In early '42 Robert was drafted into the army. He enlisted on May 20 in Fort Devens (MA). On May 25 he arrived at Camp Bowie (TX), where he received his basic military training. Then he was at Fort Benning (GA) where he followed a rigorous training as a paratrooper.
Read the story: Military file >
From September 1943 Robert and his comrades were stationed in the English in the county of Wiltshire. Until early June 1944 they received further training in preparation for the imminent invasion of the European mainland.
Read the story: Combat route (1) >
On June 6, 1944 (D-Day) the men of 506 PIR flew from Greenham Common Airport(Berkshire) to the coast of Normandy. They were dropped into Drop Zone "C" north of Hiesville behind Utah Beach. In June they were fighting in Normandy.
Read the story: Combat route (1) >
The second mission for the men of 506th PIR was Operation Market Garden. They were dropped into Drop Zone 'B' near Son, north of Eindhoven. After the paratroopers had landed the local people came out of hiding and helped their liberators whenever possible.
Read the story: Combat route (2) >
On 16 Dec 1944. the Germans launched a barrage of some 2,000 guns, a large-scale attack: theBattle of the Bulge (Ardennes). 101 Airborne Division was hurriedly sent to Bastogne, a key hub which at all costs needed to stay in Allied hands.
Read the story: Combat route (3) >
On April 2 PIR 506 went to the front line in the Ruhr area, on the west bank of the Rhine. On April 13, Robert went with a GE combat patrol. They were observed by the Germans and shot. Easy company knew nothing of the patrol, thought that is was Germans crossing the Rhine and opened fire. With disastrous consequences ...
Read the story: Combat route (4) >
to the UK
Landing on Utah Beach
Died on pleasure flight
Buried in Margraten, Block RR, Row 12 Grave 290
Air Evac. Nurse diploma
Body washed up
Departure for Europa
Arriving in England
Landing Omaha Beach
Germany invades Poland, Britain
and France declare war on Germany
Nazi Germany declares war on the US
Battle of Stalingrad: Red Army defeats Germans
|Name:||Robert M. Watts|
|Born:||October 3, 1918|
|Died:||April 13, 1945, 26 years old|
|Rank & Military
|Private first class, intelligence section S-2, 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101 Airborne Division|
|Cemetary:||Walls of the Missing|
Robert M. Watts was born on October 3, 1918
and grew up in the coastal town of Seabrook in New
Hampshire. Before the war he was a shoemaker.
He was called up for service and trained as a paratrooper and was assigned to the intelligence section of
506 Parachute Infantry Regiment. Robert Watts fought successively in Normandy,
Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge.
He died tragically on April 13, 1945 by 'friendly fire' when his combat patrol was shot at by men of Easy Company, 506 PIR (better known as the Band of Brothers). Robert Watts' body was never found. His name is on the Walls of the Missing in Margraten. Robert was 26 years old.
The story of the American paratroopers became
world famous in the Second World War
by the book and the TV series Band of Brothers.
Robert Watts did not belong to the same regiment,
but his story is the same: as a paratrooper he jumped on
D-Day and a few months later during Operation Market
Robert Watts, Robert Cole and the men of Band of Brothers were paratroopers: infantry soldiers who were trained to start their war as paratroopers. Their training was almost impossibly difficult. But the american paratroopers were also the cream of the crop. They were elite troops.