90 Years of Heroes- Flight Lieutenant Michelle Goodman

November 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A strong supporter of The Royal British Legion I believe that the Poppy Appeal is as important now as it was back in 1921. So forth for each sale which Bath-Knight receives during Monday 7th November to Friday 11th November 2011 a donation from Bath-Knight will be made to The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

 poppy banner

A firm believer in the power and ability of women I have chosen to share the incredible story of Flight Lieutenant Michelle Goodman who is the perfect example of a modern day war hero.

Described in Matt Croucher’s 90 Years of Heroes book as a ‘skilful and courageous pilot’ Michelle Goodman became the first woman in the history of the Armed Forces to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 2008.

As a youngster Michelle always knew that she wanted to fly and studied a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Upon graduating Michelle enrolled for training in 2000 going on to becoming a flight lieutenant in 2004.

Michelle-GoodmanLG

It was in 2005 when Michelle and her Squadron were first sent to Basra Air Station in Iraq. Michelle flew what was considered to be the ‘workhorse’ in the Forces- Merlins- a multi-role helicopter, which are day and night, all weather craft requiring the skill of a great pilot.

A Merlins’ role generally involved transporting troops and casualties to base. Whilst also been the eyes for troops on the ground, they are well established ‘deterrents in the face of the enemy’ and are able to quickly respond to incidents.

In June 2007, on Michelle’s third tour of Iraq the team were called to a high risk call-out, which would shape Michelle’s future and be fundamental in her honour of becoming the first female to receive the DFC.

Medal Michelle Goodman DFC

At 23.15 a serious casualty was called in, Merlin responded with Flight Lieutenant Michelle Goodman as pilot. A high risk operation, which positioned the aircraft as an open target to enemy fire, Michelle tackled heavy dust, flying at a low altitude whilst wearing night goggles to increase her visibility.

Despite being in the face of the enemy Michelle skilfully deposited the medics who located and retrieved the casualty. Within 14 minutes the team and injured serviceman were back to base safely and receiving lifesaving treatment.

The incredible skill which Michelle displayed on that evening is breath taking. However, it’s the calm and poised work of Michelle which is so admirable. Without Michelle’s brave decision to continue the mission the injured soldier, who only had 15 minutes to live would have died.

Michelle has since become a figure of inspiration for women in the Forces. She is proof that anyone can be an excellent and highly thought after pilot. A brilliant story which I’m so happy to see featured in 90 Years of Heroes.

Read more about the Poppy Appeal.

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