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Michelle Jayne Goodman
Born 22 November 1976(1976-11-22) (age 45)
Place of birth Bristol
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Air Force
Years of service 2000-2012
Rank Flight Lieutenant
Battles/wars Iraq War
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross

Flight Lieutenant Michelle Jayne Goodman, DFC (born 22 November 1976) was a Royal Air Force officer. She was the first woman to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), for her actions while serving in Iraq, and the first female officer to be awarded any British combat gallantry medal.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Born in Bristol on (1976-11-22)22 November 1976, Goodman spent her early life there, attending Gracefield Preparatory School and Bristol Grammar School, before studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Manchester.[1]

RAF service[edit | edit source]

She joined the RAF in 2000, and after initial officer training at Royal Air Force College Cranwell,[1] she was appointed to a permanent commission as a pilot officer on 8 August 2000.[2] She then trained as a helicopter pilot at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire. She was promoted flying officer on 28 November 2000 (with seniority from 28 May 1998)[3] and flight lieutenant on 28 November 2001.[4] She joined 28 Squadron, part of the Merlin Force, at RAF Benson in 2004, transferring to 78 Squadron, also based at RAF Benson, when the Squadron was refounded in 2007. She has had three tours of Iraq.[1]

She was captain of an Incident Reaction Team Merlin, when, on 1 June 2007, she flew into Basra at night using night vision and under heavy fire to evacuate a serious casualty, 20-year-old Rifleman Stephen Vause of the 4th Battalion The Rifles (who had 15 minutes to live following a mortar attack).[5] Her DFC was gazetted on 7 March 2008, the first woman to receive this decoration.[6][7] In December 2009, Goodman trained with the RAF for the Afghan War.[8]

As of 2012, she has left the RAF.

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

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