View Full Version : W/C Stephen Delaney WATTS - No 692 Squadron - DSO recommendation vs Gazette rext

18th February 2022, 12:39
WATTS, Stephen Delaney, W/C, DFC (NZ 404008, Royal New Zealand Air Force) - No.692 Squadron - Distinguished Service Order - awarded as per London Gazette dated 13 June 1944. Joint citation covering award of two DSOs, one Bar to DFC and nine DFCs.

One night in May 1944, several crews of Mosquito aircraft were detailed for a difficult and dangerous mine-laying mission. The operation called for the highest standard of skill and accuracy. In the face of intense anti-aircraft fire, balloon defences and considerable searchlight activity the attack was pressed home with great precision from low level. That complete success was achieved in spite of such hazards is a high tribute to the calm courage and iron determination shown by the following officers were participated in various capacities as leaders and members of aircraft crew.

Recommendation in AIR 2/9156, drafted 16 May 1944 when he had flown 66 sorties (325 hours 40 minutes); 44 sorties (162 hours 40 minutes) since previous award.

On the night of 12/13th May, Wing Commander Watts was the pilot of a Mosquito aircraft detailed to carry out an important attack on a target in Germany. With extreme skill and determination, this officer pressed home his attack despite opposition from ground defences. The success of the operation was due largely to the careful planning, skill and devotion to duty displayed by Wing Commander Watts who has at all times set a high standard for the Squadron he leads, to follow. In recognition of his fine leadership and determination, he is recommended for the Immediate Award of the Distinguished Service Order.

(Signed by Group Captain, Commanding, R.A.F. Station, Graveley, on 16.5.44)

This operation of laying mines in the Kiel Canal required a very high degree of skill and tenacity. The Canal is defended by guns and search-lights throughout its entire length and has, in addition, an extensive balloon barrage round every bridge over it. The Mosquitoes used were, unlike Tactical Mosquitoes, completely devoid of any forward-facing armoured plate and were not provided with cable cutters nor with steel leading edges. The risks involved were, therefore, great. Moreover, owing to the short notice on which this operation was ordered, only very limited practice was possible. In spite of these circumstances, Wing Commander Watts carried out the plan of attack with such precision and skill that it was in every way a complete success. I strongly recommend him for the Immediate Award of the D.S.O.

Signed by Air Vice-Marshal, Air Officer Commanding, Path Finder Force (No.8 Group on 19.5.44)