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Former county sheriff, 95, recalls military sub service

September 25, 2020 Digital Media Exclusive

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Robert “Pete” Watson was a submariner during World War II. Watson, who recently turned 95, was also sheriff of Butler County for 16 continuous years.

In another life, Robert “Pete” Watson would have a long naval career in the submarine service.

Instead, a death in the family, brought him back to stay in his hometown of Slippery Rock and a 16-year career as Butler County sheriff and another 10 as a magistrate.

Watson, 95, remembers growing up during the Depression and acquiring his nickname when he was 10 years old.

“I always went by Pete. In the early '30s I had an Uncle Peter and I followed him around. That's how I got the nickname. I had it ever since I can remember,” he said.

He grew up in Slippery Rock and has lived there his whole life.

When World War II broke out, all three Watson brothers, John, Tom and Robert, joined the military. When it was his turn to serve, Watson joined the Navy and went into the submarine service.

“I really liked the submarine service. Submariners are just like brothers. They stick together,” he said.

Read more about his life story in Sunday's Butler Eagle

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