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Captain Harold Percy WATSON

Born on 11 June 1884 and son of the founder of John Watson & Co, Stock and Station Agents in Bendigo, Victoria, Harold Watson joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915 as a Sub-Lieutenant.  He was principally engaged in experimental work and some of the photos he took during his service, particularly during the 1917-18 period,  are displayed below.  (His own written comments are shown wherever possible.)

His service involved  flying from no less than 49 different aircraft before his transfer to the RAF.  He became an instructor at the Eastbourne Aerodrome in UK.  In 1917 he married Kathleen Hunter.

After the war he returned to Perricoota Station in NSW until in 1924, he purchased a large Victorian property near Echuca upon which he bred Shorthorn cattle and Southdown sheep.  In 1928 his horse, "Altimeter" won the Adelaide Cup and he continued his interests in horse racing for his entire life. 

He is survived by his daughter Mary, a pilot in her own right, and who, with her late husband, Dick Hagan, lived on their own property, Womboota,  in Echuca, raising and breeding cattle and sheep and continuing the tradition of horse racing as their interests.


Land-machine able to land on water if required.  Blow-up floats.


Four blade land-machine fitted with air bags if required to float.


Seaplane fighter fitted with machine guns.

Handley Page twin engine - our best bomber in 1917. 
The small one is a single-engine fighter.

French design with cockpit in front.


French plane with two floats to be inflated if required to land in water.


Experimental (recoil-less) 1 lb. gun, sighted downwards.  Back port filled with grease and buckshot to take recoil.


Guide rails on ship to steer plane from catapult.

Seaplane with floats underneath ready to fly by catapult.


Plane catapulted from the stern of a destroyer.

Catapulted seaplane first airborne.


Plane with skis, in search of submarines etc.

Patrol flying boat, searching for mines and submarines.



A flying torpedo attached under the machine.


Plane with torpedo attached ready to attack shipping etc.

Experimental flight of Bristol Scout from the top of a flying boat's wing.


A seaplane taxiing on the tips of its floats.

Short flying boat usually used for patrols.


A French aeroplane in trouble.



A huge land-mine crater on the Western Front.




Testing a parachute made of pure silk to find out what height can be landed from with safety.




Machine with folding wings.  Used very little.


German Gotha plane, shot down.


Smoke bomb first exploding.


Smoke bombs used by plane to hide.


The Kitten.  Smallest plane made during WWI.  Too unstable for much use.


Kitten 2.  Larger and more stable to fly.


H.M. Airship 'Gamma'.




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