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[Home] [Profiles 103 Sqn N to Z] [Al Watt 103 Sqn]

F/L Alastair Clarence “Al” Watt, RCAF (J/89387) - 103 Squadron- RAF Elsham Wolds - 1944/45

Failed to Return - 16/17th March 1945 - Avro Lancaster III - NN758 - Op Nuremberg.

103 Squadron Watt

Al Watt was a Canadian who enlisted in the RCAF on the 17th Sept 1942 in Ottawa. He trained as a pilot and embarked to the UK in 1943. After further training he was posted to 103 Sqn at Elsham Wolds with his crew on the 25th November 1944.

Al’s crew consisted of :-

Crew on first and last Operations:

Sgt. J.F. “Jim” Jackson, Flight Engineer (RAF, 3040028) KIA 17-MAR-45

F/Sgt. W.H. “Bill” Fetherston, Bomb Aimer(RCAF, R/190659) KIA 17-MAR-45

F/Sgt. G.W. “George” Blackshaw, Navigator (RAF, 1620678) KIA 17-MAR-45

F/Sgt. J.S. “Stan” Hickey, Wireless Operator (RAF, 1230658) KIA 17-MAR-45

F/Sgt. A.C.”Al” Bellisle, Mid-Upper Gunner (RCAF, R/271059) POW 18-MAR-45 (Stalag 5a )

F/Sgt. A.E.  “Al” Wotherspoon, Rear Gunner (RCAF, R/192267) KIA 17-MAR-45

Together they completed 19 operations.

This crew failed to return from their 20th operation to Nuremberg on the 16/17th March 1945. The Lancaster they flew on that operation was NN758.

For full details refer to the Al Watt crew FlipBook here or click on the book cover below

Watt FlipBook cover

This excellent and comprehensive document has been produced by Gordon Earl and I thank him for his permission to post this on the site

….......

103 Squadron Watt crew

F/L Alastair Clarence Watt RCAF – Pilot – 21 – 103 Sqn - Son of Clarence Leslie and Margaret A. Watt of Merrickville, Ontario, Canada – Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany

Sgt James Frederick Jackson RAFVR - Flight Engineer – 20 – 103 Sqn - Son of Middleton Lees Jackson and Ethel Grace Jackson of Thornaby-on-Tees, Yorkshire – Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany

F/S William Henry Fetherston RCAF ( pictured below ) – Air Bomber – 20 – 103 Sqn - Son of Douglas and Katherine Fetherston, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany

F/S George William Blackshaw RAFVR - Navigator – 23 - 103 Sqn - Son of George and Edith Maud Blackshaw, of Liverpool – Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany

F/S James Stanley Hickey RAFVR - Wireless Operator – 22 - 103 Sqn - Son of John Ernest Patrick and Elizabeth Frances Hickey, of West Kensington, London – Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany

F/S A.C. Bellisle RCAF - Mid-Upper Gunner – 103 Sqn - POW – Camp N/K – POW no N/K

P/O Albert Edward Wotherspoon RCAF ( pictured below ) - Rear Gunner – 103 Sqn – Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany

103 Squadron Featherston Watt

F/S William Henry Fetherston RCAF

103 Squadron Wotherspoon Watt

P/O Albert Edward Wotherspoon RCAF

...........

16-Mar-45 - Nuremberg

103 Squadron detailed 15 aircraft for this attack on Nuremberg. All took safely in good weather and on arrival in the target area it was found quite clear. Pathfinders were right on time and the markers were well placed and concentrated and all crews bombed on the Master Bombers instructions who was very clear and precise. Bombing was believed to have achieved good results as fires were observed. Bombing took place from between 16500 ft and 18000 ft. Defences consisted of a light flak barrage with some searchlight activity. Many fighters were seen and a large number of aircraft were seen to go down in the target area. F/L Stepharnoff, F/O Watt and F/O Armour are missing from this operation. The remaining aircraft landed safely at base in good weather.

For this attack on Nuremberg Bomber Command detailed a total of 231 Lancasters of No 1 Group and 46 Lancasters and 16 Mosquitos of No 8 Group. 24 Lancasters, all from No 1 Group, lost, 8.7 per cent of the Lancaster force and 10.4 per cent of the No 1 Group aircraft involved. Most of these losses were due to German night fighters, which found the bomber stream on its way to the target. A local report states that the southern and south-western districts were hit as well as the ruins of the Altstadt which was destroyed in a previous raid. A serious fire was established in the Steinbuhl district. The main railway station was also on fire and the city's gasworks were so badly damaged that they did not resume production before the end of the war. This was the last heavy Bomber Command raid on Nuremberg.

….......

Lancaster - NN758

This machine was lost on its 22nd operation. See below :-22

27-Nov-44 - Freiburg - Lancaster - NN758 - F/O J Pearton

29-Nov-44 - Dortmund - Lancaster - NN758 - P/O GW Henry RAAF

04-Dec-44 - Urft - Lancaster - NN758 - F/L DA Henry RAAF

06-Dec-44 - Leuna - Lancaster - NN758 - F/O MA Mathieson RAAF

12-Dec-44 - Essen - Lancaster - NN758 - F/L DA Henry RAAF

13-Dec-44 - Aarhus Bay - Lancaster - NN758 - F/L DA Henry RAAF

17-Dec-44 - Ulm - Lancaster - NN758 - P/O JA Laviolette RCAF

22-Dec-44 - Koblenz - Lancaster -  NN758 - F/O MA Mathieson RAAF - Bad weather at base. All aircraft diverted to Langham.

29-Dec-44 - Scholven Buer - Lancaster - NN758 - P/O AC Watt RCAF

05-Jan-45 - Hanover - Lancaster - NN758 - F/L AH Murton RCAF

07-Jan-45 - Munich - Lancaster - NN758 - F/O GW Henry RAAF

14-Jan-45 - Merseburg - Lancaster - NN758 - F/O GW Henry RAAF

16-Jan-45 - Aarhus Bay - Lancaster - NN758 - F/O GW Henry RAAF

28-Jan-45 - Stuttgart/Zuffenhausen - Lancaster - NN758 - F/O GW Henry RAAF

01-Feb-45 - Ludwigshafen - Lancaster - NN758 - F/L RA Dobson

03-Feb-45 - Bottrop - Lancaster - NN758 - F/L MR Norem

07-Feb-45 - Kleve - Lancaster - NN758 - F/O EW Armour RCAF

13-Feb-45 - Dresden - Lancaster - NN758 -  F/O AC Watt RCAF

14-Feb-45 - Chemnitz - Lancaster - NN758 - F/O AC Watt RCAF

18-Feb-45 - Elbe Estuary - Lancaster - NN758 - F/O LE Morgan RCAF - Hit by flak. No injuries.

20-Feb-45 - Dortmund - Lancaster -  NN758 – F/O AC Watt RCAF - Combat. Attacked by enemy aircraft on bombing run. No injuries.

16-Mar-45 - Nuremberg - Lancaster - NN758 – F/O AC Watt RCAF – FTR - Crashed near Laichingen, Germany.

This section compiled by David Fell. Photos courtesy of the Watt family and the Canadian Virtual War Museum

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