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RAF Watton in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- RAF Watton during the Second World War -


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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

RAF Watton



   

Today the airfield is used by the RAF`s Volunteer Gliding School. The hangers are now used as grain stores.

Watton Wartime Museum on the Norwich Road, devoted to the WW2 activities of the RAF and USAF, is open on Sunday afternoons during the summer.

Squadrons stationed at RAF Watton



Those known to have served at

RAF Watton

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website.

Announcements

  • To commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day, we are launching a new feature, Second World War Day by Day and also a new Library to allow access to records which have previously been held in our offline archive.
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  • The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors. If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.
    If you enjoy this site

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  • We are also looking for volunteers to help with the website. We currently have a huge backlog of submissions which need to be edited for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.

Research your own Family History.

Aug 2017 - Please note we currently have a large backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 234727, your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

      

We are aware of the issue with missing images, this is due to the redesign of the website, images will reappear as soon as the new version of the page is completed, thank you for your patience.

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Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to WW2. We would like to obtain digital copies of any documents or photographs relating to WW2 you may have at home.

If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted. World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great
Did you know? We also have a section on The Great War. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.






WO. James Watson "Jock" Clelland

My Dad, James Clelland, joined RAF in 1921 at Manston, I know he served on HMS Glorious. He also served at Shawbury, South Africa (Shalufa) Cranwell, Waddington, Binbrook, Watton and was discharged in 1955. I have a very rough, difficult to read record, his original service record I cannot find. He came from Hutchesentown in Glasgow hence his nickname (Jock). According to this record he received five good conduct badges. LS & GCM in 1941 (don't know which medal this is) Defence medal don't know the year. He lived in Lincoln all of his life when not serving but this is all I know. I have been to Duxford and seen the types of planes he worked on.

Jayne Clelland



Sargeant John Bernard Philpott 82 Squadron (d.8th Sep 1940)

John Bernard Philpott, born 18 September 1909, New Zealand. John was a member of the Wellington Aero Club, New Zealand, studied with the Dominion School of Aeronautics and obtained his pilots License. He volunteered for the Royal New Zealand Air Force shortly after war broke on the 26 Oct 1939. Having turned 30 years of age he was not considered for Pilot Training.

He went to England to train as an Observer/Air Gunner and then on to Norfolk where he was posted with others to R.A.F. 82 Squadron at Watton, Norfolk as replacements for crew lost during raids on German held bases. He was part of several sorties over the occupied ports of the English Channel where it was suspected landing craft for the invasion of England were being assembled (Operation Sea Lion). Intelligence hinted that the invasion was planned for the second week of September 1940 so on the 8th September three bombers of 82 Squadron were sent over on a reconnaissance mission to the Belgium ports even though weather conditions grounded all other aircraft of both sides. Unfortunately only the leaderís aircraft returned to base. It is assumed that John his pilot P/O J.M.McCausland and Air Gunner Sgt R.S. Fletcher together with the crew of the third aircraft crashed in the channel and no trace has ever been found of them or their aircraft. Officially John was listed 'Missing Presumed Killed' on the 8th September 1940. His name is on the memorial in Runnymeade, Surrey, United Kingdom

Helene Philpott



Sgt. James Samuel Sargent DFM. 82 Squadron

James Sargent is my father but, as I was not born until 1945, I don't know too much about his time at RAF Watton except that he was a member of 82 Squadron, flying Blenheim bombers. He was a navigator and flew with Taff Watkins (pilot) and Eric Chandler (gunner). Later, when 82 sqn. was sent to Malta, his aircraft was badly damaged by flak and the pilot (Taff Watkins)was badly wounded in the legs. Although not trained as a pilot, my dad managed to fly the aircraft back to base (Luqa)and Taff Watkins regained enough consciousness to land safely. For this, he was awarded the DSO and Eric Chandler and my father were both awarded the DFM.

My dad continued to fly throughout the war and had a long career in the RAF, retiring as a Sqn. Ldr. Taff, Eric and my dad remained lifelong and both Taff and Eric were my godfathers.

G Sergent



"Taff" Watkins DSO 82 Squadron

Taff Watkins was a pilot in 82 squadron at RAF Watton flying Blenheim bombers, with James Sargent (Navigator) and Eric Chandler (gunner). When 82 sqn. was sent to Malta, his aircraft was badly damaged by flak and he was badly wounded in the legs. Although not trained as a pilot, James Sargent managed to fly the aircraft back to base (Luqa) and Taff Watkins regained enough consciousness to land safely. For this, he was awarded the DSO and Eric Chandler and James Sargent were both awarded the DFM.




Eric Chandler DFM 82 Squadron

Eric Chandler was a gunner flying in Blenheim bombers with 82 Squadron from RAF Watton. Later, when 82 sqn. was sent to Malta his aircraft was badly damaged by flak and the pilot (Taff Watkins)was badly wounded in the legs. Although not trained as a pilot, navigator James Sargent managed to fly the aircraft back to base (Luqa) and Taff Watkins regained enough consciousness to land safely. For this, Taff Watkins was awarded the DSO and Eric Chandler and James Sargent were both awarded the DFM.








Recomended Reading.

Available at discounted prices.



Bomber Bases of World War 2, Airfields of 2nd Air Division (USAAF): Liberator Squadrons in Norfolk and Suffolk

Martin Bowman


This book looks at the history and personalities associated with each base, what remains today and explores the favourite local wartime haunts where aircrew and ground crew would go







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