Home African Americans Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08) Applauds Medal Of Honor Recipient Col. Paris Davis,...

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08) Applauds Medal Of Honor Recipient Col. Paris Davis, “a barrier-breaking Black officer”

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From Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08)’s office:

Beyer Applauds Medal Of Honor Recipient Col. Paris Davis

March 3, 2023 (Washington, D.C.) – Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) today attended at a ceremony at the White House to cheer on his friend and constituent Colonel Paris Davis as Davis was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Biden.

Davis’ actions (described below) which earned the nation’s highest honor for military valor came in 1965 during his service in the U.S. Army Special Forces in the Vietnam War. Davis, a barrier-breaking Black officer, was previously nominated for the Medal of Honor twice, but the application was “lost” both times. Beyer has long supported Col. Davis as deserving of this honor, and was present to applaud Davis from the front row in today’s White House ceremony.

“Today Colonel Paris Davis finally received the Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest military award for valor, for courageous actions above and beyond the call of duty which saved the lives of his men nearly six decades ago,” said Rep. Beyer. “Colonel Paris Davis is a hero, a fixture in our community, and a great man who I am proud to know and call a friend. I was so proud and thankful to be on hand applauding in the front row as he finally received this long overdue recognition. What a great moment.”

Col. Davis was previously awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart. After retiring from service in 1985 with the rank of Colonel, he went on to publish a newspaper in Northern Virginia.

The text of Colonel Paris Davis’ official Medal of Honor citation follows below.

“The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to Captain Paris D. Davis, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty.

“Captain Paris D. Davis, commander, Detachment A-321, Fifth Special Forces Group Airborne, First Special Forces, distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an advisor to the 883rd Regional Force Company, Army of the Republic of Vietnam, during combat operations against an armed enemy in the vicinity of Bồng Sơn, Republic of Vietnam, on June 17-18, 1965.

“Captain Davis and three other U.S. Special Forces advisers accompanied the Vietnamese 883rd Regional Force Company on its first combat mission: a daring nighttime raid against a Viet Cong regional headquarters housing a superior enemy force. Captain Davis’ advice and leadership allowed the Company to gain the tactical advantage, allowing it to surprise the unsuspecting enemy force, and kill approximately 100 enemy soldiers.

“While returning from the successful raid, the Regional Force Company was ambushed and sustained several casualties. Captain Davis consistently exposed himself to the hostile small arms fire to rally the inexperienced and disorganized Company. He expertly directed both artillery and small arms fire, enabling other elements of his company to reach his position. Although wounded in the leg, he aided in the evacuation of other wounded men in his unit, but refused medical evacuation himself.

“Following the arrival of air support, Captain Davis directed artillery fire within 30 meters of his own position in an attempt to halt the enemy’s advance. Then, with complete disregard for his own life, he braved intense enemy fire to cross an open field to rescue his seriously-wounded and immobilized team sergeant. While carrying the sergeant up a hill to a position of relative safety, Captain Davis was again wounded by enemy fire. Despite two painful wounds, Captain Davis again refused medical evacuation, remained with the troops, fought bravely, and provided pivotal leadership and inspiration to the Regional Force Company as it repelled several Viet Cong assaults on their position over a period of several hours.

“When friendly reinforcements finally arrived, Captain Davis again refused medical evacuation until he had recovered a U.S. adviser under his command who had been wounded during the initial ambush and presumed dead. While personally recovering the wounded soldier, he found him severely wounded but still clinging to life. Captain Davis directed the helicopter extraction of his wounded colleague, not leaving the battlefield himself until after all friendly forces were recovered or medically evacuated.

Captain Davis’ heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty at the risk of his own life are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.”

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