SGT SAMMY L. DAVIS
Co C, 2nd Bn, 4th Artillery, 9th ID
Cai Lay, RVN
18 November 1967
It was in the early hours that Sgt. (then Pfc) Davis distinguished while serving as a cannoneer at a remote fire support base.
At approximately 0200 hours, the fire base came under heavy enemy mortar attack while a Battalion sized force of Viet Cong launched a fierce ground attack.
Enemy infantry was within 25 meters of overrunning American positions, only a river separated the numerically superior VC from the American Artillery detachment.
When Davis spotted an enemy position, he grabbed an unmanned M-60 Machinegun and laid down covering fire to protect his gun crew.
An enemy recoilless rifle scored a direct hit on Davis’ gun blasting his crew from their positions and burying Davis in a foxhole.
Sgt Davis managed to get his ducks all marching in a line and rushed back to his position at his howitzer, which was engulfed in flames.
Despite repeated warnings to seek cover, Sgt. Davis rammed an over charged round into the gun’s breach, aimed the big cannon like a shotgun and pulled the lanyard blasting the enemy and sending the artillery piece backward taking Davis with it and throwing him violently to the ground.
Undaunted, he took his position at his gun just before it was again hit by an enemy mortar round.
Wounded and bleeding profusely, Davis reloaded his gun and brought it to bear on the advancing
Again he was thrown to the ground by the recoil.
In complete disregard for all but protecting his men from the advancing enemy, Sgt. Davis loaded and fired 3 more rounds at point blank range into the attackers.
Showing no concern for his own extensive wounds, or the fact he COULD NOT SWIM…
Sgt Davis put his hands on a blow up sleeping mattress and struck out across the deep river to rescue the 3 wounded Americans on the other side. (Did I mention that Davis Couldn’t Swim or that he was badly wounded?)
When he got to the wounded men, he raised to his feet and put suppressing fire into the dense vegetation to prevent the Viet Cong from advancing as he recovered the most seriously wounded soldier back across the river.
Sgt. Davis went back across the water and protected the 2 remaining casualties until he could pull them across the river to safety.
Once the three wounded Americans were safe, although Davis was suffering from painful wounds, he refused medical attention, joined another howitzer crew and continued in the fight until the VC broke contact and fled.