U.S. Navy Cmdr. George William Watson was born in Medford, Massachusetts, in 1920. He worked diligently at Tilton Prep School to acquire the necessary skills for admission to the U.S. Naval Academy.
He was the first alternate at the Naval Academy and hence signed up for the Coast Guard Academy. Watson was literally in line at the Coast Guard Academy in early fall 1940 when he received a phone call from his mother, letting him know he had just been admitted to the Naval Academy. He was officially sworn in at the Naval Academy the next day. He achieved academic honors and became a star third baseman on the Naval Academy varsity baseball team.
Due to World War II, the class of 1944 graduated one year early. Watson was asked to stay to help train incoming plebes. One perk was that he would be able to choose his next duty assignment. He chose the destroyer USS Frazier and set sail for the South Pacific. After deployment, he requested flight training. He began flight school in Pensacola, Florida, and furthered his studies in Ottumwa, Iowa. In 1945, he received his Gold Wings and achieved his desire of becoming a Naval Aviator.
Watson was assigned to fly PB4Y-2’s in a patrol squadron in the Bering Sea from 1946 to 1949 looking for Russian submarines and aircraft. He was an instructor at the Naval Academy in Seamanship and Tactics. In 1955, he was sent to Stanford University where he earned a master’s degree in Personnel Administration and was assigned to ComFAir Elm Staff in Naples, Italy. In 1959, he attended Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, and became the Executive Officer at EPDOCONUS, NTC, in Bainbridge, Maryland, in 1960. It was there, that he met and married his wife of 53 years, Lt. Jean Watson.
His last assignment was Commanding Officer of the Personnel Research and Training activity in Point Loma, California. He retired in 1969 and continued his work in Personnel Administration with San Diego Probation Department until 1985.
During his service, he received several medals and awards including the American Defense, American Campaign, Asiatic Pacific Campaign, WWII and National Defense medals.