Distinguished Service Cross

 Albert R. Watts

 

Platoon Sergeant

Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)

23 September 1966

Republic of Vietnam

 

For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: 

Platoon Sergeant Watts distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 23 September 1966 while serving with elements of the 12th Cavalry assaulting an entrenched Viet Cong force near Bon Song.  During the initial moments of the engagement, Sergeant Watts' company sustained several casualties, who lay exposed a few meters in front of three hostile bunkers. Repeated attempts to reach the wounded men had failed, as the well fortified emplacements remained impervious, even to heliborne cannon strikes. Undaunted, Sergeant Watts maneuvered his platoon through devastating automatic weapons and machine gun fire, moving among his men, shouting encouragement and directing the attack. Realizing that his wounded comrades would soon die without medical aid, he ordered one squad to assault from the side while he charged the center bunker alone. Unmindful of the dangers and armed only with two hand grenades, Sergeant Watts ran across forty meters of bullet-swept terrain directly into the insurgent fire. Throwing both grenades through the firing ports, he silenced the position, killing all four Viet Cong inside.  With the main hostile threat eliminated, the flanking team quickly overcame the second emplacement, but the platoon leader was wounded as the unit advanced on the last insurgent bunker. Assuming command, Sergeant Watts courageously led the final assault and safely reached the wounded men. His unimpeachable valor and selfless concern for others ensured the success of the mission and saved the lives of several fellow soldiers. Platoon Sergeant Watts extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

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