LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Louis Stanley WATSON

Service No: 26588
Born: Adelaide SA, 12 February 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 May 1940
Unit: No. 461 Squadron, Pembroke Dock
Died: Air Operations (No. 461 Squadron Sunderland aircraft DV968), Bay of Biscay, 13 August 1943, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Henry and Mabel Wilhelmina Watson, of Mile End, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Thebarton SA
Remembered: Panel 197, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 108, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

Within six days, nine German U-boats had been sunk in the Bay of Biscay and five more in other waters. The destruction of four supply submarines was a great check to enemy plans for new campaigns in distant areas, and aircrews showed that by cunning, initiative and sheer determination they could overcome the formidable defences of surfaced U-boats. Such losses could not be borne by any service and once again (German Admiral) Doenitz was forced into a radical revision of tactics. The phase during which U-boats ran surfaced by day and fought back ended with dramatic suddenness early in August and everywhere within range of Coastal Command bases the enemy reverted to a cautious policy of lying submerged by day and surfacing to ventilate and charge only at night. The corollary to this new plan was again increased support from the German Air Force with successful glider-bomb attacks against the escort groups which were withdrawn to the North-Western Approaches, and even greater attempts to disrupt the constant Bay air patrols.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 444

Flying Officer Dowling of No. 461, leading the gallant crew which under Flight Lieutenant Colin Braidwood Walker (404610) had won the heroic struggle against eight Ju-88’s on 2nd June, failed to return from patrol on 13th August after reporting enemy fighters approaching his Sunderland.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 618

The crew members of DV968 were:

Flying Officer Wilbur James Dowling (400788) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Alfred Eric Fuller (576061) (RAF) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer David Taylor Galt DFC (400976) (First Pilot)
Warrant Officer Ray Marston Goode DFM (407499) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer James Charles Grainger (400411) (Second Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Albert Lane (414701) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Charles Douglas Les Longson (415338) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Harold Arthur Miller (405083) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Kenneth McDonald Simpson DFC (403778) (Observer)
Flight Sergeant Phillip Kelvin Turner (26697) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Louis Stanley Watson (26588) (Flight Mechanic / Air Gunner)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9186, 148 (No. 461 Squadron Operations Record Book)
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

Ashworth, N. (Norman) The ANZAC Squadron: A history of No. 461 Squadron RAAF 1942-5, Hesperian Press Victoria Park WA 6100, 1994
Baff, K.C (Kevin), Maritime is Number Ten, K.C. Baff Netley SA, 1983
Joubert, P.B. (Sir Phillip Bennet) Birds and Fishes: the story of Coastal Command, Hutchinson and Company London, 1960
Southall, I.F. (Ivan Francis) (418900) They Shall Not Pass Unseen, Angus and Robertson Sydney NSW, 1956
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992

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