Veterans

'Dambusters' Squadron Pilot Lawrence 'Benny' Goodman Dies Aged 100

Mr Goodman destroyed the Arnsberg Railway Viaduct and attacked Hitler's 'Eagle's Nest' during his wartime RAF service.

'Dambusters' Squadron pilot Squadron Leader Lawrence 'Benny' Goodman has died aged 100.

He served in the RAF for 24 years, spending time as a bomber pilot with 617 Squadron (The 'Dambusters') during the Second World War.

Mr Goodman completed 30 operations from August 1944, during which he demolished the Arnsberg railway viaduct and attacked Hitler's 'Eagle's Nest', according to Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA).

He was so skillful that he became the first pilot without operational experience to join the 'Dambusters' Squadron, RAFA added.

His post-war life included support for RAF charities, and work to educate younger generations about the harsh nature of conflict.

In August 2020, Mr Goodman attended an event to mark Chelsea Football Club's adoption of an RAF Avro Lancaster aircraft as part of the 'Adopt an Artefact' programme.

Squadron Leader Lawrence 'Benny' Goodman (left) and Petr Cech (right) CREDIT RAF MUSEUM
Squadron Leader Lawrence 'Benny' Goodman (left) and former Chelsea FC goalkeeper Petr Cech (right) pictured in 2020 (Picture: RAF Museum).

The RAF Museum said the club's adoption of the aircraft was a sign of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's support of the museum's 'Hidden Heroes' project, of which Mr Goodman was a supporter.

The Premier League football club adopted the Lancaster in the name of the Jewish personnel who served in the RAF during the Second World War, such as Mr Goodman.

On Twitter, the RAF Museum wrote: "The Royal Air Force Museum is saddened by the news that Squadron Leader Lawrence 'Benny' Goodman has died at the age of 100.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

"Per Ardua Ad Astra."