In Memory of CPL Jim Davis ........ 1st Platoon
A "Currahee Brother" who was killed in action (KIA). We invite Currahee Brothers which were friends of his and knew him well to make some comments.
"Thank you brother for a job well done". Until we meet again my friend ..... "Currahee"......"Stands Alone"
James (Jim) Dean Davis... KIA April 1st, 1971 in Quang Tri, RVN ____ Cause: In Action, Friendly Artillery Fire ________ __ ______ Born: August 18, 1950 in Overton, NE ______ Survived By: Mother, Rosella Five Brothers & Five Sisters ________ _____________Vietnam Memorial Wall Coordinates: 04W 099
1st Platoon Members, Jim is standing on the right.
Vietnam Veterans Plans
Malena Ward, Lexington Clipper-Herald Mar 17, 2017
LEXINGTON NEBRASKA — Some of the men who served with Cpl. James D. Davis in Vietnam are traveling to Lexington to honor him and invite the public to join them. A memorial service is planned for noon on April 1. The date coincides with the 46th anniversary of when Davis died. Davis, formerly of Overton and son of Bill and Rosie Davis, was a member of the Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division. “We want the family and friends to know Jimmy is not forgotten,” said Gary Gilliam of St. Louis, who also served in Charlie Company. “We invite family, friends and classmates who would like to pay tribute at the memorial to join us at noon on April 1 at his gravesite.” He said groups such as Veteran of Foreign Wars, American Veterans, American Legion and Patriot Guard are welcome too.
Davis is buried at St. Ann’s Cemetery, located on Road 435, on the eastern outskirts of Lexington. Gilliam is a member of the Charlie Company Memorial Team that travels the U.S. to remember their fallen brothers from Vietnam. “Some of us have traveled 7,000 miles to provide memorial services for men who died in our unit in 1970-71,” he said.
Gilliam said Davis became part of the Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division in October 1970, and became close to those he honorably served. “He was a brave young soldier who died serving the country he loved,” he said. Gilliam said Davis died taking part in the last major battle of Vietnam, Lam Son 719, which spanned from February to April 1971. “With continual daily contact throughout the campaign, Charlie Company fought along with other elements of the 2nd and 506th BN to rescue trapped divisions of the South Vietnamese Army from the clutches of the overwhelming number of enemy combatants of the North Vietnamese Army,” said Gilliam. He said Charlie Company lost five men in this battle. Davis and his fallen brothers were among the 219 Americans who died in the 45 day battle.
Gilliam said the story of the Charlie Company and their strong bond of brotherhood began in the mountainous region in the northernmost province of South Vietnam in 1970 and was rekindled about 12 years ago. In 2005, 35-years after serving in Charlie Company, one of the men received a phone call from his commanding officer from Vietnam, Captain Bob Seitz, asking him to come to Washington D.C. on Memorial Day to lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery for their fallen brothers. Since that time over 100 men who served in Charlie Company during the period of 1970 to 1971 have been located. Annual reunions began in 2007 and continue today.
In September 2015, five Charlie Company men journeyed to Augusta, Ga. to visit the gravesite of Sergeant First Class Domenic Smigliani, who was the platoon leader and a father figure to the men of Charlie Company 2nd Platoon. Smigliani died July 27, 1971 and this was the first time anyone from the unit had visited his gravesite. “We should have done this all along,” Gilliam said was the sentiment at the gathering, along with a commitment to visit more graves. That desire was shared with more members of the Charlie Company and a memorial team was formed.
So far, the Charlie Company Memorial Team has visited 15 of the 25 gravesites of fallen brothers. Gilliam said they don’t know ahead of time how they will be received, but past experiences have been both positive and healing. “We don’t share the hurt and pain part of it, but we do share the bravery,” said Gilliam. Regarding Davis, he said they will talk about his “dedication and tenacity to hold off the enemy.” Gilliam said there are 14 men who have committed to be in Lexington, the Charlie Company Memorial Team’s largest group to date. They will come from Connecticut, Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and Wyoming. Gilliam said they never know who will show up, but they try to invite family members and alert the public ahead of time.
Charlie Company honors fallen Vietnam Brother
Kevin Zelaya, Lexington Clipper-Herald Apr 4, 2017
LEXINGTON NEBRASKA, APRIL 1th, 2017 — Forty-six years later, on the exact date when Corporal James D. Davis died, his comrades were at his graveside to honor him. Davis, a member of Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division — was killed on April 1, 1971, during Lam Son 719, the last major battle of Vietnam. On Saturday, 13 veterans from Charlie Company gathered at St. Ann’s Cemetery in Lexington to honor the life of Davis, known simply to many as Jimmy. These brothers in arms came from as far away as Connecticut, Tennessee and Ohio. They were joined by a group numbering 100, which included members of Davis’ family, some who knew him in life and some who had never had the chance to meet him. William Davis, an older brother of Davis, who served 27 years in the U.S. Army and achieved the rank of colonel, said his brother was a normal, everyday young man. William Davis said the family had 11 children and the siblings would often play around the farm together, often getting into trouble, and out in the country until it was time for supper.
Lt. Ken Pitetti said Davis was killed while manning a foxhole when a 155 millimeter howitzer struck him, as he was holding his position fighting alongside his brothers in Charlie Company. According to Frank Matsko, another member of Charlie Company, during a 45-day period, which spanned from February to April 1971, Charlie Company lost five men, including Davis, with a total of 219 Americans killed at that time. Matsko said although Davis “could be a quiet young man, he had a sense of humor.”
“It’s for Jimmy. It’s for us also. It brings a lot of closure for us,” said Tom Weides, with Charlie Company, about holding the memorial for Davis. Weides noted that in Vietnam, when soldiers were fighting in mountains and jungle, when a guy was lost they had to keep fighting and a memorial came later when back at camp. The historical significance of each act done to honor Davis was shared at the memorial: such as the story of Taps, why veterans place a coin on the grave of a fallen comrade and the significance of the battlefield cross. In addition to sharing information about who Jimmy was as a person, family members were given items to remember Jimmy and his service such as an American flag, a Unit Guidon flag and a specially made Memorial Plaque.
The 13 members of Charlie Company who attended the memorial were Dave Simons, Connecticut; Ronny Middlebrook, Tennessee; Bob Lister, Ohio; Frank Matsko and Bob von Almen, Illinois; Rolland Christiansen, Glenn Green and Gary Gilliam, Missouri; Glenn Shuman, Oklahoma; Ken Pitetti, Kansas; Jim Harris; Wyoming and Leigh Freeman and Tom Weides, Nebraska. Not able to be present were Jerome Minihan of Arkansas, who had planned to attend, and Phillip Pireira, Davis’ best friend in Vietnam who now lives in Australia.
Gary Gilliam talked about why, 46 years after his death, it was important to remember Davis. “It’s been a long time coming. When we left Vietnam we got medals, were told we served honorably and we flew home to find the nation in chaos. The nation didn’t share our sentiment,” Gilliam said.
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