Military (& related) obituaries

Bill “Tiger” Watson, commando in St Nazaire raid, dies aged 97
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Bill “Tiger” Watson MC, one of the last surviving commandos of the raid on the Nazi-held French port of St Nazaire in 1942, has died at the age of 97.
Mr Watson died in a nursing home in Shrewsbury on Saturday, according to his son, Peter, who described his father as “a rather splendid chap”.
As a second lieutenant in 1 troop, No 2 Commando, Mr Watson was one of a small group who landed successfully at the Old Mole during Operation Chariot, which became known as “the greatest raid of all”.
 
Lt-Cdr Kristian Ward, naval Harrier pilot who saved the lives of US soldiers pinned down by the Taliban – obituary

Lt-Cdr Kristian Ward, naval Harrier pilot who saved the lives of US soldiers pinned down by the Taliban – obituary

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Lieutenant-Commander Kristian Ward, who has died suddenly aged 45, was said to be in his natural element with a jump-jet “strapped to his back” and challenged David Cameron over his decision to scrap the Harrier force.

On the evening of December 2 2007, towards the end of a sortie over Afghanistan in a ground attack Harrier of 800 Naval Air Squadron, Ward was called in to support a team of US Army rangers pinned down by more than 70 Taliban fighters.

The rangers had suffered one serious casualty and their radio operator had been wounded. Though low on fuel Ward, at great risk to himself, descended to low level and, with no weapons left, made several noisy low-level passes while he called up another Harrier. This interrupted the Taliban assault and allowed the second Harrier time to deliver a 1000lb air-burst bomb right on target.

Some days later, two huge US rangers entered the Harrier operations room at Camp Bastion, having travelled a considerable distance to get there. One picked up Ward in a bear hug and told him: “You saved our lives, Dude!”
 

yank_eyetie

Old-Salt
Martin Spirit, ex Royal Engineer and creator of the Britain's Small Wars website
Martin was a friend. Sad to say, I just found about his passing today.

Obituary for Martin Joe William Spirit at Mulkey-Mason Funeral Home

To begin to summarize a life is no easy feat. To attempt to summarize Martin Spirit’s life seems nearly impossible. At 52 years old, he has accomplished so much as a creative genius, traveler, and a father. He had many more passions to follow and things to accomplish on this Earth before he left it so suddenly on Sunday night. He will be dearly missed, but the impact he left on this world and the people in it will last for lifetimes.

Born on the Island of Jersey to his parents Bill and Margaret, he proudly displayed his musical passion for all of the island to hear. Whether he was playing as part of a band, mixing music, or making his oh-so creative music videos, he brought his music to all who would listen.

He followed in his family’s rich militaristic footsteps when he began serving in reserve as a Sapper for the Queen’s Royal Engineers Regiment where during his service, he had the opportunity to welcome the Queen to the island during one of her royal visits.

Even through his multiple relocations, he never gave up this passion. He felt privileged and honored to have been able to work with local veteran’s groups and support Grandpa Sid’s regiment, The Argyles. Through his passion he was fortunate to have been presented an honorary member of both the Aden’s Veteran’s association and the 42 Commando Royal Marines. Whenever possible, he would bring his “first born”, 11-ton armored vehicle to local veteran events and of course “maintenance runs” to the “same ol’ pub”, all-the-while creating a time-line for everyone to enjoy and follow through both the 4th-Lancers and Reme Depot social-media sites.

Martin’s career took him across vast lands and deeps sea’s. Working as a storyteller, director, producer, writer, cameraman, editor, and worldwide friend, he became a global traveler. He met lifelong friends and talents while working with The Production Company in Jersey, The Video Lab in South Africa and then finally landing in Dallas where he showcased his talents with Brushfire Films, Video Post and Transfer, and AMS Pictures. He was extremely proud of creating “Return to Limbang" and “Vietnam in HD” for History channel, as well as “the Most Extreme Airports” for Discovery channel; more recently he had been excited to come home every night and show off the “stroke of genius” he’d had that day while directing or editing the “Price of Fame”: The Princess Diana Story.

He is survived by his wife Kelly (AKA Minister of economics & finances, his common sense, and the other half of his heart) of 24 years. He loved to tell everyone about how they met in a gay-nightclub almost as much and he loved to tell everyone just how much he was in love with her!

As a daddy, he is missed dearly by his children, Joe, Shannon, Rebecca, and Sebastien. He will forever be in the hearts of his extended family throughout Scotland and Jersey.

Missed by all and pissed off by many!

Sapper Spirit, you may depart your post…
 
Bill “Tiger” Watson, commando in St Nazaire raid, dies aged 97
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Bill “Tiger” Watson MC, one of the last surviving commandos of the raid on the Nazi-held French port of St Nazaire in 1942, has died at the age of 97.
Mr Watson died in a nursing home in Shrewsbury on Saturday, according to his son, Peter, who described his father as “a rather splendid chap”.
As a second lieutenant in 1 troop, No 2 Commando, Mr Watson was one of a small group who landed successfully at the Old Mole during Operation Chariot, which became known as “the greatest raid of all”.
Came across a good article by Dominic Robertson about Tiger Watson in the Shropshire Star. Some interesting photos of the St Nazaire raid and an account of him learning to become a doctor while a POW in Germany.

Definitely worth a read.

Shrewsbury hero of the ‘Greatest Raid of All’ dies at 97
 
Cant access the website
Here you are then.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado Springs woman who was among the first women to fly for the U.S. military during World War II has died at age 96.

Bill Young told The Gazette that his mother Millicent Young died Saturday of complications related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

She was a member of the Women's Airforce Service Pilots, known as WASPs.

They flew bombers and other warplanes in the U.S. to free up male pilots for combat service overseas.

In 2010, they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, among the nation's highest civilian honors.

Young was born near Lodgepole, Nebraska and took flying lessons with money she earned growing wheat.

Her family says she mainly flew an AT-6 Texan single-engine plane, towing a target so male pilots could train for in-air combat.
 

PFGEN

GCM
The few get fewer. Today the turn of Wing Commander Tim Elkington who fought in the Battle of Britain at 19 years of age and later went with the Hurricane Wing to Russia. Obits in Telegraph and Times but behind paywalls.

Wing Commander Tim Elkington, fought in the Battle of Britain then went with the Hurricane Wing to Russia – obituary

Wing Commander ‘Tim’ Elkington obituary

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Only six or seven left. Although death waits for no man its always a little sad when this group of fine people gets a little smaller. God's speed sir and good tailwinds. Beers and mates will be waiting for you.
 
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Major General Geoffrey Field, Commander of the Royal Engineers during the Falklands conflict – obituary
Very sad, Dad who was Director of Engineer Training at the time of the Falklands always spoke very highly of him. Here are some photos shortly after Endex.
Top CO of 1/7 GR with CRE (Co 36 Reg RE) at Goose Green
L Dad and CRE on the LSL Sir Tristram
R CRE exhorting his Troops!

Major General Geoffrey Field, who has died aged 77, was Commander Royal Engineers (CRE) during the Falklands war.
In April 1982, Argentine forces invaded the Falkland Islands. Field was in command of 36 Engineer Regiment, which was dispatched to the South Atlantic as part of 5 Infantry Brigade.
Field, who had served in a commando brigade with Major General Jeremy Moore, the Commander Land Forces (CLF), was in command of all the Sappers. He remained with the CLF throughout the campaign, either embarked in the command ship, Fearless, or, later, in the Tac HQ ashore at Fitzroy.
Sapper reconnaissance teams, carrying satchel charges and Bangalore torpedoes, were often well forward. Where the Argentinian...
 

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Major General Geoffrey Field, Commander of the Royal Engineers during the Falklands conflict – obituary
Very sad, Dad who was Director of Engineer Training at the time of the Falklands always spoke very highly of him. Here are some photos shortly after Endex.
Top CO of 1/7 GR with CRE (Co 36 Reg RE) at Goose Green
L Dad and CRE on the LSL Sir Tristram
R CRE exhorting his Troops!

Major General Geoffrey Field, who has died aged 77, was Commander Royal Engineers (CRE) during the Falklands war.
In April 1982, Argentine forces invaded the Falkland Islands. Field was in command of 36 Engineer Regiment, which was dispatched to the South Atlantic as part of 5 Infantry Brigade.
Field, who had served in a commando brigade with Major General Jeremy Moore, the Commander Land Forces (CLF), was in command of all the Sappers. He remained with the CLF throughout the campaign, either embarked in the command ship, Fearless, or, later, in the Tac HQ ashore at Fitzroy.
Sapper reconnaissance teams, carrying satchel charges and Bangalore torpedoes, were often well forward. Where the Argentinian...
CRE at 40 years old,
 
Flt Lt Jack Lyon RAF (retd), aged 101: Whilst involved the Great Escape from Stalagluft III, he did not make it out as he was caught in the tunnel

 

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