John Sanford DavenportPrivate First Class
A CO, 1ST BN, 61ST INF RGT, 5 INF DIV
Army of the United States
31 May 1944 - 28 April 1969
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The database page for John Sanford Davenport
Sometimes you start a journey down a long road and you really don't know what is at the end. You may have clues, but when you finally get to the end, you wished you had not gone at all. Several months ago, a leg of my life's journey started when I was honoring those from my area who had perished in Vietnam. Most of those who had perished I knew, but some I did not. In my journey, I had wondered about those that I had been in the Army with and what had happened to them. I did not know of anyone from my BCT company who perished in Vietnam until several weeks ago until I started inputting names in the casualty data bank. To my horror, I found six names of guys who were with me in the beginning of my Army service, namely basic training. One of those guys was John Sanford Davenport of Cashion, Oklahoma. To be honest, all I remembered was John Davenport of Oklahoma, but there were some aspects that would not let me dismiss this. So I sent out inquiries to Cashion, Oklahoma along with a picture from our BCT book. I got my response today. He was one and the same.
John Davenport was a simple man, he was atypical of someone you would expect to see in the Army, especially someone who had enlisted and had chosen the infantry. It seemed out of place, a non-fit. Choice not Chance, come on John, why didn't you enlist for something else. You could have waited to be drafted and gotten the infantry and only had to serve two years. John and I grew somewhat close as we spent those nine weeks together. After I got out of the service I had gathered my snap shots together and I had selected various pictures to display in a shadow box arrangement. This was a reflection of my Army days. There were selections from BCT, Vietnam and my tour back in the world at Fort Wolters, Texas. These pictures hung in a single frame as a collection of my previous life. In one of the pictures stands four young soldiers who were huddled together with arms around each other and it is the day before basic training is to start. One of the four is me and the guy next to me was John Davenport of Cashion, Oklahoma. That picture has hung in my den for 25 years. I had often looked at it with no real feeling. God is good and life goes on. There was nothing but good attached to that picture.
I had a military obligation and my goal was to get through it, as it was an obstacle I had to get over or around. Get it done, get it over with. After that, it was the beginning of the rest of my life. Sadly for John, that picture in reality was the beginning of the end of his life. That picture will never be a picture of four young soldiers in which all is right with the world and it will always be looked upon with different feelings for me for the rest of my life.
From a Basic Training buddy, D-5-1 Fort Polk, Louisiana,
D-5-1 September 1967 Basic Training at Fort Polk
John Sanford Davenport was my childhood friend. I lived on the next Street over from him when we lived in Midwest City, Oklahoma. We attended Elementary School together. My heart was saddened when I learned of his death. I too enlisted and volunteered for Vietnam service. I wish I had been there for John.
From a friend,
A Note from The Virtual WallCompany A, 1/61st Infantry, lost two men to enemy grenades on 28 April 1969: PFC John S. Davenport and SP4 John C. Davis of Omaha, Nebraska.
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
a Basic Training buddy,
Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762
26 Aug 2004
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/09/2005