Editorial Salute - 7/21/11

Another great American hero has received a long, and I do mean long, over-due military honor.  Retired 165th Air Guard Senior Master-Sergeant, Tom Davis, of Savannah, joined the Army Air Corps at age 17, and was stationed in the Philippines, when Japan's Armed Forces ignited death and destruction throughout the Pacific, including the Philippine invasion, quickly confronting the U.S.-led stronghold on its Bataan Peninsula.

After a gritty, courageous defense, despite the shortage of heavy fire-power,  ammunition, and food, Sergeant Davis, and his remaining brave colleagues, were captured, and forced to endure yet another infamous event, the brutal Bataan Death March.  Somehow surviving that ordeal, plus a dangerous and further-debilitating sea-voyage in the cramped hold of a Japanese cargo ship, Sergeant Davis then spent over 3-years at hard-labor as a prisoner-of-war.  Richly due a medal for his World War II heroics, bureaucratic snafus, meant he never received it.  That is until recently, when, now, 91-year-old Tom Davis received the Bronze Star, pinned-on by Congressman Jack Kingston, in a fitting ceremony here at the 165th Air Guard, presided over by Commanding Officer, Colonel Jesse Simmons.  While this honor is a great one, no doubt his most cherished will be the celebration, this fall, of 70-years of marriage to the love-of-his-life, Rose.

Our congratulations and sincere thanks to Mr. Tom Davis, a true hero, and a terrific example of that proud American tradition of service and sacrifice, cherished traits that have both defined our nation, and preserved our treasured freedom.