31.08.1940 No. 603 Squadron Spitfire I X4273 XY-K F/O. 'Bubbles' Waterston
Operation: Defensive Patrol
Date: 31st August 1940 (Saturday)
Unit: No. 603 Squadron
Type: Spitfire Mk.I
Base: RAF Hornchurch, East London
Location: Repository Road, Woolwich
Pilot: F/O. “Bubble” Robin McGregor Waterston 90197 RAF (Auxiliary) Age 23. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 17:51 hrs on his 3rd sortie of the day.
Engaged units from 4.ZG76 and is thought to have been shot down by one of the Bf109’s. The Spitfire crashed at about 18:20 hrs after breaking up and crashing at the junction of Hillreach/Repository Road/Frances Street, Woolwich.
According to the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich ARP Incident Log report, a mortuary van was dispatched at 18:24 hrs. It is presumed that they were to pick up the body of the pilot.
Another mortuary van was dispatched at 19:47 hrs to pick up the body of a Luftwaffe pilot which had crashed near Plumstead road.
Above left: F/O. Robin Waterson. In 2009 he was commemorated at the Royal Artillery Barracks by a Memorial Stone placed by the Shoreham Aircraft Museum, Kent.
The possible identity of the Luftwaffe pilot could well be Oblt. Walter Binder of 4.ZG76 who flew Bf109E-4 Werke No: 1503 which crashed in a garden between Anne Street and Robert Street, Plumstead. This aircraft was claimed as shot down by Sgt. Stokoe from the same Squadron as “Bubble” Waterson.
F/O. Robin McGregor Waterston. Edinburgh Warriston Crematorium. Panel 4. Born on the 10th January 1917 the son of James Sime Waterston and Mabel Waterston, of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Researched by Stephen Hunnisett for Aircrew Remembered - September 2016. Dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks also to sources as quoted. Photographs supplied by Stephen Hunnisett following his recent visit to the National Archives.