2020 Hall of Fame Inductee
University of Alabama (1940)
Colonel Charles W. Davis entered the Army following his commissioning as a second lieutenant from the University of Alabama in May 1940 and completing Infantry training at Fort Benning, Georgia. After an initial assignment at Fort Sam Houston, Texas he transferred to the 25th Division in Hawaii where he withstood the Japanese surprise attack Dec. 7, 1941. He deployed to Guadalcanal in November 1942 with the 27th Infantry Regiment (Wolfhounds) of the 25th Infantry Division. In January 1943 while Executive Officer of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Regiment, Davis volunteered to carry instructions to the companies pinned down by machine gun crossfire.
He remained overnight in this exposed position, supervising the execution of the orders. The next morning, seeing only one way to break the stalemate, Davis crawled forward over the open ground with a team of four additional volunteers. When they were discovered within 10 yards of the enemy force, an exchange of grenades ensued. Then Davis stood up, clearly visible against the sky, and charged the machine gun position. His rifle jammed on the first shot, so he drew his pistol and led his small team forward. Galvanized to action by this display of courage and leadership other Soldiers followed and broke Japanese resistance on the objective. Davis was awarded the Medal of Honor for these actions.
Upon his return, Davis attended the Command and General Staff College in 1943 and remained as an instructor. Subsequently he was also an instructor at both the British and US Infantry Schools. Other assignments include the 11th Airborne Division, the U.S. Military Advisory Group Thailand, Third Army, and IV Corps in the Republic of Vietnam. After retirement Colonel Davis served on the White House Commission on Veterans Affairs and as President of the Medal of Honor Society for two terms.
Colonel Davis is a combat veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. His other awards include the Legion of Merit with 2 OLCs, the Bronze Star Medal for valor with OLC, and the Air Medal with 3 OLCs.
About the Army ROTC Hall of Fame
The ROTC Hall of Fame was established in 2016 as part of the ROTC Centennial celebration. The first class (2016) inducted 326 former ROTC Cadets who had distinguished themselves in their military or civilian career.
The Hall of Fame honors graduates of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps who have distinguished themselves in military or civilian pursuits. It provides a prestigious and tangible means of recognizing and honoring Army ROTC Alumni who have made lasting, significant contributions to the Nation, the Army and the history and traditions of the Army ROTC Program.
Read more about all 16 of the 2020 Hall of Fame Inductees.