Remember When: The brave Mr. Davis

  • 11/19/2021, 06:00 AM
  • Canton News
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By Mary Jane Boutwell 


Sometimes it does not take much to trigger a memory. Driving home, I saw an ice cream freezer sitting out on a counter. It reminded me of a neighbor and World War II veteran who would show up Sunday afternoon to eat homemade ice cream and tell stories. 


Hubert Davis served in the European Theatre. He actually drove General George Patton and General Eisenhower. One story was Mr. Davis was sitting under a tree reading the Stars and Stripes, the military newsletter, and a German fighter plane kept buzzing him. This disturbed his reading and upset him. Mr. Davis shook his fist and then his rifle. The pilot just grinned and did it again. The next pass Mr. Davis shot the pilot. The plane crashed and all the men went to retrieve anything they could use. Mr. Davis was still mad because the pilots would not quit.  
Another time, the troops were pinned down by artillery fire. The Allies were unable to destroy it, as it was in a roofed bunker. Finally, Mr. Davis got a weapon, got in a Jeep, and drove closer. Three shots: one too high, one too low, and one down the barrel. The Allies moved on. He received a Silver Star. 


Mr. Davis also drove The Red Ball Express hauling supplies. His was the lead truck. When trucks arrived in the yard, the men worked on them to increase power and speed. The standard muffler actually choked the engine. The muffler was replaced with a “yard pipe.” This increased power and noise. 


A new lieutenant arrived to take over. When everyone was lined up, the officer told Mr. Davis he, the lieutenant, would lead. Mr. Davis lined up immediately behind the Jeep. After everything was lined up and moving, he placed his bumper right on the Jeep’s bumper, changing gears and revving the engine up and down, even more than the terrain required. The loud sound and the tall front of the truck were all but in the backseat. After a short distance, the lieutenant motioned the convoy over. He got out, walked back to Mr. Davis, and told him to lead. The lieutenant would follow in case someone had trouble. 


Remember, Mr. Davis was just a boy from a small town in Mississippi, very like many others in our military. 

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mary Jane Boutwell is a passionate historian and is thrilled to share stories about way back when. 


 

 

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