Sammy L. Davis


Sammy Davis – a man whose bravery beyond the call of duty in the Vietnam War made him a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient—is honored today. He is one of 91 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients alive.

Sammy grew up in French Camp, where he fondly remembers playing in canals during the summer to cool off. At Manteca High, he played left tackle on the Buffaloes football team and was on the dive team. It was also at Manteca High where he was influenced by several teachers, including Bill Forbes. “He (Forbes) taught me to stand up for what I thought was right in my heart,” Davis said during an interview three years ago.

Sammy attended Manteca High through his junior year. After that, his family moved to Indiana. He enlisted in the Army in Indianapolis. Sammy’s decision to enlist in the military at the height of the Vietnam War was a no-brainer for him. “It was my time to serve,” Davis recalled.

The defining moment of Sammy’s life took place nearly 43 years ago on November 18, 1967, west of Cai Lay in the Republic of Vietnam. Davis was a 21-year-old Sergeant with the U.S. Army, Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 4th Artillery, 9th Infantry Division.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action, at the risk of his life and beyond the call of duty, Sgt. Davis (then PFC) distinguished himself during the early morning hours while serving as a cannoneer with Battery C at a remote fire support base.