George Watson was from Birmingham, Alabama. He was drafted into the Army in September 1942 and assigned to the 2d Battalion, 29th Quartermaster Regiment. His unit was onboard the Dutch Steamer USAT Jacob near Porloch Harbor, New Guinea, on March 8, 1943, when suddenly they came under devastating attack by Japanese bombers. After sustaining several direct hits, the ship had to be abandoned, even as enemy fire continued to rain down. For many of those left floating helplessly in the water, not knowing how to swim or too injured to help themselves, and paralyzed by fear, survival appeared unlikely. It was at that precise moment and under those very harrowing circumstances that Private Watson demonstrated the utmost courage under fire. Forsaking any thought of his own safety, he swam back and forth across that deadly scene, dragging his comrades to the few available life rafts that they might live. "Over and over and over again," as the President made note in his remarks, Private Watson continued saving others, "until he himself was so exhausted, he was pulled down by the tow of the sinking ship.
Since Private Watson has no known next of kin his Medal of Honor resides in the U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum.