DAVIS, SAMMY L.
The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S.
Army, Battery C, 2d Battalion, 4th Artillery, 9th Infantry Division. Place and date:
West of Cai Lay, Republic of Vietnam, 18 November 1967. Entered service at:
Indianapolis, Ind. Born: 1 November 1946, Dayton, Ohio.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life and beyond the
call of duty. Sgt. Davis (then Pfc.) distinguished himself during the early morning hours
while serving as a cannoneer with Battery C, at a remote fire support base. At
approximately 0200 hours, the fire support base was under heavy enemy mortar attack.
Simultaneously, an estimated reinforced Viet Cong battalion launched a fierce ground
assault upon the fire support base. The attacking enemy drove to within 25 meters of the
friendly positions. Only a river separated the Viet Cong from the fire support base.
Detecting a nearby enemy position, Sgt. Davis seized a machinegun and provided covering
fire for his guncrew, as they attempted to bring direct artillery fire on the enemy.
Despite his efforts, an enemy recoilless rifle round scored a direct hit upon the
artillery piece. The resultant blast hurled the guncrew from their weapon and blew Sgt.
Davis into a foxhole. He struggled to his feet and returned to the howitzer, which was
burning furiously. Ignoring repeated warnings to seek cover, Sgt. Davis rammed a shell
into the gun. Disregarding a withering hail of enemy fire directed against his position,
he aimed and fired the howitzer which rolled backward, knocking Sgt. Davis violently to
the ground. Undaunted, he returned to the weapon to fire again when an enemy mortar round
exploded within 20 meters of his position, injuring him painfully. Nevertheless, Sgt.
Davis loaded the artillery piece, aimed and fired. Again he was knocked down by the
recoil. In complete disregard for his safety, Sgt. Davis loaded and fired 3 more shells
into the enemy. Disregarding his extensive injuries and his inability to swim, Sgt. Davis
picked up an air mattress and struck out across the deep river to rescue 3 wounded
comrades on the far side. Upon reaching the 3 wounded men, he stood upright and fired into
the dense vegetation to prevent the Viet Cong from advancing. While the most seriously
wounded soldier was helped across the river, Sgt. Davis protected the 2 remaining
casualties until he could pull them across the river to the fire support base. Though
suffering from painful wounds, he refused medical attention, joining another howitzer crew
which fired at the large Viet Cong force until it broke contact and fled. Sgt. Davis'
extraordinary heroism, at the risk of his life, are in keeping with the highest traditions
of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.