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Back on Operations

Heroes Remember

They wanted me to be an instructor and I didn’t want to be an instructor so I raised enough fuss that they finally sent me back to Halifax and I went from Halifax down to New York on one of the Queen Mary’s and back over to UK. And when I saw overseas headquarters, I asked to go back on operations again and they said, “Well, you’ve been off for six months since your last trip so yes, you can go back.” They were going to send me up to 6 Group or 8, yes 6 Group and I was going to be a flight commander on a new squadron they were forming. But DCT Bennett, my ex-CO, he had organized Pathfinders and he was the commanding officer of Pathfinders and I managed to get a posting, not a posting but an assignment where I could go down to Pathfinders headquarters and be briefed on the new procedures that were involved with Bomber Command. And when I was down there the intelligence officer who had been our station intelligence officer heard that I was there and he told DCT Bennett that I was down there and Bennett wanted to see me so he called for me to come to headquarters and see him. And I went in to see him and he asked me, he had read about my exploits and he asked how I was, was I fit for flying and so forth. And I told him yes that I was due to be a flight commander in the Canadian bomber group. I said, however, I did volunteer for PFF but they wouldn’t let me go. And Bennett said, “Who wouldn’t let you go?” And I said, “Oh the senior personnel staff officer wouldn’t let me go.” He said, “You’re going to be a flight commander on the new squadron.” So Bennett said, “Just a minute, just a minute Jack!” So he picked up the telephone, called a number and what it was was his SPS, his personal staff officer. So he briefed him on what the situation was and said, “Call me back.” So we carried on chatting with a cup of tea or whatever it was and the telephone rang, he picked the telephone up and said, “Bennett, ya, yes, yes, okay, yes, thank you!” Put the telephone back, finished the conversation whatever it was and he said, “Oh, by the way Jack, you’re in PFF!” Interviewer: And by PFF, is that Pathfinders? Pathfinders. They sent me to the Canadian squadron in PFF 405 and he said, “You’re posted to 405 but I’ve got a job for you to do, you’re going to 109 Squadron. And that was OBO, special marking system, you’re going, now you’re in PFF, I’ll control it, you’re going to 109 Squadron.

Not wanting to become an instructor, Mr. Watts is eager to return to operations and receives an assignment as navigator with the Pathfinder’s Squadron.

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

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