Remembering WWII Veteran & Telegraphist Air Gunner Fred Good January 15, 2012 Fred Good passed away December 16, 2011; a service was held December 23, 2011. He served as a Telegraphist Air Gunner in the Royal Navy during the Second World War and was from Watford, Hertfordshire in England. He was actively involved in the Telegraphist Air Gunners Association both n ationally and locally in with the Watford Branch of the Fleet Air Arm Association. Fred's wartime experiences from the Second World War are told online in the Wartime Heritage Association's story, "Merchant Aircraft Carriers - MAC ships" Fred Good was a friend of the Wartime Heritage Association and was involved in sharing some of his wartime experiences and historical information, which contributed to the Association’s wartime theatrical stage musical productions. It was an honour to have known him and he will be remembered by all those with Wartime Heritage that had the opportunity to meet Fred during the Telegraphist Air Gunners Association's (TAGA) events and Annual Memorial Weekends in Lee-On-Solent, Hampshire, UK between 2004 and 2007. He will be missed by our members and remembered always. We extend our sincere condolences to his wife Beryl and the rest of his family, and TAGA friends. Good's story was also featured recently in the Watford Observer in the article, "Navy veterans from Watford celebrate aviation milestone": One of a unique group of sailor-airmen, Fred Good helped the Royal Navy to win the Battle of the Atlantic that was so vital in keeping Britain's food stocks alive during World War Two. The achievements of Mr Good and other Watford veterans of the Fleet Air Arm will now be celebrated in a series of events to mark the 100th anniversary of naval aviation. When he joined the Royal Navy as an 18-year-old in 1942, Mr Good became a telegraphist air gunner and served for three years on Merchant Aircraft Carriers, preventing U-boat attacks from his seat in a Swordfish biplane. His role was to protect convoys groups of up to 100 ships sailing across the Atlantic that carried everything from grain and oil and other food items, guns and armaments to Britain from America and Canada. If there was an alert, the planes would take off and circle the convoy, forcing the enemy U-boats to submerge as they were vulnerable from above and then could not attack from beneath the ocean surface. Mr Good, from Harrow Way, Carpenders Park, said: “Those convoys were vital to the life of Great Britain. “The Battle of the Atlantic was critical. The losses of merchant ships were enormous. There was air cover on both sides of the Atlantic but only in the range of those aircraft. It left 600 miles totally unprotected. U-boats were taking an absolute killing. “Fairly late in the war, someone came up with the idea of converting merchant ships so they could still carry cargo but have a flight deck built on top. They converted 19 oil tankers and grain ships. That meant from then on, each convoy could have a merchant ship that carried three or four aircraft. We used to fly around the convoy. It was very successful. It was just a pain someone didn't think of it sooner.” It wasn't until 18 years ago that Mr Good, a great-grandfather who has been married to his wife, Beryl, for 61 years, discovered the existence of the Fleet Air Arm Association. He will join other members of the Watford branch at a service to celebrate 100 years of naval aviation, at St Paul's Cathedral on May 8. The group will also visit the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious at Greenwich. Mr Good, 84, said: “We're all looking forward to the events. It's quite an achievement. Naval aviation had a hell of a job to get off the ground. The admirals thought it was a folly but they accepted there could be some benefit in having aircraft which could do spotting for the big guns. That was seen as their role in those days. As time went on they began to realise just how important it was. Now, of course, it's fair to say aircraft form the most important part of the Royal Navy.” Also read: Fred Good (Telegraphist Air Gunner, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Navy); Merchant Aircraft Carriers - MAC Ships
Fred Good at home
Fred Good (right) with crew
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Remembering the Telegraphist Air Gunners