Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sinking of the Bismarck Remembered

Terry Goddard. Photo by: Pierre Lapprand

May 27th marked 70 years since the dramatic showdown in the NorthAtlantic that resulted in the sinking of the Bismarck and the demise of any dreams of surface navy dominance for the Kriegsmarine. 

In a series of presentations on Saturday June 11th, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and Vintage Wings of Canada paid tribute to the role played by the venerable Fairey Swordfish biplane bomber in this and other engagements through out the war.  In attendance was 91-year old Commander Terry Goddard, a Canadian Swordfish aviator who participated in the attack on the Bismarck. 

At this recent dedication, Robert Kostecka, VWoC volunteer and historian, cleverly set up an interview scenario between Rob Fleck and Cdr (Ret'd) Goddard. The audience was spellbound as Terry Goddard chatted about his direct personal experiences, especially relating to

his missions against Bismarck. This unique opportunity to hear first hand about that fateful day will never be equalled.

A day prior to the presentation, Vintage Wings dedicated their Fairey Swordfish to Cdr Goddard. In addition to participating in the attack on the German battleship Bismarck, Terry flew most of the Second World War in a "String bag" as a Naval Aviator, known then as an Air Observer.

Photo galleries of the event can be found at the following links:


  1. Posted on behalf of Cdr (Ret'd) Terry Goddard.

    Dear Rob,

    Thank you! It was just great to meet you. When I saw the Swordfish I was overwhelmed, I still am. That I am in company with such a group of wonderful men and their wonderful Vntage Wing aircraft is such a singular honour. Thank you.

    The walk around was captivating for both Cora and me. The aircraft, their histories, their reclamation, the trials and tribulations in their restoration. The cordiality of Heather, Carolyn, Mary Lee, and all whom we met was just amazing; and mercy, as we were leaving to hear the deep throated roar as John in the Corsair took off and did a roll off the top. A day doesn't get any better than that.

    Rob, it sems that our "Duet" - "Have a Go" together with Robert's review of the Battle of the Atlantic, the Veterans and Vintage Wings roll calls was well received. Indeed, may I suggest that we would not be wrong in feeling that it was "mission accomplished", and furthermore perhaps just cause for self indulgent "BRAVO ZULUS"

    I shall wear my "T" shirt with great pride and of couse so with the cap.

    Cora and I wish you and yours all the very best.


    Yours aye.

    Cora & Terry

  2. Many thanks to Rob Kostecka for all of the hard work to lead this dedication. Now it’s up to us to get our Swordfish into the air for Oshkosh, because Commander Terry Goddard is going to be at Warbirds In Review with our Stringbag at Air Venture @ KOSH on Saturday 30 July at 10:00 am.