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William David Davis
Colonel, United States Army
Michigan State Flag
Courtesy of Michael T. Stein:

COLONEL WILLIAM DAVID DAVIS
 Born March 11, 1869
Died November 1, 1918

Cadet U.S. Military Academy 1888-92
Graduated as No. 3505, Class of 1892

Second Lieutenant, June 11th, 1892
First Lieutenant, April 26, 1898
Captain, February 2, 1901
Major, March 26, 1915
Lieutenant Colonel, May 15, 1917
Colonel (National Army), August 5, 1917

Served with 17th Infantry Regiment 1892-06
Regimental Commissary 1900-04
Served at Zanboanga, Mindanao. Philippines, 1901-02
Served at Vancouver Barracks 1902-03
Served at Cattabato, Mindanao, Philippines, 1903-04
Regimental Quartermaster 1904-06
Served at Fort McPherson 1905-06
Construction Quartermaster, Fort Snelling 1906-07
Construction Quartermaster, Fort MacKenzie 1907-08
Construction Quartermaster, Fort Leavenworth 1908-10
Served with 5th Infantry Regiment 1910-15
Company Commander, 5th Infantry Regiment 1910-11
Regimental Quartermaster 1911-12
Student, Army Service School 1912
Company Commander 1912-14
Student, Army Service School 1915-17
Served with ROTC duties, Western Department 1917
Commanding Officer, 361st Infantry Regiment 1917-18
Killed in Action November 1st, 1918 (10 days before Armistice).

Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Medal


William David Davis of Michigan
Appointed from Missouri, Cadet, United States Military Academy, 16 June 1888 (56) Second Lieuenant, 17th United States Infantry, 11 June 1892
First Lieutenant, 26 April 1898
Captain,  2 February 1901
Initially referred to as 'Camp Gatun,' Fort Davis is located on Gatun Lake near the Gatun Locks at the Atlantic entrance to the Canal.  Officially established on December 22, 1919, the reservation was named by General order in honor of Colonel William D. Davis, 361st Infantry.

Colonel Davis served in the Panama Canal Zone "in maneuvers and survey work, which formed the practical bases for defense."49  He died in action in France on November 1, 1918, one month prior to being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for "extraordinary heroism in action near Gespes, France.


December 4, 1918 - Colonel William D. Davis, one of two regimental commanders of the Regular Army reported dead in today's casualty list, was a graduate of West Point in the class of 1892 and a veteran of the Cuban and Philippine campaigns.  At San Juan Hill in 1898 he fought with the 17th Infantry.  He was 50 years of age and a native of Michigan.  He was leading his regiment when killed.
Michael,

My name is Christopher Sims. I am assigned as the Cemetery Associate to the Flanders Field American Cemetery in Waregem, Belgium. This is the cemetery where Colonel Davis would have been interred if his remains had remained in Europe.

While surfing the Arlington cemetery website I came across your input on Colonel Davis.

Only just recently I was made aware that Fort Davis was named in his honor.

The reason for me contacting you is twofold.

1. Is there a photograph available of Colonel Davis ?
2. In the narrative you mention the date of death and that he died in action in France. Actually I have a document reproduced by the National Archives that states the following.
It is a message written in pencil dated 1 November 1918:

From Regetta R.I.O ( = HQ 361 ) to G2 Raccoon.

"Our lines will hold tonight as shown on  sketch. Approaches to town guarded by Machine Gun Company. Colonel Davis killed in Mooreghem ( now spelled Moregem ) at 15.30 o'clock by high explosive"

(Classification of this message was cancelled on 4 March 1947)

The Flanders Field American cemetery is situated on the outskirts of the town of Waregem. From the cemetery going in the direction of Audenaerde (now spelled Oudenaarde ) the first village is Wortegem-Petegem followed by the village of Moregem which is about 6-7 km from the cemetery. So actually Colonel Davis was killed in Belgium.

The typed message Nr: 7864/3 dated 1 November, 16.45 hrs sent from P.C. Johnston to PC Massenet at Iseghem ( now spelled Izegem ) received at 18.00 hrs reads:

" No report yet of condition bridges. Officer of Engineers sent forward at seventeen o'clock to get accurate report. Before receipt message had ordered one company infantry and some machine guns to guard from west bank ESCAUT any bridge not destroyed. Prisoner, apparently trustworthy, reports bridges over Escaut mined. When condition bridges learned shall make preparation to cross in night and comply with orders. Believe it impracticable to take Fort Kezel by direct assualt from front. Our lines along line of observation under artillery fire of intensity. Colonel Davis and Captain Hughes, 361st Infantry, killed by shrapnel at sixteen thirty near Mooreghem."  JOHNSTON

Althought there is a discrepancy on the actual time of death, it does confirm that Colonel Davis actually was killed in Belgium.

Hoping to have been of assistance and awaiting your reply I remain,

Repectfully,  Chris



DAVIS, WILLIAM D
COL 361 INF 91 DIV WW
VETERAN SERVICE DATES: Unknown
DATE OF DEATH: 11/01/1918
DATE OF INTERMENT: 04/13/1921
BURIED AT: SECTION SW SU  SITE 2290
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

DAVIS, FRANK GREENE
COL USA
SON OF WD DAVIS, COL, USA
VETERAN SERVICE DATES: Unknown
DATE OF BIRTH: 08/31/1897
DATE OF DEATH: 03/29/1967
DATE OF INTERMENT: 04/04/1967
BURIED AT: SECTION 3  SITE 2291
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY


Posted: 20 July 2002  Updated: 25 July 2002 Updated: 4 March 2003 Updated: 15 November 2003 Updated: 19 September 2004 
Updated: 23 September 2004 Updated: 20 April 2007
US Military Academy (West Point) SEAL
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Distinguished Service Cross
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Distinguished Service Medal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Purple Heart Medal