Watkins, Travis E., M/Sgt

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Master Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Primary Unit
1949-1950, HHC, 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry
Service Years
1939 - 1950

Master Sergeant

Two Service Stripes

Two Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSG Carl Elliott to remember Watkins, Travis E., M/Sgt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Gladewater, Texas

Casualty Date
Sep 03, 1950
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Korean War
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Korean War Fallen
  1950, Korean War Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 2nd Award

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
1st Battalion, 9th Infantry 2nd Infantry Division2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry
  1949-1950, HHC, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry
  1949-1950, 2nd Infantry Division
  1949-1950, HHC, 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1943 Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-43)/Battle of Guadalcanal
  1950-1950 Korean War/UN Defensive (1950)/Battle of Pusan Perimeter
  1950-1950 Korean War
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Travis E. Watkins (September 5, 1920-September 3, 1950) was a soldier in the United States Army during both World War II and the Korean War.  He posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions on August 31, September 1, September 2, and September 3, 1950.

Watkins served in the Pacific during World War II and earned a Bronze Star during the Guadalcanal Campaign. After returning to the United States at the end of the war, Watkins married Madie Sue Barnett on April 15, 1948; they had two daughters. He remained in the Army and was deployed to Korea as a Master Sergeant with Company H, Ninth Infantry Regiment, Second Infantry Division.

Medal of Honor citation.

Rank and organization: Master Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company H, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division

Place and date: Near Yongsan, Korea, August 31, through September 3, 1950

Entered service at: Texas. Birth: Waldo, Arkansas

G.O. No.: 9, February 16, 1951

Citation: MSG Watkins distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. When an overwhelming enemy force broke through and isolated 30 men of his unit, he took command, established a perimeter defense and directed action which repelled continuous, fanatical enemy assaults. With his group completely surrounded and cut off, he moved from foxhole to foxhole exposing himself to enemy fire, giving instructions and offering encouragement to his men. Later when the need for ammunition and grenades became critical he shot 2 enemy soldiers 50 yards outside the perimeter and went out alone for their ammunition and weapons. As he picked up their weapons he was attacked by 3 others and wounded. Returning their fire he killed all 3 and gathering up the weapons of the 5 enemy dead returned to his amazed comrades. During a later assault, 6 enemy soldiers gained a defiladed spot and began to throw grenades into the perimeter making it untenable. Realizing the desperate situation and disregarding his wound he rose from his foxhole to engage them with rifle fire. Although immediately hit by a burst from an enemy machine gun he continued to fire until he had killed the grenade throwers. With this threat eliminated he collapsed and despite being paralyzed from the waist down, encouraged his men to hold on. He refused all food, saving it for his comrades, and when it became apparent that help would not arrive in time to hold the position ordered his men to escape to friendly lines. Refusing evacuation as his hopeless condition would burden his comrades, he remained in his position and cheerfully wished them luck. Through his aggressive leadership and intrepid actions, this small force destroyed nearly 500 of the enemy before abandoning their position. M/Sgt. Watkins' sustained personal bravery and noble self-sacrifice reflect the highest glory upon himself and is in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the U.S. Army.

In 1961, a housing complex at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, was named in his honor. The USNS Watkins, a supply ship, was christened on July 28, 2000. Watkins is buried in Gladewater Memorial Park in Gladewater, Texas.

A radio dramatization of his Medal of Honor story, originally produced by the Armed Forces Radio Service between 1951 and 1953 can be heard here:








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