Dick's whole life full of adventure
An RAF rear gunner who flew 45 Second World War bombing missions has died at the age of 88.
Dick Goodburn, from Melton, was 19 when he joined an Australian squadron based at RAF Waddington, in Lincolnshire.
He flew at a perilous time for Lancaster bomber crews which, on average, survived eight missions.
Dick, known as "Ginge", flew 45 before his crew was stood down.
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Mr Goodburn died in Egerton Lodge residential care home, in Melton, on March 6.
As a child, he lived in Nottingham Street in the town.
One of his first adventures was to build a raft, the Scullypop, and take to the River Eye which flows through Melton.
When his mother discovered this, she ordered his older brothers to destroy it.
His family said this early adventurous start was to set the standard for the rest of his life.
Daughters Wendy Tucker and Beverley Vaughan said he started work at Stevens and Goodburn undertakers, owned by his brother, Bob.
Wendy said: "Still 14 years old, at the request of the police, he cycled in the early hours to prepare a recently deceased man at a lonely house."
After his heroic war efforts, Dick married Audrey Cooke.
He also worked at Chappy's – now Mars Petcare – as the "chippy", repairing anything wooden, getting office workers into their desks and filing cabinets when they lost their keys and clearing the River Eye, of debris.
His daughters said: "He fished in it, swam in it and later took his grandsons fishing and swimming in it, including leaping off the Green Bridge.
"In the 1950s, he supplemented his earnings – and drinking – by playing saxophone in The Rhythm Players band."
They said Dick's taste for adventure was still strong and in his 50s he made a speedboat and learned to water-ski.
He also built two full-sized aircraft and learned to fly them.
His living room became "the hanger" and Audrey, who died in 2005, was his seamstress, parts finder and general support.
Their joint passion in life was motorcycle racing.
Mr Goodburn is survived by his daughters, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
His daughters said: "He will be sadly missed by his loving family and especially his mates, through thick and thin, of over 80 years, Bert Orton and Wally Skerrit.
"He had the same friends from when he started school at the age of five 'til the day he died. They never fell out and they were only separated during the war."
Mr Goodburn's funeral will be held at St Mary the Virgin, Thorpe Arnold, on Wednesday, March 27, at 10.30am.