Flight Lieutenant Herbert Godsall, the son of Albert Richard Godsall and Ruth Godsall (nee Marshall) was born at Toowoomba in Queensland on 30th September 1913, He was educated at the Toowoomba Grammar School. He previously had served in the Citizens Military Forces with the 25th Infantry Battalion during the period 1930 until 1936 and he was a National Trainee allotted to No. 56 Anti-Aircraft Company, Royal Australian Engineers. At the age of 29 years he was enlisted in the Citizen Air Force of the Royal Australian Air Force at No. 2 Recruiting Centre in Sydney on 10th October 1942 after giving a commitment that he would serve for the duration of the war and an additional twelve months. His physical description at the time of enlistment was that he was 6 feet 2 inches in height and weighed 164 pounds. He had a fair complexion, hazel eyes and dark brown hair. He was allotted the service number of 429427. At the time of his enlistment he was married with one child and employed as a Solicitor. He gave his next of kin as his wife, Mrs Mary Margaret Godsall, c/- J.C. Murphy Esq., 88 Neil Street in Toowoomba and also his father, Mr Albert Godsall, Club Hotel, Toowoomba. He stated that he was of the Roman Catholic religion. His daughter was Mary Elanor Kerry Godsall born on 16th October 1941.
Flight Lieutenant Herbert Godsall was a trainee at No. 2 Initial Training School at Bradfield Park in Sydney from 10th October 1942 until 7th January 1943. He then proceeded to No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School at Narromine in New South Wales and was a student on Course No. 32 during the period 8th January until 14th March 1943. He joined No. 8 Service Flying Training School at Bundaberg in Queensland on 15th March 1943 as a student on Course No. 32 during the period 14th March until 30th May 1943. Awarded the Flying Badge on 28th June 1943. He was promoted to the rank of Pilot Officer on 1st July 1943.
Flight Lieutenant Herbert Godsall joined No. 3 Embarkation Depot at Sandgate in Queensland on 2nd July 1943 and No. 2 Embarkation Depot at Bradfield Park in Sydney on 12th July 1943 to prepare for overseas service on attachment to the Royal Air Force. He embarked from Brisbane by sea transport on 14th July 1943 and disembarked from the ship in England on 26th August 1943 and he joined No. 11 Personnel Despatch & Reception Centre at Bournemouth on the following day. He was promoted to the rank of Acting Flight Lieutenant on 10th August 1944 and he joined No. 461 Squadron for operational duties on 3rd September 1942.
Flight Lieutenant Herbert Godsall was the captain and pilot of a No. 461 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force Sunderland ML745 that was lost at Bergen, Norway, on 1st October 1944. The Air Board advised his wife that her husband was missing on an operational flight and that it failed to return to its base. The aircraft took off at 1235 hours on an anti-submarine patrol. The last known position of the aircraft was 30 miles west of Bergen, Norway. No trace of the aircraft or any bodies of the crew were found, therefore his death is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial for the Missing in the United Kingdom. At the time of his death Herbert Godsall was 31 years of age. His name is commemorated on Panel No. 108 at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and locally on the Toowoomba Mothers’ Memorial, the Toowoomba Soldiers’ Memorial Hall and the Toowoomba Grammar School WW2 Honour Board.
Flight Lieutenant Herbert Godsall was mentioned in despatches and his award was promulgated in the London Gazette on 1st January 1945 and in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette on 4 January 1945. His photograph and the following report appeared in the local newspaper:
Squadron Leader H.M. (Marsh) Godsall (sic), third son of Mr and Mrs A.R. Godsall, Toowoomba, and husband of Mrs H.M. Godsall, Neil Street, who was cited in the New Year’s Honours list as having been Mentioned in Despatches. He has been missing from operations over Europe since October, 1944. Squadron Leader Godsall (sic) was educated at the Toowoomba Grammar School. He studied law and practised in Toowoomba, closing his business in April, 1942, to enlist in the R.A.A.F.
A photo showing him introducing the Duke of Gloucester to members of his crew was published in the local newspaper on 8th June 1945.