Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole Profiles Sammy L. Davis, MOH - July 11th, 2004
Posted on 07/11/2004 12:01:05 AM PDT by snippy_about_it
are acknowledged, affirmed and commemorated.
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Medal of Honor Recipient, Vietnam
U.S. Army Battery C, 2nd Battalion,
4th Artillery, 9th Infantry Division
By Peter Collier
Sammy Davis took some ribbing in the Army because he shared a name with the famous entertainer. Much later, long after his military days were over, he would again gain some acclaim among his old comrades, this time as the "real" Forrest Gump.
Davis enlisted in the Army directly out of high school in 1965. Volunteering for the artillery because his father had been an artilleryman in World War II, he was assigned to the 4th Artillery. Soon after completing training, he asked to be sent to Vietnam.
Early on November 18, 1967, his unit of eleven guns and forty-two men was helicoptered into an area west of Cai Lay to set up a forward fire-support base-Firebase Cudgel-for American infantrymen operating in the area. Shortly after midnight the next morning, Private First Class Davis's Battery C came under heavy mortar attack. Almost simultaneously, an estimated fifteen hundred Vietcong soldiers launched an intense ground assault, failing to overrun the Americans only because a river separated the two forces.
Davis's squad was operating a 105 mm howitzer that fired eighteen thousand beehive darts in each shell. When he saw how close the enemy had come, Davis took over a machine gun and provided covering fire for his gun crew. But an enemy recoilless rifle round scored a direct hit on the howitzer, knocking the crew from the weapon and blowing Davis sideways into a foxhole. Convinced that the heavily outnumbered Americans couldn't survive the attack, he decided to fire off at least one round from the damaged artillery piece before being overrun.
He struggled to his feet, rammed a shell into the gun, and fired point-blank at the Vietcong who were advancing five deep directly in front of the weapon; the beehive round cut them down. An enemy mortar round exploded nearby, knocking Davis to the ground, but he got up and kept firing the howitzer. When there were no more rounds left, he fired a white phosphorus shell, and then the last round he had- a "propaganda shell" filled with leaflets.
At this point, he heard yelling from the other side of the river and realized that GIs had been cut off there. Despite the fact that he didn't know how to swim, he got in the water and paddled across on an air mattress from the American camp; other GIs followed him. Scrambling up the bank, he found three wounded soldiers, one of them suffering from a head wound that looked fatal.
He gave them all morphine and provided covering fire as another GI helped the most gravely wounded soldier across the river, then pulled the other two through the water on the air mattress to the fire base. He eventually made his way to an American howitzer crew and resumed the fight. Sometime before dawn, he was seriously wounded in the back and buttocks by friendly fire.
While he was in the hospital, Davis heard that he was to be sent home. He petitioned General William Westmoreland to be allowed to stay with his unit. Permission was granted, although Davis was still so hobbled by his wounds that he was taken off the line and made a cook.
On November 19, 1968, exactly one year and one day after the nightlong firefight at Cai Lay, Davis received the Medal of Honor from President Lyndon Johnson. Years later, footage of LBJ putting the medal around Davis's neck appeared in the movie Forrest Gump (with Tom Hanks's head substituted for Davis's), and Gump's fictional Medal of Honor citation was loosely based on Davis's real one.
Morning GailA. Welcome back.
I don't know what's worse, the bug bites or being FR deprived.
Switch the Mayors coffee for Darksheare's cup of doom brew and you'll hit warp 6 or 7.
Good Morning Mayor. One of the best things I like about Oregon is the trees.
Morning Samwise. What? You don't think we could take a joke?
Hey! It's blank today! :-(
That's why Kerry is running for President and Davis isn't, Davis is just a atrocity committing slacker and Kerry is a decorated war hero. < /sarcasm>
Good morning radu. Nice to see your graphic in the Foxhole this morning.
Treat any beast which you control through magic or technology with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken, it will not immediately come after you for revenge.
COFFEE MORE COFFEE!
Yikes. It's always good to come back home isn't it. Otherwise I hope your vacation was restful at least.
Thanks for the Sunday breakfast.
Oh c'mon Samwise, share. LOL.
Good morning alfa6, enjoy your day outside.
Thank you and good morning Mayor.
Good morning feather.
A pic from our Support Our Troops rally yesterday. Rallies have been held ever Saturday since Mar 03 at one of the busiest intersections down here in Modesto. We had a veteran from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines present yesterday. Nice day in the sun.
Good morning Valin.
Good morning Dave, nice flag presentation. Thanks for being out there for us, again. ;-)
The Easton flag, which dates from the War of 1812, displays the stars, stripes, and colors of the official United States flag in a unique configuration.
Easton Public Library, Easton, Pennsylvania
Good morning PE! Oh nice Flag today. Thank You.
So far...but you never know when THEY will strike!
Be nice...try it you might like it...I mean it doesn't work for me but it might for you.
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