Watson-Watt, Sir Robert, 1892-1974

A scientist and inventor of worth, Watson- Watt was a pioneer in the field of experimental radar. In 1935 under the auspices of the Air Ministry he was able to prove that an airplane could be detected by its echo as it passed through radio waves. By 1936 employers of this method were able to detect the height and distance of approaching aircraft up to 75 miles away.

By the outbreak of World War II a series of defense stations had been built along the coast of England which used radar as their means to detect the approach of enemy aircraft. Throughout the war Watson-Watt developed additional uses for his ‘invention.’ The accuracy of anti-aircraft guns was improved; fighters were able to locate other aircraft; bombers could locate targets; reconnaissance planes could pinpoint U-Boats and report their position to naval vessels; identification between friendly ships and planes was perfected. TEDDER called Watson-Watt ‘one of the three saviors of Britain.’

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