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Herman Davis in uniform circa 1918.
January 3, 1888|
January 5, 1923 (aged 35)|
|Years of service||1918 - 1919|
|Unit||113th Infantry Regiment|
Born in Manila, Arkansas, Davis was drafted into the Army in March 1918. On October 10, 1918, he achieved distinction by killing four German machine gunners, using a standard-issue 1903 Springfield with open sights, near Verdun during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The gunners had pinned his platoon down and his actions secured safety to advance for the platoon. In another instance, Davis shot and killed five members of an enemy crew that was setting up a machine gun 1,000 yards away in an area they thought was out of range. of American troops. Being told the distance was too great, he said "Why, that's just a good shootin' distance." His marksmanship was attributed to skill he had developed as a youngster hunting small game in the Big Lake area.
General Pershing named Davis fourth among the 100 greatest heroes of World War I. He received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Croix de guerre with palm, the Croix de Guerre with Gilt Star and the Médaille Militaire awards from the American and French governments. Davis was honorably discharged from the Army on May 29, 1919. After the war, he returned home and died four years later on January 5, 1923 during an operation related to tuberculosis that he possibly contracted from exposure to poison gas during the war.
Herman Davis State Park, in his hometown of Manila, a monument located in the park and a street in Manila honor him. Other streets in Davis' hometown of Manila are named after another military honoree, Admiral George Perry.
- "DAVIS (VETERAN WWI, FAMOUS), HERMAN - Mississippi County, Arkansas | HERMAN DAVIS (VETERAN WWI, FAMOUS) - Arkansas Gravestone Photos". arkansasgravestones.org. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
- Pegler, Martin (June 2017), "The Allies Strike Back: The Genesis of Sniping, Part 5", American Rifleman, 60–63; 63.