Heroes: the Army


"...Another barrage knocked out my Bazooka man and another ammo bearer. About an hour later a white phosphorous shell burnt hell out of my first and second gunners. Then I had to take over the gun...."



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 James C. Watson

  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Unit: 90th Infantry Division
  • Dates: 1942-1945
  • Location: European Theater
  • Rank: PFC., Purple Heart w/Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star Medal
  • Birth Year: 1916
  • Entered Service: Chicago, IL



IMAGE of WWII medal

IMAGE of WWII medal



IMAGE of WWII medal

IMAGE of WWII medal

IMAGE of WWII medal

IMAGE of WWII medal

IMAGE of WWII medal



War Memories of James C. Watson:


     Mr. Bob Watson of Tucson, Arizona -- himself a WW2 veteran -- provided the following information relating to his brother, James C. Watson, who had served with the 90th Infantry Division, which had been attached to General George Patton's Third Army during its push into Germany in 1944/1945. Mr. Watson wants to insure that his brother's heroism is not forgotten.

     The material below is a wonderful tribute to a wonderful World War II Hero.



James Watson, .30 cal, water cooled machine gun


Newspaper article: Southtown Economist Vol. 44, Wed., March 21, 1945, No. 11

Second newspaper clipping: Dated May 2, 1945.



Telegram to wife of James Watson, Mrs. Alice W. Watson notifying her
of her husband being listed as Missing in Action.


V-Mail by James Watson to his parents and sister.


The following is a transcription of the above V-Mail

Dated: 12/15/44


Dear Mother Dad & Sis:


Well folks I was wounded again on Dec. 8th in Germany. A shell fragment in the calf of my left leg. I lay six days in a pillbox of the Segfried line unable to be removed due to intense enemy shellfire. The finally got me across the river and the leg has been operated on and the shrapnel removed. I am now in the hospital but will move to a convalescent camp in a day or two. I will send my address from there. The battle was tough and there are Dead Germans laying out there as far s the eye can see. Our losses were unbelievably light, but we did take an awful beating from "Trench Foot." This was due to being soaking wet and cold so long. Received Sis' pkg the nite we pushed off but due to the fact that I will be moving her and there, the others will probably never catch me. I must close, May God Bless you all.



Christmas Eve, 1944 letter by James Watson to his parents and sister.
Excellent transcription of the above letter by the brother of James Watson, Bob Watson.



There is a sad, but often typical, footnote relating to James Watson. After enduring intense fighting as a member of the 90th Division, and being twice wounded in combat, he returned to his home and family in Chicago after discharge only to be killed in an automobile accident eight months later.



Interested in some background information?
Check out the related links below...

90th Infantry Division Preservation Group

90th Infantry Division

90th Infantry Division: Commemorative Monuments

Association Links: Infantry Divisions and More

American Battle Monuments Commission: WWII Honor Roll

National World War II Memorial


The above photo essay, "War Memories of James C. Watson", was forwarded to us by James' brother, Bob.

The material is re-printed here on World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words with the kind permission of Mr. Watson. Our sincerest THANKS to Mr. Watson for allowing us to share these excellent memories.

We at the World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words web site wish to offer our most profound THANK YOU to Mr. Watson for the kind offer to share these excellent images of his brother. The images above are a family tribute to the memory of their World War II hero.


A special Thank You for assistance in compiling the information for this story and tribute to James C. Watson are extended to Mr. James Pickering. You can visit Mr. Pickering's web site of his early years in England during the "Blitz" at: World War II Memories



Original Story submitted on 17 September 2004.
Story added to website on 22 September 2004.


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