Marvin Leroi Watson
Private First Class
C CO, 1ST BN, 5TH MARINES, 1ST MARDIV, III MAF
United States Marine Corps
Woodstown, New Jersey
May 17, 1949 to June 17, 1969
MARVIN L WATSON is on the Wall at Panel W22, Line 71

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Marvin L Watson
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PFC Marvin Leroi Watson was the only Marine killed in action during the assault of their Battalion's night defensive positions (NDPs) during the early morning hours on 17 June 1969. Companies A, B, C, and Headquarters and Service Companies were in their NDPs located 5 Kilometers West of An Hoa Airfield, South Vietnam.

At 0150 hours, located at grid coordinates (AT827470), the units received 30 to 40 rounds of 60mm High Explosive mortar rounds; 20-30 rounds from B-40 rockets; and 5 to 10 rocket propelled grenade rounds, followed by an assault from unknown size enemy unit near that same location.

The Marines called in artillery and 81mm mortar fire missions. The Marines also responded to the attack with small arms and automatic weapons, M-26 Grenades, claymore mines, and Spooky gunship on station.

It was during this response that PFC Watson was killed. The Command Chronology and subsequent notification to the family show he died as a result of multiple fragmentation wounds from friendly artillery fire while in contact with hostile forces.

In addition, the report states the units had eight (8) Marines wounded and evacuated; eleven (11) Marines wounded but not evacuated and 33 NVA enemy were KIA. The Marines Captured 2 POWs and various weapons and ammunition from the enemy.

PFC Marvin Leroi Watson is buried in the Spencer UAME. Church Cemetery. The church was originally called "The Union Church of Africans of Baileytown," by a Wilmington, Delaware congregation formed in 1813. This group built the church in 1842 and they later renamed the group church the Spencer UAME Church.

Officials and community members in Woodstown gathered on Saturday, August 4, 2012 to re-dedicate the park on Bailey Street. The park was renamed to honor PFC Marvin L. Watson, a borough resident who was killed during the Vietnam War.

The Watson family's home, which dates back to his paternal great-grandfather S. Brown Watson, was located on part of the land that is now included in the park. Watson grew up playing in those fields. The park was originally established in 2005.

Watson graduated from Woodstown High School in 1968.

Those who knew Watson described him as "a kind, gentle, soft spoken man." He arrived in Vietnam a year after he graduated from high school, on May 28, as Private First Class. He was killed in action 21 days later.

Read about the history of the park renaming along with photos in the following newspaper articles:

Woodstown considers renaming Bailey Street Park in honor of borough native killed in Vietnam War.

Woodstown Borough Council renames Bailey Street Park after fallen Marine Marvin L. Watson

Dedication ceremony set for Marvin L. Watson Memorial Park in Woodstown

Woodstown park dedicated in memory of borough native and Vietnam War veteran PFC Marvin L. Watson

Interview with the Watson Sisters- Masolete Watson and Stephanie Colbert

Read the Interview received from Solomon Watson, Melvin's brother who also served in Vietnam prior to Melvin and was instrumental in getting the Bailey Street Park renamed in Melvin's honor.

Watson's name is also listed on the Russell G Garrison Memorial Park monument in Woodstown, New Jersey. Below are the photos of Park sign and 2012 Re-dedicated Memorial Stone with new names added, to include Watson's.

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The Russell G. Garrison Memorial Park is located in Woodstown, New Jersey. It was originally dedicated to local Vietnam veterans from the community who passed away during the war. The memorial was small, unnoticeable, neglected, and looked uninviting.

According to Councilman Joe Hiles, the monument was installed in the late 1960s, along with a single flag pole. Since then, only two names, Garrison and Marvin L. Watson, were engraved on the monument.

The Girl Scouts thought the veterans deserved more respect and care than shown in photo at their website. See story, photos, and videos here.

The Girl Scouts needed a silver project to do and thought this was the perfect opportunity for expanding the memorial, and improving the landscaping to spice it up a bit.

On October 31, 2012, the Girl Scouts had completed the work on sprucing up the monument grounds and placing the new monument. Read full story and see photos here.

On November 12, 2012, a re-dedication ceremony was held for the recently beautified Russell G. Garrison Memorial Park. Local Girl Scouts Meagan Kirsch, Natalie Williams, and Gabby Scardino, revealed the newly added names to the Russell G. Garrison Memorial Park monument. Read full story and see photos here.

The names engraved on the monument now include:

Interviews with members of the Watson and Garrison families can be found here. Click on "Veteran/Family Interviews" at top of page on Menu Bar for drop down list.

-- The Virtual Wall


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