19500902 0900 24sn

By that morning (2 September) the need for hand grenades was desperate. About 0900 MSgt. Travis E. Watkins of H Company shot and killed two enemy soldiers 50 yards outside the northeast edge of the perimeter. He jumped from his hole to get the weapons and grenades of the dead men; 20 yards from them three hidden enemy soldiers jumped to their feet and opened fire on him. Watkins killed them and gathered weapons, ammunition, and insignia from all five before returning to the perimeter. An hour later a group of six enemy soldiers gained a protected spot 25 yards from a machine gun position of the perimeter and began throwing hand grenades into it. Although already wounded in the head, Watkins rose from his hole to engage them with rifle fire. An enemy machine gun immediately took him under fire and hit him in the left side, breaking his back. Watkins in some manner managed to kill all six of the nearby enemy soldiers before he sank into his hole paralyzed from the waist down. Even in this condition, Watkins never lost his nerve, but shouted encouragement to his companions. He refused any of the scarce rations, saying that he did not deserve them because he could no longer fight. [24-3]