February 27, 1945 - Private Douglas D. Watson earns the Medal of Honor while serving with the 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division at Iwo Jima. Pvt. Watson and his squad were abruptly halted by heavy enemy fire in high rocky ridges. Pvt. Watson rushed one pillbox and fired inside, pinning the enemy down until he could throw a grenade. He then sprinted to the rear of the pillbox to neutralize the fleeing Japanese. This enabled his platoon to take over this strategic emplacement.
Once again, Watson and his squad were pinned down at the base of a hill under machine gun and mortar fire. Pvt. Watson and his assistant BAR man charge the top of the hill, firing from his hip. He stood there, completely upright and without fear, firing for over 15 minutes. He killed 60 enemy soldiers until he ran out of ammo and his platoon joined him.
The Medal of Honor was presented to Pvt. Watson by President Harry Truman in October of 1945. After WWII, Watson continued military service, switching to the US Army. He advanced to the rank of Staff Sergeant and retired in 1966. He married his wife Patricia and had two children. Douglas Watson passed away on December 19, 1994.
[Image descriptions: 1. Pvt. Watson after receiving his Medal of Honor (USMC) 2. Pvt. Watson during his time in the USMC (National Museum of the US Navy)]