Pilot from Northamptonshire was on call for nuclear bomb raid

Philip Goodall is pictured exiting a Vulcan bomber in 1969 - shortly before the end of his tenure as commander of 27th Squadron.
Philip Goodall is pictured exiting a Vulcan bomber in 1969 - shortly before the end of his tenure as commander of 27th Squadron.

A bomber pilot from Northamptonshire – who was on standby to drop a nuclear weapon on Russia during the Cold War – is to reveal all in an extraordinary new memoir.

Philip Goodall, who now lives in Silverstone, was stationed at Scampton RAF base in Lincolnshire in 1967 as a Vulcan pilot commanding the 27th Squadron.

During the height of the diplomatic tensions between the West and the Soviet Union, Mr Goodall, now 83, was part of a team on standby to run a nuclear bombing raid on Leningrad, had the decision been taken by the government.

His memoirs, My Target was Leningrad, is set to be released in March and the Silverstone grandfather is also due to hold a talk at Towcester Conservative Club on Tuesday, January 13 to discuss his 
life.

Speaking of his time at RAF Scampton, Mr Goodall said: “We thought we were preserving democracy in the UK.

“We hoped, we believed, we would never be called upon – and fortunately we weren’t.”

Mr Goodall said the Vulcan bombers would have had to deploy the hydrogen bomb at low altitude, 50 miles from the target. However the planes would not have had enough fuel to make the return journey.

“We would have had to head towards Norway and Sweden, bail out and hope for the best,” he said.

The book is to detail Mr Goodall’s extraordinary 23- year career, which also saw him fly the UK’s first commissioned jet, the Meteor and act as a test co-pilot for Concorde.