Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

George Watson

  • Rank: Private
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    2d Battalion,
    29th Quartermaster Regiment
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: March 8, 1943
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Near Porlock Harbor, New Guinea
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Private George Watson distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism on 8 March 1943, while serving in the Pacific Command with the 2d Battalion, 29th Quartermaster Regiment, near Porlock Harbor, New Guinea. Private Watson was onboard a troop ship, the Dutch Steamer (United States Army Transport) Jacob, when it was attacked and hit by enemy bombers. Before it sank, the ship was abandoned. Private Watson, instead of seeking to save himself, remained in deep waters long enough to assist several soldiers who could not swim to reach the safety of a life raft. This heroic action, which subsequently cost him his life, resulted in saving the lives of several of his comrades. Weakened by continuous physical exertion and overcome by muscular fatigue, Private Watson drowned when the suction of the sinking ship dragged him beneath the surface of the swirling waters. His demonstrated bravery and unselfish act set in motion a train of conpelling events that finally led to American victory in the Pacific. Private Watson's extraordinary valorous actions, his daring and inspiring leadership, and his self-sacrificing devotion to his fellow man exemplify the finest traditions of military service.
Medal of Honor Recipient George Watson
Medal of Honor Recipient George Watson
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: January 13, 1997
    The White House, presented by Pres. William J. Clinton to the Sgt. Msj. of the Army Eugene McKinney no living relatives.
  • Born: March 24, 1914, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL, United States
  • Died: March 8, 1943, Porlock Harbor, New Guinea
  • Buried: Buried at Sea, at sea
  • Location of Medal: U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum, Fort Lee, VA

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