William David Davis
Colonel, United States Army
COLONEL WILLIAM DAVID DAVIS
Cadet U.S. Military Academy 1888-92
Second Lieutenant, June 11th, 1892
Served with 17th Infantry Regiment 1892-06
Distinguished Service Cross
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.
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
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,
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