Black Watch Diary readers’ responses demanded a sequel. Fellow airmen, spouses, widows, and children forwarded their personal memories, stories, and pictures. The saga of rebellious flyboys building the “world famous” Scramble Inn will tickle you into many laughs. Your tears will flow when you read Bob Fritsch’s poem. It captured a love of flying and the triumphs and tragedies experienced flying the hazardous all-weather Jet Interceptor Defense Mission of the 1950s-60s Cold War. The spirit of the 59th “Tigers” motto – WHEN THE DUCKS WALK AT GOOSE, WE FLY! continued after Goose Bay. In their next duty assignments the 59th Alumni set aircraft altitude and speed records, performed Vietnam service, worked in aircraft design and testing, and piloted airliners. When these patriots returned to civilian life their teaching inspired young people.
This is a true account of cocky young fly-boys of the Black Watch Squadron who flew in All-Weather Jet Fighter-Interceptors to engage any Russian nuclear bombers coming in over the shorter Arctic Air Routes to Canada and the U.S. They were based at remote Goose Air Base, Labrador, Canada. During his one-year tour of duty, 2nd Lieutenant Josh Batchelder witnessed a succession of five squadron commanders try to stem-the-tide of eleven aircraft accidents, some deadly. Fighting remote duty boredom was an added challenge which often resulted in humorous and sometimes risky behavior.
Robert “Punchy” Powell
Author, Editor, Historian, Pilot,
352nd Fighter Group, 8th Air Force, WWII…
“Personal diaries almost always make you wonder what the author has failed to include in his efforts to record his daily trials and tribulations, but Josh Batchelder’s book Black Watch Diary is an interesting and enlightening account of his life and his military career flying as a Radar Observer (RO) in the F-94 Starfire and the F-89 Scorpions guarding the Canadian approaches to the U.S. and enduring the frigid reaches of Newfoundland and Labrador flying out of Goose Bay Air Base. His almost daily entries picture a young man, newly married but separated from his bride for long periods, a young man who filled those lonely hours with a burning passion to read and develop his understanding of the world and its people while exposed to the constant rigors and dangers of flying interceptor missions in weather that took the lives of several of his fellow flyers. This book is a quick take on the life and character-building experiences of a man who proudly served his country as a member of the 59th Fighter Interceptor Squadron whose motto was, ‘When the Ducks Walk, We Fly!’ It is full of the fun and frolic characteristic of those in service and even more so in fighter pilot groups. Black Watch Diary is quite an enjoyable read.”