A veteran of the Black Vietnam War has been nominated for the Medal of Honor. He is still waiting 56 years later.

Retired Colonel Paris Davis was one of the first black officers to join the Army’s special forces.His courage and courage brought him the respect of his soldiers Vietnam, And nominated for the best military combat award in the country.

But Davis has never received him Medal of Honor — His file disappeared in Vietnam in 1965, almost 56 years ago.

That year, Washington saw an anti-war protest rage. Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama Civil rights Move.

In Vietnam, then Army Captain Paris Davis broke the barriers on the battlefield.

“Are you one of the first black officers in a green beret?” CBS News senior research correspondent Catherine Herridge asked a veteran.

“Yes, that’s right,” he replied. “It worked because I said,’Hey, you can call me Captain Davis … but don’t call me **** r.'”

“And that happened,” he added.

In June 1965, Davis commanded a nearly 19-hour raid northeast of Saigon.

“We were building up like we were making cans in a grocery store,” Davis recalled.

A grenade and shootout, Davis didn’t leave Americans Billy Waugh and Robert Brown behind. Both were seriously injured — and Brown was shot, Davis said.

“I could actually see his brain pulsing. It was that big,” Davis said. “He said,’Am I dying?’ And I said,” Not in front of me. “

When asked if Davis was told to leave, he replied “twice.”

When he first revealed to local up-and-coming television host Phil Donahue in 1969, Davis told his boss, “Sir, I’m not leaving. There are still Americans.”

“He told me to move. I just didn’t obey orders,” Davis told Donahue. During the 1969 television interview, Davis was on the side of Rondais — now the youngest survivor of the team.

Dace later remembered Davis’s actions of the day on CBS News and was visibly emotional.

“Captain Davis refused and said,’No, I won’t leave while there are men in the field,'” he said.

That year, General William Westmoreland, the leader of the US military in Vietnam, visited Davis’ outpost. His commander, Billy Cole, nominated Davis for the Medal of Honor.

Retired Colonel Paris Davis

CBS News

For some reason, there was no paperwork in Vietnam. In a 1969 military review, “Files about Davis were not revealed.”

Neil Thorne, who volunteers to get the medals back for the overlooked veterans, compared the Medal of Honor nominations collected through the Information Disclosure Act with gold.

What makes Davis’ case stand out is that it was lost, Thorne said.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to under him says he’s the best officer they’ve ever served,” he said.

Mr. Thorn added that the loss or destruction of the Medal of Honor documents was “very rare” and “there would have been multiple copies.”

In 1969, the Army was ordered to submit a new document, “ASAP,” to Davis.

Once again, there is no evidence that the Medal of Honor file has been created.

Billy Waugh, a soldier with Davis on his shoulders for safety, wrote in a 1981 statement: “To vividly remember this person’s bravery, close your eyes.”

Over the years, fellow Davis soldiers have also lobbyed Congress. But every time, the process got stuck.

“I know race was a factor,” Davis said — a factor he experienced during his 23 years in the Army.

He remembered meeting another pilot who rescued him during another mission.

“I saw him in Fort Bragg with his wife and his kids, they saw me. He went to the other side of the street, so we didn’t have to talk “Davis said. “If it were white, he would have gone too far and hugged him. It’s racism.”

In an interview, Davis also said he would forget the color when the soldier was attacked. “When you go into battle and things are happening like that, everyone is your friend and you are everyone’s friend. Bullets have no color or name.”

Asked if the battlefield was an equalizer, Davis replied “always.”

Only 8% of Vietnam’s Medal of Honor winners were black.

As for Davis, there is new momentum for the famous veteran to recognize his case as he approaches his 82nd birthday.

“We are all trying to correct the mistake,” Ron Dace said.

A quick review of Davis’ lost nominations is scheduled for next week. The final call is to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and President Biden.

When asked what it meant to him to praise his service, Davis replied, “It will mean everything I couldn’t dream of.”

A veteran of the Black Vietnam War has been nominated for the Medal of Honor. He is still waiting 56 years later.

Source link A veteran of the Black Vietnam War has been nominated for the Medal of Honor. He is still waiting 56 years later.

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