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Lieutenant (junior grade) Nick "Goose" Bradshaw was a naval flight officer and LT Pete "Maverick" Mitchell's radar intercept officer (RIO).

While able to enjoy himself and have a good time, Goose was clearly more level headed than his partner Maverick, which is shown through his family and slightly more serious personality. He was a skilled RIO and married to Carole, a fiery young woman with whom he had a son, Bradley. Unfortunately, Goose was killed in an accident in Top Gun.

Biography[]

Top Gun[]

In the opening scenes, Goose and Maverick go face-to-face with the pilot of a MiG-28 that acquires a missile lock on their wingman, LT Bill "Cougar" Cortell. After receiving orders to 'not fire until fired upon', Maverick puts the plane into an inverted dive, placing their F-14 upside down directly above the MiG-28. He even snaps a shot of the pilot with his camera after Maverick gives him the finger.

When Cougar loses his edge during the operation, CDR Tom "Stinger" Jardian takes them both into his office and relays the news that they'll be going to TOPGUN, the most prestigious Naval Aviation school in the country, of which only the top one percent of naval aviators attend.

On a hop, or operation, two weeks from graduation date, Maverick & Goose along with LT Tom "Iceman" Kazansky and LTJG Ron "Slider" Kerner attempt to engage the A-4 MiG aggressors. Iceman and Slider cut the partners off, wanting the 'kill' to score points for themselves. When Iceman realizes there's no possible way to acquire a lock on the targets he pulls up, leaving Maverick and Goose to fly straight through his jet wash, causing one then both engines to stall in their F-14 and the jet goes into a flat spin that is unrecoverable. As their altitude drops rapidly, Maverick and Goose are pinned to the side of the cockpit by the centrifugal forces. Maverick is pinned too far forward to reach his ejection handle, which is located above the seat back, and orders Goose to pull his. Goose struggles to reach it, but finally manages to pull it and both men are ejected from the jet. However, because the F-14 is still in a spin, the canopy is not blown far enough away from the plane and Goose's ejection seat fires him head first into the ejected canopy, breaking his neck and killing him instantly. His parachute managed to activate and he gently landed in the ocean below, where Maverick pulled his body into a life-raft.

Maverick blamed himself for Goose's death even though an investigation found Maverick not at fault, with Goose's death attributed to an unforeseen mechanical error. When Maverick gave Goose's personal belongings to his wife Carole, she revealed that "He loved flying with" him and that even though he would have hated it, "he would have flown anyway, without" Maverick.

Maverick kept Goose's Dog tags with him and when he found himself losing the edge in his first engagement after graduation, he held them and Goose's memory gave him the courage to re-engage the enemy.

After shooting down three enemy MiGs, Maverick threw the dog tags into the ocean after he realized that Goose will never leave his side in spirit.

Top Gun: Maverick[]

Photos of Goose can be seen posted in Maverick's hangar featured at the beginning and end of the movie. He is also seen in a hanging wall photo featuring his entire TOPGUN class.

Goose's son, Bradley, who is now an adult and a naval aviator with the callsign of "Rooster", is selected to train under Maverick for a special mission. This causes a lot of tension, as Rooster is still angry at Maverick for pulling his papers to the Naval Academy which set him back four years. His death had a significant impact on Rooster (reflected in his overly cautious flying style) and remains a very sensitive issue; at mere mention, Rooster blew up and attacked LT Jake "Hangman" Seresin for using it as evidence as being the root cause of Rooster's issues. Whilst looking for reassurance from Goose during the mission Bradley says "Talk to me dad" before Maverick responds to him.

After Maverick and Rooster exhaust all options during their escape in an F-14A and are faced with certain death, Maverick whispers "I'm sorry, Goose". Luckily they are saved at last second by Hangman. While back on deck of the carrier, Maverick thanks Rooster for saving him from the Mi-24 Hind, to which Rooster says, "It's what my dad would have done", and the two hug.

Ribbons[]

In order of precedence:

Presidential Unit Citation Meritorious Unit Commendation Navy "E" Ribbon - One 3⁄16 inch silver letter "E" device denotes first award.
Navy Expeditionary Medal Humanitarian Service Medal Sea Service Deployment Ribbon

Notes[]

  • Trivia: Goose's signature saying, 'Great Balls of Fire', originated from the 1950s song by Jerry Lee Lewis, that he plays on the piano in the middle of the movie.
  • Trivia: This character is based very heavily on the real life person, Luis Claudio Jaramillo. He was also a RIO at TOPGUN and flew a decade or so before Top Gun was "set". He died in similar circumstances to how Goose does in Top Gun when he had to eject from his plane after an engine fault. His pilot, Lt. Daniel "Ace" Oxley was investigated for the incident but ultimately found not guilty.

Gallery[]

References[]

  1. The character's age is conjecture based upon actor Anthony Edwards (born July 19th, 1962), who was 22-years-old at the time when filming for the movie began on June 26th, 1985. Edwards was 23-years-old when Top Gun released on May 16th, 1986.
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