The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, SP4 Gary Eugene Watson, who died in the service of his country on April 3rd, 1968 in Kontum Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Multi-Frag. At the time of his death Gary was 24 years of age. He was from Midland, Texas. Gary is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 47E, Line 57.
The decorations earned by SP4 Gary Eugene Watson include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
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 graduated from Midland Lee High School in 1962.
Gary attended college 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 to D Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment (Cacti), 4th Division. 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. Gary was killed by multiple fragment wounds from an explosive device on April 3, 1968 during the Counter Tet Offensive which started April 1, 1968.
Gary was buried with full military honors at Resthaven Cemetery in Midland, Texas.
(His BSM Citation)
The Bronze Star Medal Is Presented To Specialist Four Gary E Watson
For meritorious service in connection with military operations against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Specialist Four Watson distinguished himself while serving as a Rifleman/Team Leader with Company D, 2/35th Infantry. Upon joining his unit, Specialist Four Watson displayed a strong working knowledge of infantry tactics and high leadership ability that soon earned him the position of Team Leader. He proved to be an outstanding pointman and effective leader. He adjusted well to the constantly changing situation and dangers inherent in a combat zone. As his proficiency increased, he became a Squad Leader and continued to perform his duties in an exemplary manner. On 3 April 1968, Specialist Four Watson was mortally wounded while participating in a search and destroy mission near Polei Kleng. His outstanding achievements, professional integrity, and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.