Language selection


Crew Selection

Heroes Remember

When I arrived we went to OTU (Occupational Training Unit) and we were trained on what are called Whitley aircraft which are a pre-war bomber aircraft which the RAF had, a twin engine job and to us they looked like, you know, massive fortresses, they looked because they were kind of a metal type finish on the aircraft. We thought they were wonderful. There was no psychology to selecting crews in the early days. I mean, I arrived on the squadron, I met the adjutant. The adjutant took me into the flight commander. I was introduced to the flight commander and he said, “Welcome, let’s get in the car, we’ll go up to the mess.” Drove me up to the mess and we went into the officer’s mess and he went into the anteroom and he went over and he touched a chap on the shoulder who jumped to his feet, “Yes sir?” And he said, “Pilot Officer Godfrey, I want you to meet Pilot Officer Watts, he’s your navigator.” That’s crew selection in those days.

Mr. Watts speaks about his Occupational Training Unit (OTU) and the process of crew selection.

Jack Watts

Jack Vincent Watts was born on November 10, 1920, and was raised in Hamilton, Ontario, where he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force on July 2, 1940. He flew on Royal Air Force squadrons throughout his wartime service, serving with squadrons 10, 462, 109 and 105. He finished the war as a squadron leader and received the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Bar. He retired as a brigadier-general in 1975. On his return to Canada after the war, he played in the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tigers and the Wildcats. He moved to Ottawa for his service career, and resided there with his war bride, Norma Zelia, formerly of Coventry, England.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 1, 2012
Person Interviewed:
Jack Watts
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
Bomber Command

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: