Tag Archives: S/Ldr Ronald Graham Watts

02/ix/44 – Last Patrol of the Tour

2nd September 14:10
DH Mosquito XIII MM558 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
NFT, CINE-GUN & A/I PRACTICE
With S/Ldr Watts. A/I rather poor
1:00

21:00
PATROL – GCI 15083 (Radox)
10m off Normandy coast, between Avranches & Le Havre. At 6000ft over cloud. Bright moon & not a thing about.
3:55

And so almost a year to the day that he arrived at RAF Bradwell Bay to join 488(NZ) Squadron, Broody flies his last Operational Patrol of the tour. Today is also his final flight in “The Mighty E”.

In all, Broody has now flown a total of 176 hours 5 minutes on Operations. Of these, all were night operations apart from 35 minutes of daytime ops when he was scrambled to search for lost B17 Fortresses of the 8th USAF in January.

In that time, although he never had any “success” in destroying an enemy aircraft, the countless bogies discounted as friendly due to his interceptions played a valuable part in the war effort. There were, of course, some hairy moments. He was shot at a number of times (by allied aircraft); suffered mechanical failure; got coned in a German searchlight; and had a near miss with the French coast.

There are still a few more entries in the journal, and another month with the Squadron, but the Operational side is over – Broody has survived his war.

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01/ix/44 – NFT with S/Ldr Watts

1st September 14:40
DH Mosquito XIII MM558 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
NFT, CINE-GUN & A/I PRACTICE
Camera on Dakotas & practice with S/Ldr Watts, until lost in a cloud. Then target for W/O Green.
1:10


2/ii/44 – Squadron Photo

488(NZ) Squadron RAF 2nd February 1944

488(NZ) Squadron RAF
2nd February 1944

On 2nd February 1944, a photo was taken of the Squadron’s aircrew. The copy from Broody’s collection is well annotated with the name and rank of all present. There are some notable absences, including Vlotman & Wood, Hall P & Marriott and Hall J & Cairns. This may be because of leave; or as I can account for 3 entire crews absent, possibly some NFT flights. (There were no operational flights until 21:05 on this day). There are also 3 crews from the Fleet Air Arm (back row, in the centre) who were attached to the Squadron for night fighting training.

Broody is standing 4th from the left on the second row, directly behind Jack Scott. It is great to have such a well annotated photo, which allows me to put faces to so many names I have read about in the ORB and elsewhere.