11/19/18: Master Sargent Bert Watkins (USMC RET)

Master Sargent Bert Watkins (USMC RET.), one of the few survivors from Operation Swift, served at Camp Lejeune and Viet Nam. After his active tour of duty, he joined the Marine Corps Reserves where he retired from in 1992. During his military career, he was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal w/v; the purple Heart’ Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, President Unit Citation, Viet Nam Service Medal with 2 Stars, and the Viet Nam Campaign Medal w/Device.

Operation Swift was a military operation that took place in the Vietnam War. The mission, involving forces of the 1st Marine Division, was carried out to rescue two Marine companies which had been previously ambushed by the North Vietnamese Army. Launched on September 4, 1967 the ensuing battles killed 127 Americans and an estimated 600 North Vietnamese.