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The Airmen's Stories - P/O L G Watson


Lionel George Watson was born on 3rd January 1909 in Woolwich. He was a Schoolmaster at Chinthurst School, Tadworth, Surrey when he joined the RAF in early April 1940 with a direct-entry commission as an Air Gunner.

He completed a gunnery course at 4 B&GS West Freugh and was posted to 98 Squadron in France, operating Fairey Battles.

After the French collapse the squadron was withdrawn to Gatwick, arriving on 8th June. In mid-June Watson was posted to 29 Squadron at Digby. On the night of 20th August 1940 he and his pilot, F/Lt. JS Adams, claimed an enemy aircraft probably destroyed over the Isle of Wight.

When 29 re-equipped with Beaufighters later in 1940, Watson retrained as a radar operator and was flying operationally as such by November.

He married Grace Joan Worrall in April 1941 in Weston-super-Mare.

When he was posted away from the squadron in late 1941, he had completed 70 operational sorties, the last on 30th September. Soon afterwards he was transferred to the Administrative Branch and did not return to flying duties.

In 1942 Watson was serving with 409 (RCAF) Squadron in an instructional capacity. He was Adjutant of 72 Squadron in Italy in 1943 and later served as a Staff Officer with the Rear HQ Desert Air Force.

Watson was released from the RAF in December 1945 as a Squadron Leader.

He entered the church after attending Lichfield Theological College in 1952, becoming a Deacon at Bath and Wells in 1954.

He was Rector of Broadway and Ashill when he retired in 1980.

Watson died on 6th January 1991 in Bristol.



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