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 "Wing Over and Dive"

The War Diary of Flying Officer Stanley Milton WATT, 450 Squadron.

"Operation Bowler" - The precision attack on Venice Harbour by 239 Wing, March 1945.  (Artwork by Drew Harrison)

Review by: Flight Lieutenant Doug Miller, DFC.

Stan Watt joined the 16th Battalion "Cameron Highlanders" C.M.F. in 1940, where he qualified as a Physical and Recreation Training Instructor before he transferred to the RAAF at 18 years of age in 1941.

He received a year's training as a pilot in Australia and was shipped to England for a year to train as a fighter pilot before he sailed to North Africa, then up to the South of Italy where he joined 450 Squadron RAAF.

His dive-bombing operations against the Germans totalled 123 before he was transferred back to the Army in an army/airforce role, directing fighter -bomber attacks onto German communications, transport and troops.

His tour of operations finished in March 1945 when he led one of three sections of 450 Squadron on a massed attack against Venice Harbour.  Venice was a protected city but the Germans were using it to supply their forces to the South.  it was a credit to the leaders of this mission that navigation was so "spot-on" and bombing so accurate, that warehouses and shipping were destroyed, yet the treasures of the city were preserved.

The author is to be congratulated on this autobiography, which not only highlights the highs and lows of operational life, but also the experiences of some of the notable 450 Squadron characters.  Finally we should recognise the generous community spirit of Stan Watt in donating the proceeds from the sale of this book to Legacy, an organisation to which he has devoted much time and effort over many years.

Ordering Details:  Send your cheque for $22.50, payable to Perth Legacy, P.O. Box 249, South Perth. WA. 6951.

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