BRUCE L WATKINS
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HONORED ON PANEL 6E, LINE 36 OF THE WALL

BRUCE LAMAR WATKINS

WALL NAME

BRUCE L WATKINS

PANEL / LINE

6E/36

DATE OF BIRTH

11/26/1946

CASUALTY PROVINCE

QUANG NGAI

DATE OF CASUALTY

03/21/1966

HOME OF RECORD

ATLANTA

COUNTY OF RECORD

Fulton County

STATE

GA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

MARINE CORPS

RANK

PFC

Book a time
Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR BRUCE LAMAR WATKINS
POSTED ON 11.11.2017
POSTED BY: [email protected]g

Final Mission of PFC Bruce L. Watkins

On March 21, 1966, during Operation Texas, thirty U.S Marine Corps UH-34D helicopters from HMM-261, HMM-363, and HMM-364, escorted by four armed UH-1E helicopters of Marine Observation Squadron 6 (VMO-6), lifted two companies plus a command group (405 troops total) of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, from Ky Ha Air Facility to an unsecure landing zone (LZ) in Quang Ngai Province, RVN. M Company, 3/1, was inserted first to make safe the LZ, a large dry rice paddy, for the following waves of aircraft. Approximately 1000 meters west of the LZ, a VC/NVA 12.7mm machine gun was firing into the LZ from a draw located on a small hill. Several A-4 attack jet air strikes failed to silence the weapon. In the next wave of aircraft, a UH-34D (#145802) approached the LZ carrying K Company, 3/1. The enemy machine gun would target this helicopter. The aircraft was 50 feet or so off the deck when the 12.7mm rounds began impacting. The helicopter jerked slightly each time a round hit it. The aircraft then nosed over sharply. The pilot apparently pulled back hard on his controls to avoid a nose-first crash because the helicopter reared up like a stallion with its forelegs pawing the air. The aircraft’s rear rotor blade and tail boom then hit a high paddy dike. The helicopter crumpled backward into the paddy as the fuel tank exploded and engulfed the aircraft for a split second. M Company was only 100 meters away from the crash site and immediately sent a corpsman and rifle squad over to provide aid. When they arrived at the still burning helicopter, it was apparent that everyone in the passenger and crew compartments were dead. The UH-34's cockpit was elevated and forward of the passenger and crew area. The two pilots, 1LT Noah M. Kraft and 1LT Thomas A. Bird Jr., could be seen struggling to free themselves. They were badly burned. The corpsman and another rifleman ran through the still burning debris to free the pilots. As they did so, the magnesium rotor hub exploded. The blast went up and over their heads, only causing them some minor burns. The other riflemen avoided being caught in the explosion since they were a few feet beyond the blast radius setting up security. The Marine rifle platoon leader threw a smoke grenade into the LZ and a helicopter immediately landed. 1LT Bird died before being put into the medevac. The other pilot, 1LT Kraft, though suffering terribly, was still alive. The corpsman rode with him in the medevac back to Chu Lai. Kraft died as they arrived at B Med in Chu Lai. The two other lost UH-34 crewmen were crew chief GSGT Calvin K. Chow and gunner GSGT Benito Igarta Jr. The lost members of K Company included PFC Louis A. Ambrose, LCPL Dennis R. Andrew, LCPL James H. Cavicchi Jr., SGT John A. Mitchell, PFC Bruce L. Watkins, and PFC Billie J. Williams. [Taken from popasmoke.com]
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POSTED ON 11.26.2016
POSTED BY: Dennis Wriston

I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

Private First Class Bruce Lamar Watkins, Served with the 1st Platoon, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Third Marine Amphibious Force.
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POSTED ON 9.13.2016
POSTED BY: Donny

50 years plus

Been a long time since the first time I saw your picture on the wall across from the library. You died just months before I walked the same halls you did.

It's true. Never forgotten.
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POSTED ON 3.21.2014
POSTED BY: A US Marine, Vietnam

Semper Fi, Marine.

POSTED ON 2.1.2014
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear PFC Bruce Lamar Watkins, sir

As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

Curt Carter
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