Godfrey, John Trevor, born on 22-07-1922 in Woonsocket, Montreal, Canada, was destined to become an outstanding American warrior, to destroy more enemy aircraft than any other pilot in the 4th
and to become a national hero in whose honor factory whistles were blown, military parades staged and war bond rallies held. But at home, in his ‘teens, Godfrey was the subject of many anxious family consultations. He was moody, reckless and appeared to be shiftless. His salient feature was his set of darting, gypsy black eyes. They later proved the keenest eyes in the 4th
, disciplined, radar eyes that could spot enemy specks in the sky miles away. But in 1940, they had a restless, faraway expression that reflected Godfrey’s maladjustment. 11-08-1941, his despairing parents made a covenant with him. It was agreed that he could go to Canada and try to enter the RCAF
to become a fighter pilot. Attempted to join the RCAF but brought home by authorities (3x). If he failed he would come back and go to college. He never went to college. He painted “Reggie’s Reply” on his plane,
after his brother, who died torpedoed by the Germans as he sailed to England. Godfrey and his wingman and close friend, Captain “Don” Gentile
flew with a group from the 4th
Fighter Group of the 336th
flying out of Debden.
They tormented Hermann Goering’s (see Leutnant Peter Goering
(did you know
) Luftwaffe to such an extent that Goering called them the “Debden Gangsters”. Between Gentile and Godfrey they had 37 kills. Gentile and Godfrey used rather unconventional tactics; tactics which would in later years be used by American fighter pilots in Vietnam and was in the best position, took the lead with the other covering his “six”.
Death and burial ground of Godfrey, John Trevor.
Cemetery location of Godfrey, John Trevor.