Medal of Honor
WATTERS, CHARLES JOSEPH
Rank and organization: Chaplain (Maj.), U .S. Army, Company A, 173d Support Battalion, 173d Airborne Brigade.
Place and date: Near Dak To Province, Republic of Vietnam, 19 November 1967.
Entered service at: Fort Dix, N.J.
Born: 17 January 1927, Jersey City, N.J.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Chaplain Watters distinguished himself during an assault in the vicinity of Dak To. Chaplain Watters was moving with one of the companies when it engaged a heavily armed enemy battalion. As the battle raged and the casualties mounted, Chaplain Watters, with complete disregard for his safety, rushed forward to the line of contact. Unarmed and completely exposed, he moved among, as well as in front of the advancing troops, giving aid to the wounded, assisting in their evacuation, giving words of encouragement, and administering the last rites to the dying. When a wounded paratrooper was standing in shock in front of the assaulting forces, Chaplain Watters ran forward, picked the man up on his shoulders and carried him to safety. As the troopers battled to the first enemy entrenchment, Chaplain Watters ran through the intense enemy fire to the front of the entrenchment to aid a fallen comrade. A short time later, the paratroopers pulled back in preparation for a second assault. Chaplain Watters exposed himself to both friendly and enemy fire between the 2 forces in order to recover 2 wounded soldiers. Later, when the battalion was forced to pull back into a perimeter, Chaplain Watters noticed that several wounded soldiers were Lying outside the newly formed perimeter. Without hesitation and ignoring attempts to restrain him, Chaplain Watters left the perimeter three times in the face of small arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire to carry and to assist the injured troopers to safety. Satisfied that all of the wounded were inside the perimeter, he began aiding the medics ... applying field bandages to open wounds, obtaining and serving food and water, giving spiritual and mental strength and comfort. During his ministering, he moved out to the perimeter from position to position redistributing food and water, and tending to the needs of his men. Chaplain Watters was giving aid to the wounded when he himself was mortally wounded. Chaplain Watters' unyielding perseverance and selfless devotion to his comrades was in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.
Thanks to SSG David Bata for the above photographs.
--- General / Personal ---
Last name: WATTERS
First name: CHARLES JOSEPH
Home of Record (official): BERKELEY HEIGHTS
State (official): NJ
Date of Birth: Monday, January 17, 1927
Marital Status: Single
--- Military ---
Serial Number: O3139624
Pay grade: O4
MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 75310
--- Action ---
Start of Tour: Tuesday, July 5, 1966
Date of Casualty: Sunday, November 19, 1967
Age at time of loss: 40
Casualty type: (A3) Hostile, died while missing
Reason: Multiple fragmentation wounds (Ground casualty)
Country: South VietNam
The Wall: Panel 30E - Row 036
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