Ernest Watson

Sergeant Ernest Watson flew in RAF 218 (Gold Coast) Squadron. He died on 15th September 1942 returning from a bombing raid over Wilhelmshaven, Germany.


Ernest Watson


Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Sergeant Ernest Watson's grave is in Bangor New Cemetery, Bangor, Co. Down.

Sergeant Ernest Watson (1073521) served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during World War Two. At his time of death, he flew with RAF 218 (Gold Coast) Squadron.

He was the son of William Watson and Maria Watson. He was the nephew of Ellen Robinson of Bangor, Co. Down.

Sergeant Watson died on 15th September 1942 aged 32 years old. He took off from RAF Downham Market, Norfolk in Short Stirling N3725 HA-D at 19:55hrs on 14th September 1942. The mission was a night-time bombing raid on Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

It was the 31st such mission for the Short Brothers built plane, known as Mamprusi. Each bomber in RAF 218 Squadron had a name that referenced the peoples and places of the Gold Coast.

Ernest Watson died on Short Stirling N3725 HA-D

Imperial War Museum Photo: CH 16996. (Part of the Air Ministry Second World War Official Collection). Short Stirling Mark I N3725 HA-D of RAF 218 (Gold Coast) Squadron running its starboard outer engine at RAF Marham, Norfolk in June 1942. Photo taken by Flying Officer Forward - Royal Air Force Official Photographer.

Remembering the crew of N3725

On its return, the bomber suffered the loss of the outer starboard engine over the target. Pilot Officer Frankcombe nursed the stricken plane homewards.

The inner starboard engine also failed on the approach to landing. This caused the plane to spin while attempting to land. It came down at 00:55hrs at Brandon, one mile east of Stoke Ferry, Norfolk. Six of the aircrew died and a further two sustained injuries.

Last NameFirst Name(s)RankRoleInfo
FrankcombeJNPilot OfficerPilot
PearceDonald IvorFlight Sergeant1189938.
PickenValentineSergeantFlight Engineer574255.

Sergeant Ernest Watson’s grave is in Section 5O, Grave 82 of Bangor New Cemetery, Bangor, Co. Down. His headstone bears the inscription:

Called to a higher service.