The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
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.