18th Light Anti Aircraft Royal Artillery Regiment

Attached to the Fifth British Division "Globetrotters"

5th Divison flash

Lieut. Henry Cameron Watts 229028

Henry Watts enlisted into the Royal Army Service Corps in 1939, he then joined the Royal Artillery Officer Cadet Training Unit and got a commission with No.9 C Battery in 1941

Below was supplied by his Son Tony Watts and is a brief summary of his service record

Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Sicily, Italy, Malta, Palestine, Tel-Aviv, Syria, Lebanon, Sardinia, Corsica, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, He was a Guard Commander at Nurembourg, took part at Dunkirk and Anzio, was discharged in 1946. On leaving the Army he took up teaching especially in the sporting field, tragically he died in April,1948.

The following picture were taken during his time in Sicily and Italy

Henry Watts in a gun pit

Below are the Bofors guns of the 18th LAA Royal Artillery

40mm Bofors No.1 gun, 99 Battery

The following was taken from the 5th Division History written by George Aris. Sicily - Santa Demetri Valley was known as "Messerschmitt Valley" when it became the resting place of several fighter aircraft built by a famous German of that name; they were the victims of 18 LAA Regt of the Div Arty who, by the time Catania Plain was reached by the division, had shot down no less than thirty two enemy planes

On the night of the 15th July 1943, three enemy hedge hopping planes machine gunned 2 Cameronians near Villasamundo and all three were disposed of by the Bofors guns. In "Messerschmitt Valley" the same guns of 18 LAA Regt shot down five 109 G's out of one sortie.

40mm Bofors No.3 gun, 99 Battery

40mm Bofors No.4 gun, 99 Battery

40mm Bofors No.6 gun, 99 Battery

Lt. H.C. Watts building sea defences in Sicily 1943

18th LAA were greatly admired and respected by the division and its enemies alike. When there was no enemy air around, the regiment always turned its hand to any task that came its way, however menial, and made an extremely good job of it. taken from the 5th Division History written by George Aris

Avola plain Sicily

Portapalo Sicily

An Italian Bank

Leece Airdrome Italy with a member of the 18th LAA standing over a shot down German plane

Bath time

Time for a meal and some rest under an olive tree

Doing what they did best protecting an airfield, you can just make out a plane taking off under the watchfall eye of a 40mm Bofors

I would like to thank Tony Watts the Son of Henry Watts for his help in the research of his Dads photos and also the members of the www.ww2talk.com forum

Back to the top

Should you want to contact me with regards the contents of this website please feel free toemail me with your comments