The year 1940

British Pathe’s Review of the Year for 1940
A British Pathe report entitled “Activities at a Bomber Station” Although not filmed at Watton the scenes were mirrored here. 

And a little music from the time . . .

I’ll never smile again” by Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra.

‘Tuxedo Junction’ by Glen Miller and His Orchestra.

“We’ re Gonna Hang Out The Washing On The Siegfried Line” by Flanagan and Allen


Charley Bream remembers

Charley Bream remembers

Charley Bream was a civilian who worked at Watton from early 1940 to 1968. In this video he remembers some of that time

Video: Aalborg raid 13th August 1940

The cemetery at Vadum where those lost on the Aalborg raid are buried.

This video was shot and put together by Steve Connor of Flying Machines TV It relates the story of the raid on Aalborg by 82 Squadron flying from Watton on 13th August 1940. I am very grateful to Steve for his allowing it to be included here. The full story of the raid has been researched and documented by Ole Ronnest from Denmark and will be included on this site soon. See also this page telling the story of the discovery and recovery […]

Video: 1995 – The discovery, and recovery of Blenheim R3821 UX-N

Pictured is R3821 with left to right, Sgt. Don A.W. McFarlane, Observer, Sgt. Peter K. Eames, Wireless operator/airgunner and Pilot Officer Donald M. Wellings, Pilot, in flying kit by R 3821. 
On 22 October1940, Eames and McFarlane were awarded the D.F.M., Wellings the D.F.C. 

Don Macfarlane remembers: On 17th May, 1940, twelve aircraft of 82 Squadron, based at Watton, in Norfolk, took off to attack troop concentrations at Gembloux, Belgium, where the German army was sweeping West towards the Channel ports. Eleven of them were shot down and the survivor, badly damaged, managed to reach Watton, but it was written off due to the damage sustained. Fortunately, for me, my name did not appear on the flying programme for that day! Shortly afterwards, replacement […]

Gallery: MT Section Watton 1940

Gallery: MT Section Watton 1940

These photos were acquired by Watton post card collector Steve Easter and he has very kindly allowed me to copy them for the Although their origin is not known, on the back of each is written RAF Watton, 1940 I believe this to be true is because of one picture in particular, the parade with mugs. Clearly the building behind the men is still under construction and there is one building at Watton where the first meal taken was […]

21 and 82 – A poem by Tommy Mann

21 and 82  – A poem by Tommy Mann

  Stroll past the hangars on your own, You will never be alone. They will walk with you and share your views, You’ll be with all those famous crews Of 21 and 82. So bow your head in November When it’s time to remember Think of what they gave for you, The boys in Barathea Blue. Of 21 and 82.   An Instrument Maker with 21 Squadron, Tommy was so moved when he attended his first re-union, he wrote this […]

A Shy Girls War by Katie Adland 

The following are edited extracts from 3 chapters of a book Katie Adland has written and published recounting her memories of World War II. Katie saw the early part of the war from the serving side of the NAAFI counter, and in that position saw the true cost of combat to the men of the Royal Air Force. A PDF of the book is available to purchase on application, with proceeds being given to charity, for details please contact us by […]

German Landing Grounds in Norfolk? By Peter Meston 

Wing Commander Peter Meston RAF Retd, served at Watton in 1939/40 with 21 Squadron and was involved in a very strange affair. In a letter to Colin Waugh who has written a history of 21 Squadron, Peter recounted his memories of a strange affair. We will let him take up the story . . . “One more very interesting incident happened early in 1940 which is worth a mention. David Watson was a New Zealander, a quiet man, but very […]

RAF Watton – Extracts from the 1940 Diary of Jack Bartley

Sgt Jack Bartley Wop/AG on 21 Sqdn

The following are extracts from the personal diary of Jack Bartley ex. RAF No. 626100 who served at RAF Watton with No 21 Sqdn as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner during the first half of 1940. Feb 27th 1940. Posted to 21 Sqdrn RAF Watton from 101 Sqdrn RAF West Raynham. Posting was to have been to 15 Sqdn. Wyton but whilst I was at home on leave it was all changed. Caught the train from E. Rudham in the morning […]

Chronicles of a Charmed Life  By Jack Bartley. Ex. RAF No. 626100 

Chronicles of a Charmed Life  By Jack Bartley. Ex. RAF No. 626100 

Jack served at RAF Watton with No 21 Sqdn as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner during the first half of 1940. During the advance of the German army into the low countries, signalling the end of the ‘phoney war’ in May 1940, 21 Squadron, in which I was serving at RAF Watton, was called upon to carry out a low level daylight bombing and strafing attack on enemy mechanised columns on the road from Maastricht to Tongres, in an attempt to […]

Eclipse of an Air Gunner By Jack Bartley. Ex. RAF No. 626100 

Sgt Jack Bartley Wop/AG on 21 Sqdn

Jack served at RAF Watton with No 21 Sqdn as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner during the first half of 1940. On the morning of 14th May 1940 we looked up at the clear blue sky with not a little apprehension. We all knew the Germans were advancing with amazing rapidity through the Low Countries, and we also knew that, cloud cover or no cloud cover, we should be required to attack and bomb some sector of the enemy columns that […]