RARE Snapshot of Eagle Squadron Ace James A. “Goody” Goodson, USAAF


Credited with 30 Kills in WWII, serving in the RACF & USAAF.

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I recently went through a pile of WWI and WWII photos and this one stood out; first of all it is a compelling image of the typical combat pilot of WWII. Secondly, I noticed the second pair of wings over the right breast pocket, and they looked like RAF Pilot wings. I quickly assumed this pilot may be connected with the Eagle Squadron, so off I go to Google to look at images and find him almost immediately; not this image but there was no doubt who he was.

James Alexander Goodson, was the son of an American father, born in New York City, and a British mother who was living in Toronto after divorcing Goodson’s father. Goodson joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941. Then served in the 416th Squadron, RCAF, No. 43 Squadron RAF, No. 133 Squadron RAF (The Eagle Squadron), and then transferred to the American Air Force, assigned to the 336th Fighter Squadron-4th Fighter Group. This unit continued to use their British Spitfires until replace with the P-51 Mustangs.

The Eagle Squadrons in the Royal Air Force were composed of American pilots who had volunteered to fly for Britain prior to America’s entrance into WWII. Once the United States entered the war, most of the American pilots were allowed to transfer to Army Air Force units being formed in the UK.

Goodson had amassed quite a record during the war, with 30 enemy planes credited to him. On July 14, 1944 Goodson was reported missing, later it was determined that he was shot down by flak while escorting bombers to their primary target on June 20. He was captured by the Germans and sent to Luft. Stalag 3. This camp is best known for two daring escapes that were later featured in the movie “The Great Escape.”

James A.”Goody” Goodson would attain the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, on the highest ranking aces in the ETO.

Among his Decorations are, The Distinguished Service Cross, The Silver Star, The Distinguished Flying Cross w/ 8 OLCs, The Air Medal w/ 20 OLCs, Purple Heart, and other American Campaign medals; Foreign; British Distinguished  Flying Cross (RAF), Belgian Order of Leopold w/ Silver palm leaf, Belgian Croix de Guerre w/ Palm, French Legion of Honneur, Knight Class, and French Croix de Guerre w/ Palm leaf.

Beside all of that he looked like Errol Flynn, that can’t be all that bad.  Lt.Col. Goodson died in 2014.

The snap shot is 3×5 approximately and in fine condition with very slight flaws. No photographer information.

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