View Full Version : S/L Anthony WATSON - No.272 Squadron - DSO recommendation (incomplete)

26th May 2022, 00:57
The following is incomplete as I appear to be lacking the last part. Anyone with access to AIR2/4922 would be doing a service if they could supply the missing text.

WATSON, Anthony, Squadron Leader, DFC (41399) – No. 272 Squadron – Distinguished Service Order – awarded as per London Gazette dated 4 December 1942. Recommendation dated 26 November 1942 found in Air 2/4922 as a message to Air Ministry.

An immediate award of the D.S.O. has been made to acting S/L Anthony Watson, D.F.C. (41339) of 272 Squadron arrived in Malta, 6 November 1942 and since that date has carried out 3 successful operations on consecutive days led by S/L Watson. On 10 November, 9 aircraft carried out a highly successful low-level attack on El Acheila Aerodrome destroying at least 12 aircraft on the ground and damaging 17 others. On 11 November 1942, when on anti SM Transport patrol one He.115 was destroyed. On 12 November, 7 aircraft were despatched to attack a Tunisian aerodrome, whilst en route, a formation of 6 SM82s were encountered and all destroyed, S/L Watson shooting down 3 of these aircraft in flames. From these operations only 1 aircraft has been lost. This officer has carried out over 20 ground strafes on enemy aerodromes and has destroyed over 30 enemy aircraft on the ground. He has led his flight and squadron on road strafes shipping sweeps convoy escorts and strike escorts during the course of which many enemy vehicles fighters and E-boats have been destroyed and damaged. His contribution including 1 Schooner destroyed. S/L Watsons’ score to date is 10 bombers and 1 enemy fighter destroyed and 6 probably destroyed. This officer’s successes have been a notable feature of the recent offensive flying from Malta which is materially assisting and new allied offensive on French north Africa. He is gallant and fearless leader whose eagerness to engage the enemy inspires his squadron. The results achieved by the Squadron are an indication of his magnificent leadership which . . . INCOMPLETE

Don Clark
18th August 2022, 22:47
Hugh, though lacking an AIR2/4922 text, herewith at least the whole entry for
Acting Squadron Leader A Watson 41339 (ie DSO LG, DFC LG, bio notes) from
Hearns Companions of the Distinguished Service Order 1920-2006: Air Awards (Naval & Military Press 2011)

"WATSON, A. - D.S.O. LG: 4 Dec. 1942 Acting Squadron Leader, D.F.C. (41339), No. 272 Squadron (since

"One day in November 1942, this officer led a formation of aircraft on a low-level attack on the
airfield at El Agheila where at least 12 enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground and many others damaged.
During a patrol the next day, a Heinkel 115 was destroyed. On the third consecutive day, the squadron was
detailed to attack an airfield in Tunisia. En route, a formation of 6 S.M.82's was intercepted. In the ensuing
engagement, all the enemy aircraft were shot down; Squadron Leader Watson destroyed 3 of them himself. This
officer has led the squadron on shipping sweeps and convoy escorts and in numerous low-level attacks on
enemy aerodromes, during which many enemy aircraft, vehicles and E boats have been destroyed or damag
By his high skill, courageous and inspiring leadership. Squadron Leader Watson has contributed materially to
the splendid successes achieved. He has destroyed 11 enemy aircraft as well as a schooner. "

Anthony WATSON. Born in Dorchester, Dorset, 1920; Educ: Wells Cathedral Sch.; (41339) A / P / 0 (P), Royal
Air Force, 29 Oct. 1938; P/0 (P), 29 Aug. 1939; F / 0 , 3 Sep. 1940; No. 203 Sqn.; Served on bomber ops over
the Mediterranean (D.F.C. L G : 11 Jul. 1941

"In May, 1941, this officer was the pilot of one of two aircraft
which carried out an attack on the fort at Rutbah and enemy ground forces in the neighbourhood. Both aircraft
made determined attacks on the fort in the face of heavy fire from the ground which was eventually silenced.
Following an attack by his fellow pilot on some armed forces behind a hill. Flying Officer Watson's attention
was drawn to a column of black smoke on the ground. Although his aircraft had been hit in the petrol tank and
fuselage he immediately dived towards the position and a moment later saw his fellow pilot, who had apparently
been shot down, emerge from the smoke. Turning into wind and without waiting to apply the flaps Flying
Officer Watson landed his aircraft less than 26 yards from the burning wreckage and, together with his air
gunner and observer, rescued his comrade. In spite of fire from enemy armoured cars and bullets exploding
from the burning aircraft, they attempted to find the remaining members of the crew. Failing to find any sign of
them, they returned and took off with the rescued pilot. Throughout, Flying Officer Watson displayed great
courage and skill as both landing and take-off were made under fire and on ground strewn with rocks and
F/Lt., 3 Sep. 1941; Transf'd. to the R.A.F.O., 29 Aug. 1942; A/S/Ldr.; Flt. Cdr., No. 272 Sqn., Aug.
1942-Dec. 1942; Served on night fighter ops over the Mediterranean (D.S.O.); CO, 227 Sqn., 29 Dec. 1942-
Mar. 1943; War Subs. S/Ldr., 11 May 1943; Air ace with 12 victories (Belgian Croix de Guerre with Palm LG:
18 Jun. 1946); S/Ldr., 11 May 1945; Forfeiture of seniority, 3 Dec. 1946;"

See Preedy DSO post #2 (http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?29359-F-L-John-Rupert-PREEDY-No-101-Squadron-DSO-Gazette-text-vs-recommendation&p=176002#post176002)for notes re Hearns as compiler.