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First Name: Charles

Last Name: Davis

Birthplace: Gordo, AL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Montgomery, AL
Middle Name: Willis

Date of Birth: 27 February 1917

Date of Death: 18 January 1991

Rank: Colonel

Years Served:
Charles Willis Davis

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Charles Willis Davis
Colonel, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Colonel Charles Willis Davis (27 February 1917 - 18 January 1991) was a U.S. Army officer and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during World War II.

Charles Willis Davis was born on 27 February 1917 in Gordo, AL. He joined the Army from Montgomery, AL. On 12 January 1943, he was serving as a Captain in the 25th Infantry Division. On that day on the island of Guadalcanal, he volunteered to carry messages to several companies which were pinned down by Japanese fire. He stayed with the companies overnight and on the next day personally led a successful attack against a Japanese-held hill. He was subsequently promoted to Major and on 17 July 1943, was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army, 25th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Guadalcanal Island, 12 January 1943.

Citation: For distinguishing himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy on Guadalcanal Island. On 12 January 1943, Maj. Davis (then Capt.), executive officer of an infantry battalion, volunteered to carry instructions to the leading companies of his battalion which had been caught in crossfire from Japanese machineguns. With complete disregard for his own safety, he made his way to the trapped units, delivered the instructions, supervised their execution, and remained overnight in this exposed position. On the following day, Maj. Davis again volunteered to lead an assault on the Japanese position which was holding up the advance. When his rifle jammed at its first shot, he drew his pistol and, waving his men on, led the assault over the top of the hill. Electrified by this action, another body of soldiers followed and seized the hill. The capture of this position broke Japanese resistance and the battalion was then able to proceed and secure the corps objective. The courage and leadership displayed by Maj. Davis inspired the entire battalion and unquestionably led to the success of its attack.

Davis reached the rank of Colonel and served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars before leaving the Army.

Death and Burial

Colonel Charles Willis Davis died on 18 January 1991 at age 73. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, Section 7A, Lot 170, Map Grid-U 23.5.

Honoree ID: 1359   Created by: MHOH




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