Crew of USS Rodney M. Davis honors namesake Medal of Honor recipient

Sgt. Rodney M. Davis, Medal of Honor recipient


By THE MACON (GA.) TELEGRAPH (MCT) Published: September 16, 2014

The crew of the USS Rodney M. Davis paid tribute to its namesake earlier this month, marking the 47th anniversary of his death.

Davis, a Macon, Ga., native, was killed during the Vietnam War in 1967. During a “search and clear” mission that September, Davis’ unit was attacked by North Vietnamese forces. When an enemy grenade landed in a trench, he threw himself on the grenade, sacrificing his life for his fellow Marines.

Davis, 25, was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration, two years later. He is Macon’s only Medal of Honor recipient. The posthumous award cited his “extraordinary initiative and inspiring valor.”

The crew of the guided missile frigate held a ceremony Sept. 8 to pay tribute to Davis, according to a release from the Navy.

Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Brandon Sullivan opened the ceremony with a description of Davis’ military service. Personnel Specialist 1st Class Bobby Boyles explained the meaning of the ship’s crest and motto, “By valor and arms.” The crest features a heraldic pelican wounding her breast to feed her young, symbolizing Davis’ heroism.

“We should feel pride and honor every time we wear our ship’s ball cap or walk across our mess decks and see his uniform and the awards he received,” Boyles said.

The ship’s executive officer, Cmdr. Shockey Snyder, told the crew: “The best way that we can honor the memory of Sgt. Davis is to be out here, operating forward in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility, conducting the nation’s business on the warship that bears his name.”

The ship, based out of Everett, Wash., is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.