Corporal Watington was killed in action on 8 May 1967 during a battalion-sized NVA attack on the Marine base at Con Thien. He was awarded the Silver Star posthumously:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Ralph H. Watington, Jr. (2104550), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company D, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on May 8, 1967. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of extreme personal danger, Corporal Watington upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
He just wasn't a war hero, he was our big brother who had an enormous impact on our lives. We'll never forget you SUGAR.!!!!!
Your so right little brother. I remember the day he left for his tour in Vietnam. I was looking out the window of our apartment. He was leaving and I didn't know when he would return. He was on his way out the door when Mom told him I was crying. He came back and we talked. One phrase he said to me stood out the most. He said, "Be yourself and be a man". That stayed with me for the rest of my life and was my goal until this day.
Thank you Cpl. for your love of our Corps & Country....
Standing here in front of the Wall
silently reading your name
solemnly I thank you one and all
Each of you different, yet the same
The list seems forever endless
but I remember your faces
you made the supreme sacrifice, I confess
as I walk slowly with measured paces
Each one of you answered the call
willingly or not, you gave your lives
Rest easy, my Brothers - heroes all
The Nation still survives
"War drew us from our homeland
In the sunlit springtime of our youth.
Those who did not come back alive remain
in perpetual springtime -- forever young --
And a part of them is with us always."
--- Author Unknown ---
God Bless You ike
Rest Easy Marine ~ You Are Not Forgotten
You are not forgotten. Rest Easy Marine !! Thank you for your service and sacrifice !
The Final Inspection
The Marine stood and faced God, which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining, just as brightly as his brass.
“Step forward now, Marine! How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek? To My Church have you been true?”
The Marine squared his shoulders and said, “no, Lord, I guess I ain't
because those of us who carry guns, can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays, at times my talk was tough,
and sometimes I've been violent, because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny, that wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime, when the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help, though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me, I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place, among the people here.
They never wanted me around, except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord, it needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much, but if you don't, I'll understand.”
There was a silence all around the throne, where the saints had often trod.
As the Marine waited quietly, for the judgment of his God.
“Step forward now, you Marine. You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets, you've done your time in Hell.”
Silver Star Medal
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Corporal Ralph H. Watington, Jr., United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against North Vietnamese Army forces while serving as Rocket Gunner with Company D, First Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, during Operation PRAIRIE IV in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 8 May 1967.
At 0245 the combat outpost at Con Thien was attacked by a numerically superior Vietnamese Army force. The intense mortar attack was followed immediately by the enemy assault of infantry armed with automatic weapons, satchel charges, rockets and flamethrowers. From his position on the First Platoon lines, Corporal Watington was called to deliver fire onto an enemy 60-mm. mortar position with his rocket launcher. Responding instantly, he leaped from his covered position in the trench line and without regard for his own safety, climbed up on the tank which was forward of the lines.
The first round he fired at the mortar position was long, and so he returned to the trenches to collect more ammunition. Once again he braved the vicious automatic weapons fire and the hail of grenades and satchel charges to mount the tank. Standing up in order to locate more accurately the mortar position, he fired again, this time silencing it. He was mortally wounded as he began to move back off the tank. His calm manner and fearless devotion to duty were an inspiration to all who observed him.
Corporal Watington's courageous actions were instrumental in easing the ferocity of the attack on his side of the perimeter, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
He gallantly gave his life for his country.