoei, Netherland East Indies at dawn on the 14th February 1942 to a WNW direction with fair visibility. With a severe rain storm approaching from the south, the aircraft turned south then east to endeavour to return to aerodrome and entered into heavy rain. The aircraft crashed 5 miles south of aerodrome. Deemed that the pilot lost control at low altitude on approach in heavy rain and fog. Some state that it was struck by lightning (Not officially recognised or mentioned in RAAF Reports).
Flight Officer Geoffrey Gordon Mitchell, Pilot Officer John Nicol Goodfellow, aged 21; Sergeants Charles Lawrence Motteram and Keith Raynor were all killed on operations at Koepang, Timor.
Pilot Officer John Nicol Goodfellow, Service Number 407894, is interred at the Ambon War Cemetery, Ambon, Maluku, Indonesia.
John’s story was collected by the Port Pirie RSL to preserve the history of people in their local community.
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