Pilot Officer William Somerville WATSON

Service No: 416732
Born: Port Pirie West SA, 2 March 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 16 August 1941
Unit: No. 177 Squadron (RAF), Feni, Bangladesh
Died: Air Operations (No. 177 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft EL519), Myanmar, 8 March 1944, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Richard Summerville Watson and Sylvia Menolia Watson, of Port Pirie, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Column 443, Singapore Memorial, Singapore
Remembered: Panel 132, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Beaufighter EL519 took off at 1855 hours on 8 March 1944, on an offensive night patrol on enemy communications in the Toungoo area, Central Burma. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft after take off, and it did not return to base. Following post war investigations and searches, it was recorded in 1955 that the only news of an aircraft which had crashed at night approximate to the area of the patrol by EL519 is one that crashed in the hills about 13 kms north east of Toungoo to the left of the Toungoo Mawchi Road. Local information was very vague, but local inhabitants stated that a plane crashed in the early hours of the morning just before the rainy season in the year the Japanese were in occupation. No villagers visited the scene of the crash and did not know what happened to the occupants. The area was heavily covered by jungle and a physical search by investigating teams was impossible. It was recorded in 1955 that the graves of the missing crew were unlocated.

The crew members of EL519 were:

Flying Officer George Herbert Eversley Buckley (130837) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Pilot Officer William Somerville Watson (416732) (Pilot)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/43/551

Book Now Book Now