DONALD V DAVIS
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HONORED ON PANEL 23E, LINE 118 OF THE WALL

DONALD VANCE DAVIS

WALL NAME

DONALD V DAVIS

PANEL / LINE

23E/118

DATE OF BIRTH

10/08/1934

CASUALTY PROVINCE

NZ

DATE OF CASUALTY

07/25/1967

HOME OF RECORD

SALISBURY

COUNTY OF RECORD

Rowan County

STATE

NC

BRANCH OF SERVICE

NAVY

RANK

LCDR

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Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR DONALD VANCE DAVIS
POSTED ON 6.25.2008
POSTED BY: CLAY MARSTON

IN REMEMBRANCE OF A FINE YOUNG UNITED STATES NAVAL FLIGHT OFFICER WHOSE NAME SHALL LIVE FOREVER MORE


LIEUTENANT COMMANDER

DONALD VANCE DAVIS

remains returned 1997
identified 04/01/1998

Name:
DONALD VANCE DAVIS
Rank/Branch:
O4/US Navy
Unit:
Attack Squadron 163
USS ORISKANY ( CVA - 34 )
Date of Birth:
08 November 1934
Home City of Record:
Salisbury NC
Date of Loss:
25 July 1967
Country of Loss:
North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates:
181259N 1055500E (WF828272)
Status (in 1973):
Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground:
A4E SKYHAWK

Other Personnel in Incident:

(none missing)


SYNOPSIS:

The USS ORISKANY (CVA-34) was a World War II-era carrier on duty in Vietnam as early as 1964.

The USS ORISKANY at one time carried the RF8A ( number 144608 ) that then - Major JOHN HERSCHEL GLENN, the later to be famous Marine Corps astronaut and even later United States Senator, flew in his 1957 transcontinental flight.

In October, 1966 the USS ORISKANY endured a tragic fire which killed 44 men onboard, but was soon back on station.

In 1972, the USS ORISKANY had an at-sea accident which resulted in the loss of one of its aircraft elevators, and later lost a screw that put the carrier into drydock in Yokosuka, Japan for major repairs, thus delaying its involvement until the late months of the war.

The USS ORISKANY's 1966 tour was undoubtedly one of the most tragic deployments of the Vietnam conflict.

This cruise saw eight VA 164 " GHOSTRIDERS " lost; four in the onboard fire, one in an aerial refueling mishap, and another three in the operational arena.

However, the 1967 deployment, which began in June and ended on a chilly January morning as the USS ORISKANY anchored in San Francisco Bay, earned near legendary status by virtue of extensive losses suffered in the ship's squadrons, including among the GHOSTRIDERS of VA 164, and SAINTS of VA 163.

One reason may have been that Navy aviators were, at this time, still forbidden to strike surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites which were increasing in number in North Vietnam.

On 18 July 1967, the aircraft flown by Lieutenant Commander RICHARD DANNER HARTMAN fell victim to anti-aircraft fire near Phu Ly in Nam Ha Province, North Vietnam.

Hartman, from VA 164, ejected safely, but could not be rescued due to the hostile threat in the area.

Others in the flight were in radio contact with him and resupplied him for about three days.

He was on a karst hill in a difficult recovery area.

Eventually the North Vietnamese moved in a lot of troops and AAA guns, making rescue almost impossible.

One of the rescue helicopters attempting to recover LCDR Hartman on 19 June was a SH3A SIKORSKY SEA KING helicopter flown by Navy Lieutenant DENNIS WILLIAM PETERSON.

The crew onboard the helicopter included Ensign DONALD PATRICK FRYE and AX2 WILLIAM BRAXTON JACKSON and AX2 DONALD PAUL McGRANE.

While attempting to rescue LCDR Hartman, this aircraft was hit by enemy fire and crashed killing all onboard.

The remains of all but the pilot, Peterson, were returned by the Vietnamese on 14 October 1982.

The remains of Lieutenent Peterson are still missing.

The decision was made to leave Hartman before more men were killed trying to rescue him.

It was not an easy decision, and one squadron mate said, " To this day, I can remember his voice pleading, ' Please don't leave me.' We had to, and it was a heart breaker."

Hartman was captured and news returned home that he was in a POW camp.

However, he was not released in 1973.

The Vietnamese finally returned his remains on 5 March 1974.

Hartman had died in captivity from unknown causes.

In July 1967, Lieutenant Commander DONALD VANCE DAVIS was one of the SAINTS of VA 163 onboard the USS ORISKANY, and he was an aggressive pilot.

On the night of 25 July 1967, Davis was assigned a mission over North Vietnam.

The procedure for these night attacks was to drop flares over a suspected target, then fly beneath them to attack the target in the light of the flares.

Davis and another pilot were conducting the mission about 10 miles south of Ha Tinh when Davis radioed that he had spotted a couple of trucks.

He dropped the flares and went in.

On his strafing run, he drove his A4E SKYHAWK straight into the ground and was killed immediately.

Davis is listed among the missing because his remains were never recovered.

Lieutenant JG RALPH CAMPION BISZ was also assigned to Attack Squadron 163.

On 4 August 1967, Bisz launched on a strike mission against a petroleum storage area near Haiphong.

Approximately a minute and a half from the target area, four surface-to-air missiles (SAM) were observed lifting from the area northeast of Haiphong.

The flight maneuvered to avoid the SAMs, however, Bisz' aircraft was observed as it was hit by a SAM by a wingman.

Bisz' aircraft exploded, burst into flames, and spun downward in a large ball of fire.

Remnants of the aircraft were observed falling down in the large ball of fire until reaching an altitude estimated to be 5,000 feet and then appeared to almost completely burn out prior to reaching the ground.

No parachute or ejection was observed.

No emergency beeper or voice communications were received.

His aircraft went down in a heavily populated area in Hai Duong Province, Vietnam.

Information from an indigenous source which closely parallels his incident indicated that his remains were recovered from the wreckage and taken to Hanoi for burial.

The U.S. Government listed Ralph Bisz as a Prisoner of War with certain knowledge that the Vietnamese know his fate.

Bisz was placed in a casualty status of Captured on 4 August 1967.

The Navy now says that the possibility of Bisz ejecting was slim.

If he had ejected, his capture would have taken place in a matter of seconds due to the heavy population concentration in the area and that due to the lack of additional information it is believed that Bisz did not eject from his aircraft and that he was killed on impact of the SAM.

Classified information on Bisz' case was presented to the Vietnamese by General JOHN VESSEY in the fall of 1987 in hopes that the Vietnamese would be able to resolve the mystery of Bisz' fate.

His case is one of what are called "discrepancy" cases, which should be readily resolved.

The Vietnamese have not been forthcoming with information on Ralph Bisz.

On 31 August, three pilots from the USS ORISKANY were shot down on a particularly wild raid over Haiphong.

The Air Wing had been conducting strikes on Haiphong for two consecutive days.

On this, the third day, ten aircraft launched in three flights; four from VA 164 ( call sign GHOSTRIDER ),
four from VA 163 ( call sign OLD SALT ) and two from VA 163 ( call sign SAINTS ).

As the flight turned to go into Haiphong, one of the section leaders spotted two SAMs lifting off from north of Haiphong.

They were headed towards the SAINTS section leader and the GHOSTRIDERS section leader, Lieutenant Commander RICHARD CLARK PERRY.

The SAINTS section leader and his wingman pitched up and to the right, while Old Salt 3, Lieutenant Commander HUGH ALLEN STAFFORD, turned down, his wingman, Lieutenant JG DAVID JAY CAREY close behind him.

Carey, an Air Force Academy graduate, was on his first operational mission.

The missile detonated right in front of them and aircraft pieces went everywhere.

The other SAM headed towards Perry's section, and he had frozen in the cockpit.

All three planes in the division pulled away, while he continued straight and level.

His helpless flightmates watched as the missile came right up and hit the aircraft.

The aircraft was generally whole and heading for open water.

Old Salt Three and Old Salt Four, Stafford and Carey, had by that time ejected from their ruined planes and were heading towards the ground.

Both were okay, but Stafford had landed in a tree near a village, making rescue impossible.

Stafford and Carey were captured and held in various prisoner of war camps until their release in Operation Homecoming on 14 March 1973.

Richard Perry had also ejected and was over open water.

But as Perry entered the water, his parachute went flat and he did not come up.

A helicopter was on scene within minutes, and a crewman went into the water after Perry.

He had suffered massive chest wounds, either in the aircraft or during descent in his parachute and was dead.

To recover his body was too dangerous because the North Vietnamese were mortaring the helicopter.

The helicopter left the area.

Richard Perry's remains were recovered by the Vietnamese and held until February 1987, at which time they were returned to U.S. control.

Flight members were outraged that they had lost three pilots to SAMs that they were forbidden to attack.

Policy was soon changed to allow the pilots to strike the sites, although never to the extent that they were disabled
completely.

On 7 October 1967, VA 164 pilot Lieutenant DAVID LAWTON HODGES was killed when his A4E SKYHAWK was hit by a SAM about twelve miles southwest of Hanoi.

His remains were never recovered and he is listed among those Missing In Action in Vietnam.

On 18 October 1967, VA 164 pilot Lieutenant Commander JOHN FREDERICK BARR was killed when his A4E SKYHAWK was hit by enemy fire and slammed into the ground while on a strike mission at Haiphong. His remains were not recovered.

On 2 November 1967, VA 164 pilot Lieutenant JG FREDERIC WOODROW KNAPP launched as the lead of a flight of two aircraft on an armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam.

The wingman reported that during an attack run, the aircraft appeared to have been hit by anti-aircraft fire.

The wingman saw Knapp's aircraft impact the ground and did not see the canopy separate from the aircraft.

There was no parachute sighted or emergency radio beeper heard.

The aircraft crashed about 9 kilometers west-southwest of Cho Giat, near route 116, in Nghe An Province.

A source later reported that people from his village had removed the remains of a dead pilot from his aircraft and buried the remains nearby.

These remains are believed to be those of Knapp.

On 14 October 1982, Vietnamese officials turned over to U.S. authorities a Geneva Convention card belonging to Lieutenant JG Knapp.

To date, no remains have been repatriated.

Six of the thirteen pilots and crewmen lost in 1967 off the deck of the USS ORISKANY remain listed as a prisoner, missing, or otherwise unaccounted for in Vietnam.

Disturbing testimony was given to Congress in 1980 that the Vietnamese "stockpiled" the remains of Americans to return at politically advantageous times.

Could any of these six be in a casket, awaiting just such a moment ?




20 January 1999



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POSTED ON 5.11.2008
POSTED BY: Dave Crouse, LCdr, USN, (Ret.)

My Best Man & Very Best Friend

Don and I "grew up" together in the Naval Aviation Cadet Program. Don and I were pretty much inseperable until we went out different ways in Naval Aviation, me to Multi-Engine and Don to Jets. Our paths only crossed on rare occasions, but I have not nor will I ever foget him. He was and alwys will be MY BEST FRIEND.
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POSTED ON 5.6.2003
POSTED BY: Donald Lytle

Thank you Sir

Although we never met personally, I want to thank you Donald Vance Davis, for your courageous and valiant service, many years of faithfully contributing, and most holy sacrifice, given to this great country of ours!

Your Spirit is alive--and strong, therefore, you shall never be forgotten, nor has your death been in vain!

Again, thank you LCDR Davis, for a job well done!

FAIR WINDS, AND ETERNAL PEACE MY FRIEND


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POSTED ON 6.2.2002
POSTED BY: Michael Robert Patterson

In Honored Remembrance Of Commander Davis

In 1998, Commander Davis' remains were identified and returned home for burial with full military honors in Arlington National Cemtetery.

Rest in Peace, Brave Warrior.

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.com/dvdavis.htm
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POSTED ON 5.8.1999
POSTED BY: CLAY MARSTON

A PERSONAL REQUEST FROM HIS SISTER

AFTER 31 YEARS MY BROTHER'S REMAINS

WERE RETURNED AND BURIED AT

ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

ON 19 MAY 1998.

IF YOU WORE A POW / MIA BRACELET

WITH HIS NAME ON IT OR HAD A

LICENSE TAG FOR HIM

I WOULD LIKE TO WRITE YOU A NOTE.

THANK YOU

CAROLYN DAVIS
P.O. BOX 5609
PINEHURST
NORTH CAROLINA
28374
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