Jack Walters was born on June 10, 1939, in Whiteville, North Carolina. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve in February 1961, serving on active duty from March to September 1961, and received an honorable discharge in July 1962. Walters entered the Navy School of Pre-flight on August 15, 1962, and then completed Basic Naval Aviation Observer School, Air Navigation School, Reconnaissance Attack Navigation School, and A-3 Skywarrier and RA-5C Vigilante transition training before joining RVAH-13 at NAS Sanford, Florida, in September 1964. LT Walters deployed on two cruises with RVAH-13 to Southeast Asia between 1965 and 1967, the second cruise aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) from March 1967 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on May 19, 1967. He died from his injuries the next day, on May 20, but his remains were not returned to the United States until March 13, 1974. LCDR Walters is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
His 2nd Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight on 19 May 1967, as a naval flight officer flying in jet aircraft, serving with Reconnaissance Attack Squadron THIRTEEN, embarked in USS KITTY HAWK (CVA-63), during a combat reconnaissance mission over hostile territory in North Vietnam. Lieutenant Commander (then Lieutenant) Walters flew a combat reconnaissance mission to obtain immediate bomb assessment of the Hanoi Thermal Power Plant and the Van Dien Truck Depot in the most heavily defended area of North Vietnam. He courageously entered the objective area despite the severe defensive environment. Over the vital power plant, Lieutenant Commander Walter's aircraft was subjected to antiaircraft fire, surface-to-air missile firings, and enemy fighter aircraft. His gallant actions and loyal devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.