Charles Joseph Watters

Army of the United States
17 January 1927 - 19 November 1967
Berkeley Heights, New Jersey
Panel 30E Line 036

Medal of Honor

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

Charles J. Watters

The database page for Charles Joseph Watters

15 Feb 2001

When viewers look for Major (Father) Charles Watters' name in remembrance, they will now see it.

Our prayers are with him.

(Former paratrooper)

20 May 2005

Tomorrow, May 21,2005 you will be honored at St.Michael's Parish in Cranford, New Jersey by family and friends. There is a small plaque there now by the flagpole only honoring you, but makes no reference to your Medal of Honor given to you two years after your death.

I salute you, Charles, as a former veteran of the Vietnam conflict. I did not know you, but will forever honor you for giving your all for the men and women of this great country of ours. It was soldiers like you that helped give us the freedom we so dearly love today. God Bless you.

From A Vietnam veteran,
Dennis L. Tredinnick
E-mail address is not available.

04 Aug 2005

This comment is 38 years late. You died at the same time - in the same place - as my brother. One of you would have been helping the other. My brother, Michael LeRoy Ellis, was killed in action on Hill 875 19 November 1967. He turned 21 August 20, 1967. He was coming home December 1967. He did come home in December but not the way we expected. You and he died for our freedom and I thank you for that. It was documented that Mike was enjoying relative safety from the enemy but he repeatedly left that safety to try to retrieve his fallen comrades. One of these excursions was his last on this earth. I can only hope that those he saved honored his and your courage by continuing to love and protect this great country that you protected, fought for and ultimately died to preserve.

Thank you, Charles Joseph Watters, and thank your family.

From a fellow American,
Sheri Ellis Anderson

From The Virtual Wall

One hundred thirtyone Americans died on Hill 875 between 19 and 29 November, 31 of them on the first day of the battle. SP4 Michael L. Ellis was one of five men from Alpha Company, 2nd Bn, 503rd Infantry, who died that day.

09 Jun 2007

A wonderful and giving man focused on his faith, parish, community, friends and family. I'm honored to have been baptized by him.

From a Parish member,
Gary Raymond

06 Sep 2007

Father Watters was assistant pastor at Saint Michael's Church in Cranford, New Jersey. My wife, Barbara, and I had Father over for dinner on many wonderful occasions. He, being a private pilot, promised to take my son Rick and myself for a "fling" as soon as he returned from service. Rick and I never had the thrill of this venture. Recently, Barbara and I visited the Chaplain School at Fort Jackson and were saddened but very proud to see the display of such personal items and read many comments regarding this hero. The Stevens are very proud to have known Father Watters so well. He's remembered in our prayers at Mass.

Dick Stevens
12 Vista Court, Newnan, Georgia 30265

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Father Charles Joseph Watters, a Roman Catholic priest, served as a Chaplain with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. Although attached to Company A, 173rd Support Battalion, Father Watters frequently accompanied line units into the field. On one such occasion, on 19 November 1967, the unit that Father Watters was with engaged two enemy regiments. During the resultant battle, Father Watters repeatedly risked his own life while rescuing and providing aid to the wounded, providing moral and physical support to the sound, and giving the last rites to the dying. Chaplain Watters was fatally injured during the battle for Hill 875.

A summary of the battle and a listing of the men killed
during the fighting may be found on The Virtual Wall's
Hill 875 Memorial

Major Charles J. Watters, Chaplain, Army of the United States,
was awarded the Medal of Honor for his selfless actions.

The President of the United States
in the name of the Congress of the United States
takes pride in presenting the



Charles Joseph Watters
Chaplain (Major)
Army of the United States

for service as set forth in the following


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Chaplain Watters distinguished himself during an assault in the vicinity of Dak To. Chaplain Watters was moving with one of the companies when it engaged a heavily armed enemy battalion. As the battle raged and the casualties mounted, Chaplain Watters, with complete disregard for his safety, rushed forward to the line of contact. Unarmed and completely exposed, he moved among, as well as in front of the advancing troops, giving aid to the wounded, assisting in their evacuation, giving words of encouragement, and administering the last rites to the dying. When a wounded paratrooper was standing in shock in front of the assaulting forces, Chaplain Watters ran forward, picked the man up on his shoulders and carried him to safety. As the troopers battled to the first enemy entrenchment, Chaplain Watters ran through the intense enemy fire to the front of the entrenchment to aid a fallen comrade. A short time later, the paratroopers pulled back in preparation for a second assault. Chaplain Watters exposed himself to both friendly and enemy fire between the two forces in order to recover two wounded soldiers. Later, when the battalion was forced to pull back into a perimeter, Chaplain Watters noticed that several wounded soldiers were lying outside the newly formed perimeter. Without hesitation and ignoring attempts to restrain him, Chaplain Watters left the perimeter three times in the face of small arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire to carry and to assist the injured troopers to safety. Satisfied that all of the wounded were inside the perimeter, he began aiding the medics - applying field bandages to open wounds, obtaining and serving food and water, giving spiritual and mental strength and comfort. During his ministering, he moved out to the perimeter from position to position redistributing food and water, and tending to the needs of his men. Chaplain Watters was giving aid to the wounded when he himself was mortally wounded. Chaplain Watters' unyielding perseverance and selfless devotion to his comrades was in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 15 Feb 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009