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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.


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152 Squadron Crest
28.11.1940 No. 152 (Hyderabad) Squadron Spitfire Mk.1a R6597 UM-V P/O. Arthur Roy Watson

Operation: Scramble/Interception

Date: 28 November 1940 (Thursday)

Unit: 152 (Hyderabad) Squadron - Motto: "Faithful ally"

Badge: A head-dress. No 152 Squadron became the gift squadron of Hyderabad and took as its badge the head-dress of the Nizam of Hyderabad.

Type: Supermarine Spitfire Mk.1a

Serial: R6597

Code: UM-V

Base: RAF Warmwell, Dorset.

Location: Arne, near Warmwell, Dorset

Pilot: P/O. Arthur Roy Watson 44187 RAFVR Age 19 - Killed.


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REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off from RAF Warmwell to intercept an enemy bomber force and its fighter escort. He engaged the Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters but was shot down. Unhurt, he baled out, but unfortunately his parachute tore as it snagged on his aircraft and he fell to his death. His Spitfire crashed at the village of Arne about sixteen miles east of RAF Warmwell. His body was recovered and returned to his family. On 4 December 1940 he was buried at Nottingham Southern Cemetery - Section M24 Grave No. 74.


BIOGRAPHY


1938 Arthur Roy Watson appointed Drum Major of the Nottingham High School OTC

Courtesy Nottingham High School Archives

Arthur Roy Watson was born in 1921 at Basford, Nottingham the son of Arthur Watson and Agnes Watson nee Cunningham. Brothers John C. and George C. were born in 1924 and 1928 respectively. The family lived at 48 Carisbrooke Drive, Mapperley Park, Nottingham.

Arthur Watson senior, a native of Glasgow, had a long association with the Stanton Iron Works at Ilkeston eventually becoming Assistant Managing Director.

Arthur Roy Watson entered Nottingham High School at the Age of 13 in 1934 and left in 1939. He became a Sergeant in the school OTC and in 1938 he was appointed Drum Major. A school prefect from 1938-39 he was also a member of the First XV Rugby Team and the Second XI Cricket Team. (Courtesy Nottingham High School Archives).


In September 1939 he entered RAF College, Cranwell as a Flight Cadet. However in October 1939, following the outbreak of war, those who had been accepted but had not started their course at Cranwell were enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve as Airmen Under Training (Pilots) and given an airman number. Arthur Roy Watson was given number 905519 and from then until 10 April 1940 undertook elementary flying training at 9 EFTS and RAF Ansty near Coventry, Warwickshire. From there he went to RAF College Flight Training School, Cranwell for intermediate and advanced training. Having successfully completed this shortened training course he was granted a permanent commission as a Pilot Officer on probation on 14 July 1940 (Announced in the London Gazette of 6 August 1940). The following day he joined 152 (Hyderabad) Squadron at RAF Warmwell, Dorset. 152 Squadron had been equipped with Spitfires in January 1940 and during the Battle of Britain operated in defence of Sector Y that included Portland Naval Base.



Spitfire 1a R6597 UM-V pictured in 1940. The pilot in the photograph is Pilot Officer (later Group Captain) John Bisdee.

Nicknamed "Watty" and "Rex", Pilot Officer Arthur Watson was soon thrown in at the deep end but quickly acquitted himself well by damaging a Junkers Ju88 on August 22 and on 15 September, later to be known as Battle of Britain Day, destroying a Heinkel He 111 medium bomber. On 27 September he added to his score as he shot down another Junkers Ju88 and a Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighter bomber. During his efforts that day however, he was wounded and forced to take extended sick leave until the 8th of November. He was killed three weeks later.

Pilot Officer A.R. Watson is commemorated on the Battle of Britain Monument in London and on the Nottingham High School War Memorial.

A section of the Battle of Britain Monument in London



Researched by Aircrew Remembered researcher Roy Wilcock for Nottingham High School and the relatives and friends of Arthur Roy Watson - December 2015

With thanks to the sources quoted below.

RW 09.12.2015

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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