WATSON, GARY EUGENE.
WATSON, GARY EUGENE.
Rank / Branch:
SP4 E-4 U.S. ARMY
Date of Birth:
HOSTILE, MULTIPLE FR
Awards & Decorations:
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Midland Lee High School, Midland, Texas 1962
GARY EUGENE WATSON, SPECIALIST FOUR, U.S. ARMY, MIDLAND, MIDLAND COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Gary Eugene Watson was born in Jackson County, Oklahoma to Doris and Willard Watson. His family moved to Midland in the late 50's and Gary attended Midland schools and graduated from Midland Lee High School in 1962.
Gary attended Odessa College in Odessa and worked. He was drafted into the Army in early 1967.
He completed basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas, then completed AIT at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He departed for his tour in Vietnam on July 25, 1967. He was assigned as an infantryman to D Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment. The 35th Regiment had been under the operational control of the 25th Infantry Division until December 1967 and the Regiment was moved to the operational control of the 4th Division. The 35th Infantry Regiment operated in the central highlands near the Cambodian border.
During the period of March 30, 1968 until April 6, 1968, the men of the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry, were involved in a series of fights in the vicinity of Hill 1062 in the Kontum Province. On April 1, 1968, D Company 2/35 Infantry was airlifted into an area near Hill 1062, northwest of the fire base at Polei Keleng, where enemy contact had previously been made. D/2/35 received mortar and sporadic small arms fire and was withdrawn to allow air and artillery strikes. On April 3, 1968, Companies C and D/2/35 were inserted with the intention of clearing the Hill 1062 ridgeline. However, D Company walked directly into an NVA ambush. Gary was killed immediately by multiple fragment wounds from a mortar or RPG round as he and another soldier were up front walking point. He was in the first squad and the first squad was the lead element. Two other soldiers also died and 3 others were wounded from Company D. Over the next three days, the three companies of 2/35 slugged it out until the NVA abandoned the hill. It was the site of a large NVA hosptial complex. In the three day battle, 12 soldiers of 2/35 perished and over 30 were wounded.
Fairview Cemetery, Midland, Texas
Gary was buried with full military honors at the Fairview Cemetery in Midland, Texas.