Shelby  County  Indiana

Davis  Family  Album

          My dad served in WWII as a radar technician aboard Navy PB4Y-2 'Privateer' patrol bombers.  He was assigned to squadron VPB-119 which flew missions out of Clark airfield in the Philippines.
          During the squadron's short wartime deployment (Feb. - Sept., 1945) they lost several planes due to enemy action or unknown causes.  One of the planes that was lost carried a young man from Shelby county; Seaman 1st class  Harold Raymond Davis  of Boggstown, Indiana - serial number 293 12 64.
          For some reason, Davis was not included in the National Archives lists of those killed during the War; he is mistakenly listed among the wounded; you can see his name on the National Archives list of wounded from Indiana (page 29 of their 1946 publication; see ).  Because he was not on the list of those killed or missing, his name fails to show on most memorials honoring those lost during WWII.
          There is a record for Harold R. Davis of Boggstown, IN in the National WWII memorial registry ( see ).  Apparently, the information was submitted by Davis' sister  Mary Helen (Davis) Wilhelm  but, she mistakenly identified him belonging to the Army Air Forces rather that his correct enlistment in the Navy.
          I don't have any photos of  Harold Davis but, I do have copies of the casualty summary and postwar search and recovery reports which identify him. I've attached some copies for your use.
          Davis was lost when Crew #13 of VPB-119, commanded by  Lt (jg) Walter Vogelsang  was shot down over western Hainan Island, China on 19 May 1945.  Davis was flying in place of the crew's usual tail gunner,  R. W. Wilson, because Wilson had been injured on a previous mission.  At the time of their loss, no one knew what happened to them and they were listed as missing in action through the end of the War.  It wasn't until March of 1946 that American Graves registration personnel received information of the location of Crew #13's crash site.  The remains of the crew were recovered and repatriated to the States; they were interred in a common grave at Arlington National Cemetery on 19 November 1947.
          I've been researching the people, planes, and places related to my dad's squadron for several years and it has taken me a long time to stumble onto his sister's entry in the National WWII Registry; I have probably seen it before but, didn't think this was the correct Harold Davis because he was not identified with the Navy.  Once I opened her entry and read that his hometown was Boggstown, Indiana, I was able to locate his name on the National Archives lists.
          Anyway, I wanted to make sure he is correctly recognized and honored for his sacrifice during the War.
          Davis' sister, Mary Helen, just passed away three days ago in Titusville, Florida.  [Email received May 14, 2010.]

Best regards,
Dave Deatherage
Son of  Paul Deatherage, ART 1c, VPB-119, 1944-45

Next Davis Memorial       Picture Index       Main Page