WASHINGTON — The White House announced retired Army Col. Paris Davis will receive the Medal of Honor for his acts of bravery as a commander during the Vietnam War.
President Joe Biden will present the award to Davis during a ceremony at the White House Friday.
Davis commanded American Special Forces as well as an inexperienced South Vietnamese company against a large North Vietnamese force June 17-18, 1965. His tactical leadership allowed the company to gain an advantage and surprise the enemy.
Davis was wounded in the initial assault, but he continued to push forward, killing several enemy soldiers.
Following a counterattack from the North Vietnamese and facing intense gun fire, Davis led a small group of Soldiers as they destroyed locations defended by the enemy.
Davis then regrouped with his company and ordered air strikes on the enemy. The North Vietnamese, however, launched another attack with increased numbers. Davis was again wounded but managed to hold off the enemy.
Noticing two of his Soldiers seriously injured, Davis disregarded his own safety and went to save them. He was shot in the leg as he pulled the first one to safety.
Davis went back to get the second Soldier and drew heavy enemy fire. He crawled 150 yards and was hit by grenade fragments, causing multiple wounds. He didn’t let that stop him and was able to get the Soldier to safety.
After rescuing both men, Davis directed the helicopter extraction of the wounded but refused it for himself. He continued to fight the enemy until his entire company made it out safely. He then remained on the battlefield to coordinate the final aerial and artillery attacks, ensuring victory.
Davis saved the lives of multiple Soldiers during the battle and led his company to victory over a much larger enemy force. He was awarded the Silver Star for heroism.
Now, after nearly six decades, Davis will receive the nation’s highest award for military valor.
By Christopher Hurd, Army News Service
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