Malvern College Second World War Casualty

S/Ldr. Michael Litchfield Watson

House and time at Malvern: 4, 1932 - 1935.

Regiment: R.A.F..
Died: 11 June 1941 aged 23 in Middle East. Missing in air operations.
Battle: Western Desert Campaign: June 1940 February 1943. Cemetery: Runnymede Memorial Panel 28.

Son of George Herbert (O.M. No 6. 1896) and Constance Gifford Watson, of Briar Cottage, Blackwell, Darlington, Co. Durham.
Army VI. House Prefect. L.-Corporal in O.T.C.
Husband of Mary Watson, of Farnborough, Hampshire.

82 Sqdn. Royal Air Force
The squadron flew Blenheim light bombers with anti-shipping missions over the North Sea, including sinking a U-boat in March 1940.
On 17 May 1940, it suffered very heavy losses with 11 out of 12 Blenheims shot down by Messerschmitt 109s over Belgium.
From early 1941, the squadron played a prominent part in No. 2 Group's offensive against shipping in the English Channel and North Sea.
A detachment was sent to Malta in May 1941, with the rest of the Squadron following in June. It flew against enemy shipping and ports through into July, but extremely heavy losses lead to it being withdrawn, back to the UK at the end of the month.

'From Malvern he went on to Cranwell and his promotion was rapid for he was a Pilot Officer before he was 21 and a Squadron Leader at 23.' (Malvernian, Jul 1941).