Davis, Edward, CAPT

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Last Rank
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1984-1987, Navy Recruiting District Harrisburg, PA, Commander Naval Recruiting Command (CNRC)
Service Years
1962 - 1987

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This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Davis, Edward (POW), CAPT.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Roxborough PA
Last Address
Arlington National Cemetery

Date of Passing
Nov 07, 2006
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
American LegionVeterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW)Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
  1973, American Legion [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1973, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1973, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

 Captain Edward Anthony Davis, USN

 Declared KIA for two years, Ed Davis was
held captive in North Viet-Nam for 7.5 Years

Ed Davis was 25 when the A-1 Skyraider he was flying during his 57th combat mission was shot down over North Vietnam in August 1965. He spent the next 7½ years in a series of prisoner-of-war camps that included the infamous "Hanoi Hilton.

Retired Navy Capt. Ed Davis, 67, who spent 7 1/2 years as a North Vietnamese prisoner of war and later was a motivational speaker focusing on management under difficult circumstances, died Nov. 7 at a hospice in Lancaster, Pa. He had pancreatic cancer. 

Capt. Davis flew 57 combat missions off the aircraft carrier Oriskany during the Vietnam War before being shot down in his A-1 Skyraider on Aug. 26, 1965. After spending the night in a rainy ditch accompanied by a large snake, he was captured and marched for 19 days to Hanoi. 

Until his release Feb. 12, 1973, he was a prisoner of war at the "Hanoi Hilton" prison compound. A common torture, he said, was an arm contortion known as the "rope trick," in which his arms were forced behind his back and toward his head.

The pain was intense, and passing out was inevitable. He once described a stalling technique popular among captives called the "bounce-back," in which they would frustrate the North Vietnamese by waking from their delirium and starting a story from the beginning. 

To avoid being repulsed by what he ate, he never watched what he put in his mouth. "If you don't look, you don't see," he later said. "If you don't see, you don't care, and it won't bother you." 

He was a lieutenant commander at the time of his release with other long-serving POWs as part of Operation Homecoming. Before leaving for the United States from Clark Air Base in the Philippines, he gained media attention for keeping a pet puppy from his detention.

Davis comments on life after he returned and a dog named MaCo:

My story is rather simple as I look at it now. I am home and everything is fine. Elaine and I are expecting our first child in November 1973. MaCo is well and happy and took to her new  life like a duck to water. One important point I do wish to make, MaCo was not given to me by a guard. In simple terms, I adopted her in Hanoi and when it came time to leave, the "V" chose to let me take  her from the camp in order to avoid trouble (strictly my opinion). From that point I carried her through the airport ceremony in my bag and no one was the wiser. You could safely call it a "squeeze play and a lot of luck." 

I am very happy that so many nice feelings have been expressed about MaCo but at the same time I wish to stress that it is the return of the POWs and the accountability of our MIAs  that is important. I am proud to have returned with them and the fact that I happened to bring MaCo is only incidental to the real story - the return of our men and the days of their imprisonment. 

I do not want either my dog or I be to taken for something we are not. I am an Ex-POW. She is a lucky dog. I think you understand my point.  In short, I am only one among many. As we all know so well, people can be so nice Elaine and I have felt the warmth and tenderness and pride of the American people. We  are so very  grateful. It is a feeling upon which  to build a future.

Other Comments:


Ed Davis was there during all 17 campaigns; 16 as a P.O.W.

1. Vietnam Advisory Campaign - 15 March 1962 - 7 March 1965
2. Vietnam Defense Campaign - 8 March - 24 December 1965
3. Vietnamese Counteroffensive - 25 December 1965 - 30 June 1966
4. Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase II - 1 July 1966 - 31 May 1967
5. Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase III - 1 June 1967 - 29 January 1968
6. Tet Counteroffensive - 30 January - l April 1968
7. Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase IV - 2 April - 30 June 1968
8. Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase V - 1 July - l November 1968
9. Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase VI - 2 November 1968 - 22 February 1969
10. Tet 69/Counteroffensive - 23 February - 8 June 1969
11. Vietnam Summer - Fall 1969 - 9 June - 31 October 1969
12. Vietnam Winter - Spring 1970 - 1 November 1969 - 30 April 1970
13. Sanctuary Counteroffensive - 1 May - 30 June 1970
14. Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase VII - l July 1970 - 30 June 1971
15. Consolidation I - 1 July 1971 - 30 November 1971
16. Consolidation II - 1 December 1971 - 29 March 1972
17. Vietnam Ceasefire Campaign - 30 March 1972 - 28 January 1973
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 Duty Stations
US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)VA-152 MavricksUSS Oriskany (CVA-34)Prisoner of War
NROTC (Faculty Staff)US NavyCommander Naval Recruiting Command (CNRC)
  1958-1962, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1964-1965, VA-152 Mavricks
  1964-1965, USS Oriskany (CVA-34)
  1965-1973, Prisoner of War
  1974-1978, University of Virginia NROTC (Cadre)
  1978-1984, Major Commands
  1984-1987, Navy Recruiting District Harrisburg, PA, Commander Naval Recruiting Command (CNRC)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1958-1962, United States Naval Academy
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Davis, A-1 Skyraider flying during his 57th combat mission was shot down over North Vietnam
  Edward Anthony Davis, Captain, USN (RET)
  Nov 07, 2006, Ed Davis, 67; Navy Captain Was Held Captive in Vietnam1
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