American Legion Remembers Local Hero of War
In 1949, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Davis of the Logansport, LA area were blessed with a son, Frank Davis, Jr. Frank, Jr. grew up here and attended the Rosenwald School. He liked the outdoors and played basketball and baseball.
After graduation from high school, he realized he would be drafted into the U.S. Army. In early 1969, he was sent to Fort Polk, LA where he underwent basic and advanced infantry training. Upon completion of his training he was shipped to Vietnam. He was assigned to Company D, 5th Bn, 46th Infantry, 198th Brigade, an elite unit. It was spread out in and around Saigon. Frank took up his duties as an infantryman. He was a sharpshooter with his rifle.
By the time Frank arrived in Vietnam, General W. C. Westmoreland had been reassigned as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. Replacing him was General Creighton W. Abrams, hero of World War II. On occasion Frank and his buddies managed sometime to visit Saigon and get some good food and once even managed to call his parents. That call is one of their treasured memories of Frank's service.
Frank told his mother on more than one occasion that "he never dreamed Vietnam would be like it is." Service in an infantry unit was demanding. What Frank was referring to was the harsh physical hardships, stress of combat, fatigue, fear, loss of friends, poor food, rains, and stifling heat.
On October 19, 1969 in a fire fight, Frank was mortally wounded. His body was returned to Logansport, LA for burial. The nation paid him tribute by awarding him a Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal, and Combat Infantry badge. On one of his citations, Frank was praised for his courage, and sacrifice and devotion to duty and country from a grateful nation.
Lt Col Donald Dean David, U.S. Army (Retired)
Submitted by Jimmy Stephens
Brother of PFC Danny Lynn Stephens