Donald Ernest Watts

This post is one in a series of posts on the crash of an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Z9362, which crashed into the sea 2-miles from Saltcoats Harbour on the 2nd of May, 1943.

Sergeant Donald Ernest Watts (Service No 1250352, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, aged 21) 

To date, very little information and no photographs have been identified for Sergeant Watts. Efforts to trace living relatives have so far been unsuccessful. 

He was not recovered from the crash site, and it is unknown whether or not his remains are still inside the wreckage of the aircraft two miles off Saltcoats harbour. Sergeant Watts is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. 

An extract from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website describes its purpose.

‘The Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede commemorates by name over 20,000 men and women of the air forces, who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe, and who have no known graves.’ 

The following information extracted from the International Bomber Command Centre Losses Database provides provides the only additional information that appears to be available at present. The database lists his trade as Air Gunner, although the Ministry of Defence Air Historical Branch (RAF) has identified him as carrying out the role of Wireless Operator/Air Gunner.

Sergeant Watts was the son of Valentine John Watts and his wife Edith Elizabeth Watts, and they lived in Bexley, Kent

Photograph of Sergeant Watts’ entry on the Runnymede Memorial provided by Amanda West, previously uploaded to the Find A Grave Website.

These posts were researched and kindly contributed by John & Ian McCallum and Sandra Colley, with support from Flying Officer David McKay of 1138 (Ardrossan) Squadron Air Training Corps and Paul Coffey, President of the Royal British Legion Scotland Saltcoats, Ardrossan and Stevenston Branch.