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Fort Belvoir, Virginia. (August 24, 2024): In this photo by Bernardo Fuller, Army Specialist David Lashner, assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, also known as the “old Guard”, unveils the engraved name of Medal of Honor recipient retired Army Colonel Paris D. Davis at the National Museum of the U.S. Army. Col. Davis received our nations’ highest award for his actions while serving with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Vietnam in 1965.

Captain Davis commanded a detachment of the U.S. Army 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) while serving as an advisor to Republic of Vietnam troops. He led these soldiers on their first combat mission, a daring nighttime raid against a superior Viet Cong force. While returning from the successful raid, Captain Davis and his company were ambushed and sustained many casualties.

Constantly exposing himself to enemy fire, Captain Davis rallied his disorganized troops while expertly calling in artillery to within 90 feet of his own position. Although wounded in the leg, he aided in the evacuation of other wounded men of his unit but refused medical evacuation himself.

He then ignored intense enemy fire to rescue a seriously wounded comrade and, while carrying the man to safety, was wounded a second time. Despite these wounds, Captain Davis again refused medical evacuation, remaining with his troops under fire. After repelling several Viet Cong assaults, Captain Davis went on to save a U.S. advisor under his command who had been wounded during the initial ambush and was presumed dead.

For his selfless and courageous acts on that day, Colonel Davis will live forever in our national memory for going above and beyond the call of duty.