The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 10, March 5, 2023, Article 26


At a White House ceremony this week, Retired Army Col. Paris Davis received the Medal of Honor. -Editor


President Joe Biden on Friday awarded the Medal of Honor to retired Army Col. Paris D. Davis for what the White House called "conspicuous gallantry" during combat operations in the Vietnam War — a recognition that comes almost 60 years after the actions that earned him the nation's highest military award for valor.

Davis, who was a captain at the time, "distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty" while he was a commander of a special forces group during combat with the enemy over two days in June of 1965, the White House said in a description of Davis' heroic actions.

Over the course of 20 hours, Davis "had saved each one of his fellow Americans — every single one," Biden said at the White House ceremony, attended by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough.

"Paris, you are everything this medal means," Biden said. "You're everything our generation aspired to be. You're everything our nation is at our best — brave and big-hearted, determined and devoted, selfless and steadfast, American."

Biden described in detail how Davis went to great lengths to rescue his fellow Americans in Vietnam, which involved multiple failed attempts to reach them while under enemy fire and him being wounded several times.

The two-day ordeal began in Bong Son, Vietnam, where Davis was commanding an "inexperienced South Vietnamese" force and learned that a "vastly superior North Vietnamese enemy force" was in the area. "Through surprise and leadership, he gained the tactical advantage, personally engaging and killing several enemy soldiers," during which he was wounded and then entered into hand-to-hand combat, the White House said in a release.

To read the complete article, see:
Biden awards Medal of Honor to Black Vietnam War veteran who rescued fellow Americans (

  Captain Paris Davis in Vietnam in 1965
Captain Paris Davis in Vietnam in 1965.

The Army says Col. Davis is now one of four service members to receive both the Medal of Honor and the Soldier's Medal, an award given for an act of heroism that doesn't involve enemy conflict. He received the Soldier's Medal after saving the life of a soldier in Vietnam who was stuck in an overturned fuel truck just before it exploded.

After his military career, Col. Davis founded the Metro Herald, a newspaper in Alexandria, Va., that he published for roughly 30 years. It closed in 2018.

To read the complete article, see:
Col. Paris Davis, One of First Black Officers in Army's Special Forces, Receives Medal of Honor (

Davis earned a Silver Star for his actions. His commanding officer immediately put him up for the Medal of Honor. The paperwork was subsequently lost. When it was submitted a second time, it was lost again.

"One of the great things about being Paris Davis, [is] there are times when other people speak for you," the retired colonel told on Thursday.

He had just recounted a phone call he received the day prior. A general -- Davis did not catch his name -- had called him. He asked Davis why it had taken so long for him to receive the Medal of Honor.

"And I said, 'You're probably in a better place to know than me," Davis said. The general told him that he believed the award was not processed due to racism.

"This is a general talking," Davis said. "And that's probably my answer too."

Amid the heraldry, celebration and reverence, the underlying question of what took so long for Davis to get the Medal of Honor lay beneath the festivities Thursday at the Sheraton Hotel Pentagon City, where current and former Special Forces members, family and friends talked to the media.

For many of Davis' supporters, the answer to that question was also racism. At the height of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Davis was a Black Special Forces officer who had refused an order from a superior. Davis said he was reprimanded for the refusal, and believes it likely prevented him from reaching the rank of general officer. He retired from the military in 1985.

To read the complete article, see:
Paris Davis, Black Green Beret in Vietnam, Finally Awarded Medal of Honor at White House (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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