Canadian woman 16th soldier killed in Afghanistan
Last Updated Wed, 17 May 2006 15:45:26 EDT
female soldier from Canada was killed while fighting Taliban
insurgents in Afghanistan on Wednesday, military officials said.
Capt. Nichola Goddard was serving as a forward observer with the
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in Afghanistan.
(Department of National Defence) Capt. Nichola Goddard, 26, had been
serving in Afghanistan with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light
Infantry. She was a member of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery,
based in Shilo, Man.
She is the first Canadian woman to be killed in action since the
Second World War, and the first female combat soldier killed on the
Goddard died about 6:55 p.m. local time (10:25 a.m. EDT) in a
military operation against Taliban forces near Kandahar, where the
majority of the country's 2,300 soldiers in Afghanistan are serving.
Canadian soldiers had been called in to support Afghan troops
fighting in the Panjwai region, about 24 kilometres west of
When the battle ended, 18 Taliban militants had been killed, and 35
captured, Canadian Forces spokesman Maj. Scott Lundy said. Three
Afghan soldiers were wounded.
Goddard was from Calgary and lived with her husband, Jason Beam, at
the Canadian Forces Base in Shilo. She had no children.
Beam, to whom she had been married since 2002, told CBC News that
Goddard joined the forces eight years ago, enlisting in the military
right out of high school.
He said he last spoke with her Tuesday, and she was excited about
the mission that, in the end, claimed her life.
Goddard was serving as a forward observer, helping to target the
artillery by observing where the shells fell. She was supposed to be
home in September.
'It's a hard day'
Maj. Liam McGarrey said that Goddard had been marked for rapid
Word of Goddard's death slowly filtered through the base as soldiers
attended a morale-boosting concert featuring Canadian musicians.
Goddard's remains are to be sent by plane to Canada on Friday during
a ramp ceremony at the main Kandahar base.
Brig.-Gen. David Fraser, who commands Canadian and coalition forces
in Kandahar, offered his sympathies to Goddard's family.
"It's a hard day, but it's also a day of achievements here," said
Fraser, who stood in front of a Canadian flag at half-mast. "The
government of Afghanistan and the Afghan national security forces
have had a good successful day. There was significant Taliban
casualties both killed and captured.
the cost today was the life of Nichola."
PM salutes soldier's contribution
In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper acknowledged Goddard's
"Capt. Goddard died while helping to bring peace, stability and
democracy to a troubled region of the world. She, and the other men
and women who serve in Afghanistan, are involved in a difficult and
Manitoba Premier Gary Doer said the province will fly its flag at
half-mast in Goddard's honour.
"I just want to say, on behalf of the people of Manitoba, we respect
her life of bravery and honour on behalf of Canada, and we offer our
condolences to the family and to the community of Shilo," he said.
Goddard's death raises Canada's toll in Afghanistan to 16 soldiers
and one diplomat since the mission beganin 2002.
Dozens of Canadian women have died while serving in the First and
Second World Wars, says the Department of National Defence:
Forty-three women in the Canadian military died in the First World
War – 29 in enemy action on the Western Front.
Seventy-one female members of the Canadian Forces died in the Second
World War, including five combat-related deaths – four during the
bombing of London and one when a German U-boat sank the SS Caribou.
There were no women military casualties in the Korean War
Thousands of comrades send Goddard home
Last Updated Fri, 19 May 2006 18:12:17 EDT
Thousands of troops from several countries lined the tarmac at
Kandahar airbase on Friday to say goodbye to Capt. Nichola Goddard,
Canada's latest casualty in Afghanistan.
Members of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery carry the casket of
Capt. Nichola Goddard on board a C-130 Hercules at Kandahar. The
plane is expected to arrive in Trenton, Ont., on Saturday. (Bob
Weber/Canadian Press) Goddard, the first female combat soldier
Canada has lost in battle, was killed Wednesday battling Taliban
insurgents west of Kandahar.
On Friday, soldiers from eight countries watched as her flag-draped
casket was carried by eight members of her unit, the Royal Canadian
Horse Artillery. The casket went underneath an arch formed by two
M777 howitzers and between the ranks of camouflage-clad soldiers,
then up the loading ramp of a C130 Hercules for the flight home to
The plane is expected to arrive in Trenton, Ont., on Saturday.
At the Kandahar base, prayers were said, and Brig.-Gen. David Fraser
followed the casket into the airplane to say a brief private
Soldiers at the ceremony included those from Canada, the United
States, Britain, Romania, France, the Netherlands, Estonia and
Goddard was serving as a forward artillery observer when Canadian
troops were called to support Afghan forces as they battled Taliban
fighters about 24 kilometres west of Kandahar.
The casket of Capt. Nicola Goddard is inside the hold of the
Canadian Forces C-130 on Friday at Kandahar airfield. (Sgt. Carole
Morissette/DND) She was killed when the LAV III light armoured
vehicle she was in was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, a number
of media outlets are reporting.
The Canadians formed a ring around the area where the Afghan forces
were battling the Taliban.
Canadian military officials said 18 Taliban militants were killed
and 26 captured during the operation. Three Afghan National Army
soldiers were wounded.
Goddard was the 16th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan since
2002. One Canadian diplomat has also been killed.
Capt. Nichola Goddard is the first Canadian female combat soldier to
die in battle. (DND) The Calgary native lived in Shilo, Man., with
her husband, Jason Beam.
Her funeral will be in Calgary at the same church where she was
married less than four years ago.
A public memorial is planned at her base at CFB Shilo.