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Sammy Lee Davis

Date of birth: November 1, 1946
Date of death: Still Living
Place of Birth: Ohio, Dayton
Home of record: Indianapolis Indiana

Sammy Davis joined the Illinois National Guard after earning the Medal of Honor on active duty.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Medal of Honor

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Sergeant [then Private First Class] Sammy Lee Davis, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 2d Battalion, 4th Artillery, 9th Infantry Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Firebase Cudgil, Cai Lay, Republic of Vietnam, on 18 November 1967. Sergeant Davis distinguished himself during the early morning hours while serving as a Cannoneer with Battery C, at the remote fire support base. At approximately 0200 hours, the fire support base was under heavy enemy mortar attack. Simultaneously, an estimated reinforced Viet Cong battalion launched a fierce ground assault upon the fire support base. The attacking enemy drove to within 25 meters of the friendly positions. Only a river separated the Viet Cong from the fire support base. Detecting a nearby enemy position, Sergeant Davis seized a machinegun and provided covering fire for his guncrew, as they attempted to bring direct artillery fire on the enemy. Despite his efforts, an enemy recoilless rifle round scored a direct hit upon the artillery piece. The resultant blast hurled the guncrew from their weapon and blew Sergeant Davis into a foxhole. He struggled to his feet and returned to the howitzer, which was burning furiously. Ignoring repeated warnings to seek cover, Sergeant Davis rammed a shell into the gun. Disregarding a withering hail of enemy fire directed against his position, he aimed and fired the howitzer which rolled backward, knocking Sergeant Davis violently to the ground. Undaunted, he returned to the weapon to fire again when an enemy mortar round exploded within 20 meters of his position, injuring him painfully. Nevertheless, Sergeant Davis loaded the artillery piece, aimed and fired. Again he was knocked down by the recoil. In complete disregard for his safety, Sergeant Davis loaded and fired three more shells into the enemy. Disregarding his extensive injuries and his inability to swim, Sergeant Davis picked up an air mattress and struck out across the deep river to rescue three wounded comrades on the far side. Upon reaching the three wounded men, he stood upright and fired into the dense vegetation to prevent the Viet Cong from advancing. While the most seriously wounded soldier was helped across the river, Sergeant Davis protected the two remaining casualties until he could pull them across the river to the fire support base. Though suffering from painful wounds, he refused medical attention, joining another howitzer crew which fired at the large Viet Cong force until it broke contact and fled. Sergeant Davis' extraordinary heroism, at the risk of his life, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 75 (December 10, 1968)

Action Date: 18-Nov-67

Service: Army

Rank: Sergeant

Company: Battery C

Battalion: 2d Battalion

Regiment: 4th Artillery

Division: 9th Infantry Division