It Happened On #52

After 51 editions of It Happened On, it’s difficult to come up with new introductions. I lack that creative skill

It happened on November 19 1967…Chaplain (Major) Charles Watters of the 173rd Airborne Brigade is awarded the Medal of Honour. Chaplain Watters was serving with the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry when it conducted an attack against North Vietnamese forces entrenched on Hill 875 during the Battle of Dak To. The Catholic priest moved among the paratroopers during the intense fighting, giving encouragement and first aid to the wounded. At least 6 times he left the defensive perimeter with total disregard regard for his own personal safety to retrieve casualties and take them for medical attention. Once he was satisfied that all of the wounded were inside the perimeter, he busied himself helping the medics, applying bandages, and providing spiritual strength and support. According to reports filed by survivors of the battle, Father Watters was on his knees giving last rites to a dying soldier when an American bomber accidentally dropped a 500-pound bomb onto the group of paratroopers. Father Watters was killed instantly. He was awarded a posthumous Medal of Honour on November 4, 1969, in a ceremony at the White House

Also on November 19 1969, Brazilian soccer great Pele scores his 1,000th professional goal in a game, against Vasco da Gama in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium. It was a major milestone in an illustrious career that included three World Cup championship

At least Watters died doing and serving what he loved. Not many can say that


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