Flying Officer Charles Goble

An RAF Short Stirling Bomber

An RAF Short Stirling Bomber

Aircrew who were lost in the skies over Europe between 1939 and 1947 and have no known grave are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, in Surrey. More than a few Portsmouth men who served in the Royal Air Force are memorialised there.

One of them is Flying Officer Charles Goble, 21 and from Portsmouth. He was serving with 624 Squadron, flying in a Short Stirling Bomber. He was killed on the night of 14 July 1944 and has no known grave.

What makes Goble’s story all the more interesting, is that 624 Squadron’s role was to insert and supply special agents behind the lines of Nazi-occupied Europe. The Special Operations Executive was set up to co-ordinate and support guerilla and underground forces in various countries. Often small and nimble Lysander aircraft would be used to drop off and pick up agents. But Bombers were also used as transport aircraft, to drop men and supplies by parachute. Stirling’s were used as a large number of them were available, having been replaced in Bomber Commanded by the Lancaster and the Halifax. It was a particularly hazardous role – flying low, alone, darkened and facing very serious consequences if captured. It was certainly a job for brave and skilled men.

Where Goble was operating when his plane was shot down, we can only speculate. In July 1944 the battle of Normandy was raging, and the French Maquis further south were certainly active against the Germans. 624 Squadron are also known to have flown missions over Poland. Documented records of 624 Squadron are very limited due to the secrecy of the work involved.

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2 Comments

Filed under portsmouth heroes, Remembrance, Royal Air Force, World War Two

2 responses to “Flying Officer Charles Goble

  1. Jeffrey Denness

    Myself and a number of relatives of 624 squadron members are gradually building up a picture of 624′s brief but intense operational period during the war. Ron McKeon has set up an excellent web site and there is a annual re union hosted at RAF Brize Norton hosted by 4624 squadron which is still the son of 624. There aren’t many of the original members left we try to keep the spirit alive. The Squadron originally started out with Halifaxes and operated mainly from Blida in Algeria. They eventually wore them out and were given Stirlings which most of them disliked. A number of the crews, my father included were awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French Govt.

    Jeff Denness son of Pilot Officer Edwin Denness 624 Squadron

  2. James Daly

    Hi Jeff thank you for your comment. When I have time hopefully I will be able to find out a bit more about Flying Officer Goble. Feel free to let me know if I can help at all with the history of 624 Squadron.

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