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James A Watson

War: World War II
Parent/Wife: /Betty
City: Wisc. Rapids
Birth Date: 1 Apr 1920
Death Date: 12 Oct 1944
How Died: Kia
Where Died: France
Where Buried: France
Rank: Sgt
Branch: Army

Kia=Killed in Action
Dow=Died of Wounds
Dod=Died of Disease
Mia=Missing in Action


Sgt James A. Watson

Imagine leaving for a war and not knowing if you'll come back. You're leaving behind a family; a wife, a three- year old daughter named Penny and parents who love you. Penny was only a little girl, and she would never get to know her dad, spend time with him, or see him ever again. Penny had to grow up without a dad, his parents had to go on without a son, and his wife had to live without a husband.

Sgt James A. Watson was deployed on August 20, 1942. He was part of the 26th infantry in Wisconsin Rapids. He served in different army camps until he was sent overseas in September 1944. Sgt Watson served for the United States in France until he was killed on October 12, 1944, just as Athens was liberated by allies. He would die just a year before the war ended. Watson was awarded the Expert Infantryman's badge.

Watson was born in 1920 in St. Charles, Minnesota. As a child he moved to Wisconsin Rapids during grade school. Later, he went to Two Mile School and attended Lincoln High School and graduated in 1938. He enjoyed playing football and basketball. He also participated in many sports and activities. After graduating, he was employed at Consolidated Water Power & Paper Co.

A typical day for him would be something like this: He would get up at dawn and get dressed. Then, he would eat some cold bread or hardtack, a cracker like food, and maybe some meat. The man in charge would order them to do some drills and practice shooting. The type of gun that was probably used was called the Thomson 11 mm caliber gun sub-machine. He would have lunch and continue drills and practices. He would probably have a small break or do some conditioning exercises. He would then have dinner and talk or play cards with the rest of the group and then go to sleep.

Many people died while serving in World War II, but to remember all of them is important because they all had a family or friends. They all left their life knowing there was a lot at risk and there was a chance that they might not come back and it would be the last time they saw their families and loved ones. We have to remember all of them and honor their sacrifice.

Kim Xia, Student
Marshfield Junior High


News Articles

James A Watson
Watson Notice


  Honoring Our Wood County War Dead