398th Bomb Group

In Memory of Leland Watson
603rd Line Chief

By Jane Watson

Leland Hutchins Watson returned to the United States from his WWII military service in England in September 1945. He was a master sergeant and twenty-six years old. Leland was honorably discharged on September 19, 1945 and one week later I met him on a blind date. The rest is family history.

Leland was born and raised in Hindsboro, Illinois, and enlisted in the US Army Air Corps at the age of twenty-two. He reported for active duty in February 1941 at Chanute Field, Illinois. After basic training he was sent to Grand Island, NE, Geiger Field, WA and a number of other air bases for aircraft maintenance training. During 1943 he received his flight engineer (aerial mechanic) wings and became a technical sergeant. During this time he worked supervising the maintenance of a number of aircraft that included B-18’s and then B-17 flying fortresses. In 1944 he became a member of the 603rd Squadron maintenance section of the 398th Bomb Group stationed at Rapid City, South Dakota. Leland departed for England with the 398th Group, arriving at 8th Air Force Station 131, Nuthampstead in April 1944. Leland served as a Line Chief in charge of the care and maintenance of the 398th B-17’s. He served throughout the 398th’s combat tour, performing the many services and responsibilities that were required to keep the 398th B-17’s fit and combat ready.

This brief history is dedicated to the memory of a beloved husband, father and grandfather, and the finest man his family will ever know.

The picture of Leland at age 22 was taken when he entered the Army Air Corps in 1941.

Leland H. Watson - 1941

Veteran: Leland Watson
Line Chief, 603rd Squadron
Date of Personal History: December 2003
Author: Jane Watson
Submitted to 398th Web Pages by: Jane Watson

Note: The above article has been placed on the 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association web site to share our history with a wider audience. You may view, download, print, copy and link to our content as you wish as long as the uses are personal or educational. 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association web page content cannot be used for commercial purposes nor placed on other web sites whether commercial, personal or educational, unless authorized in writing by the 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association Official Board and/or the author.