DAVIS, Glenn, Sr., VADM

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Primary NEC
111X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Surface Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1952-1953, 6th Naval District
Service Years
1913 - 1953
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

621 kb

Home State
Ohio
Ohio
Year of Birth
1892
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember DAVIS, Glenn, Sr., VADM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Norwalk, Huron County, Ohio
Last Address
Died: Hilton Head Island
Beaufort County, South Carolina

Burial:
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia
Plot: Section 2 Site 1148-2

Date of Passing
Sep 09, 1984
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 30


 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge




 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Glenn Benson Davis, Sr.
Vice Admiral, United States Navy

Glenn Benson Davis, Sr., 92, a retired United States Navy Vice Admiral who was a highly decorated combat veteran of WWII, died of a heart attack September 9, 1984 at Hilton Head Hospital on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. He had lived in Wash, DC, until moving in July to a retirement community in Hilton Head. 

Vice Admiral Davis, a 1913 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, served aboard the U.S.S. KANSAS during the occupation of Vera Cruz, Mexico (1914). During World War I he served aboard the tanker MAUMEE and subsequently saw duty aboard a variety of battleships, destroyers and cruisers. He was aboard the PHILADELPHIA (1937-1939) at the time of President Franklin Roosevelt's cruise and then was assigned as chief of the Bureau of Ordnance. During World War II he commanded the battleship U.S.S. WASHINGTON in the South Pacific and became commander of Battleship Division Eight.  His World War II medals included 2 Legions of Merit and the Navy Cross. 

When the US entered WWII, Admiral Davis was Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance. In July 1942, he took command of the new battleship Washington and sailed her in harm's way at Guadalcanal. The Washington was flagship of Task Force 64 and leading a supply operation when it became engaged in the bitter fight off Savo Island on the night of November 14-15, 1942. 

For his actions in the battle, Admiral Davis was awarded the Navy Cross. The award's citation reads in part: "Boldly fighting against numerically superior forces, he skillfully maneuvered his ship unscathed through perilous waters despite the hazards of enemy gunfire and repeated hostile torpedo attacks. His superior leadership in the face of grave danger inspired his men to direct rapid and accurate gunfire against the Japanese ships, thereby sinking one hostile vessel outright and contributing materially to the destruction of other enemy ships." 

In April 1943, he was named commander of Battleship Division 8. He was awarded two Legion of Merit medals for leading the division against the enemy at Truk, and during carrier raids on Saipan, Tinian, and Guam, and in other legendary battles of the Pacific war. He returned to the mainland in March 1945. 

His postwar assignments included tours as superintendent of the USN Gun Factory in Washington, DC, and commandant of the Potomac River USN Command. His last assignment was as commandant of the 6th USN District in Charleston, South Carolina. He ret from active duty in 1953 and advanced to the rank of Vice Admiral on the basis of his combat awards. After that, he became an executive in the shipping industry, including president of the Isthmian Steamship Co and board chairman of Isthmian Lines Inc, before retiring a second time in 1958. 

Admiral Davis was born in Norwalk, Ohio. In 1913, he graduated 9th in a class of 140 from the United States Naval Academy. 

He served in the Atlantic during WWI. Between the Wars, he studied ordnance engineering at the USN Postgraduate School at Annapolis and chemical warfare at Edgewood Arsenal. He also commanded a destroyer and was executive officer of the light cruiser Philadelphia. 

Glenn B. Davis, Sr., 1892-1984. He was buried in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.
   
Other Comments:
 
NAVY CROSS
Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Rear Admiral [then Captain] Glenn Benson Davis, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Battleship U.S.S. WASHINGTON (BB-56), during an engagement with Japanese naval forces near Savo Island on the night of 14 - 15 November 1942. Rear Admiral Davis skillfully maneuvered his ship through perilous waters and repeated torpedo attacks against numerically superior Japanese forces. Gunfire from his ship is credited with sinking one enemy ship and damaging others. His own ship came through the engagement undamaged. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy of the United States.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 320 (November 1943)
Action Date: November 14 - 15, 1942
Service: Navy 
Rank: Rear Admiral
Company: Commanding Officer
Division: U.S.S. Washington (BB-56)
   
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Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Saipan
Start Year
1944
End Year
1944

Description
The Battle of Saipan was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands from 15 June–9 July 1944. The Allied invasion fleet embarking the expeditionary forces left Pearl Harbor on 5 June 1944, the day before Operation Overlord in Europe was launched. The U.S. 2nd Marine Division, 4th Marine Division, and 27th Infantry Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Holland Smith, defeated the 43rd Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saito.

Bombardment of Saipan began on 13 June 1944. Fifteen battleships were involved, and 165,000 shells were fired. Seven modern fast battleships delivered twenty-four hundred 16 in (410 mm) shells, but to avoid potential minefields, fire was from a distance of 10,000 yd (9,100 m) or more, and crews were inexperienced in shore bombardment. The following day the eight older battleships and 11 cruisers under Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf replaced the fast battleships but were lacking in time and ammunition.

The landings[4] began at 07:00 on 15 June 1944. More than 300 LVTs landed 8,000 Marines on the west coast of Saipan by about 09:00. Eleven fire support ships covered the Marine landings. The naval force consisted of the battleships Tennessee and California. The cruisers were Birmingham and Indianapolis. The destroyers were Norman Scott, Monssen, Colahan, Halsey Powell, Bailey, Robinson and Albert W. Grant. Careful Japanese artillery preparation — placing flags in the lagoon to indicate the range — allowed them to destroy about 20 amphibious tanks, and the Japanese strategically placed barbed wire, artillery, machine gun emplacements, and trenches to maximize the American casualties. However, by nightfall the 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions had a beachhead about 6 mi (10 km) wide and 0.5 mi (1 km) deep. The Japanese counter-attacked at night but were repulsed with heavy losses. On 16 June, units of the U.S. Army's 27th Infantry Division landed and advanced on the airfield at Ås Lito (which is now the location of Saipan International Airport). Again the Japanese counter-attacked at night. On 18 June, Saito abandoned the airfield.

The invasion surprised the Japanese high command, which had been expecting an attack further south. Admiral Soemu Toyoda, commander-in-chief of the Japanese Navy, saw an opportunity to use the A-Go force to attack the U.S. Navy forces around Saipan. On 15 June, he gave the order to attack. But the resulting battle of the Philippine Sea was a disaster for the Imperial Japanese Navy, which lost three aircraft carriers and hundreds of planes. The garrisons of the Marianas would have no hope of resupply or reinforcement.

Without resupply, the battle on Saipan was hopeless for the defenders, but the Japanese were determined to fight to the last man. Saito organized his troops into a line anchored on Mount Tapotchau in the defensible mountainous terrain of central Saipan. The nicknames given by the Americans to the features of the battle — "Hell's Pocket", "Purple Heart Ridge" and "Death Valley" — indicate the severity of the fighting. The Japanese used the many caves in the volcanic landscape to delay the attackers, by hiding during the day and making sorties at night. The Americans gradually developed tactics for clearing the caves by using flamethrower teams supported by artillery and machine guns.

The operation was marred by inter-service controversy when Marine General Holland Smith, unsatisfied with the performance of the 27th Division, relieved its commander, Army Major General Ralph C. Smith. However, General Holland Smith had not inspected the terrain over which the 27th was to advance. Essentially, it was a valley surrounded by hills and cliffs under Japanese control. The 27th took heavy casualties and eventually, under a plan developed by General Ralph Smith and implemented after his relief, had one battalion hold the area while two other battalions successfully flanked the Japanese.

By 7 July, the Japanese had nowhere to retreat. Saito made plans for a final suicidal banzai charge. On the fate of the remaining civilians on the island, Saito said, "There is no longer any distinction between civilians and troops. It would be better for them to join in the attack with bamboo spears than be captured." At dawn, with a group of 12 men carrying a great red flag in the lead, the remaining able-bodied troops — about 3,000 men — charged forward in the final attack. Amazingly, behind them came the wounded, with bandaged heads, crutches, and barely armed. The Japanese surged over the American front lines, engaging both army and Marine units. The 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 105th Infantry Regiment were almost destroyed, losing 650 killed and wounded. However, the fierce resistance of these two battalions, as well as that of Headquarters Company, 105th Infantry, and supply elements of 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Artillery Regiment resulted in over 4,300 Japanese killed. For their actions during the 15-hour Japanese attack, three men of the 105th Infantry were awarded the Medal of Honor — all posthumously. Numerous others fought the Japanese until they were overwhelmed by the largest Japanese Banzai attack in the Pacific War.

By 16:15 on 9 July, Admiral Turner announced that Saipan was officially secured. Saito — along with commanders Hirakushi and Igeta — committed suicide in a cave. Also committing suicide at the end of the battle was Vice-Admiral Chuichi Nagumo — the naval commander who led the Japanese carriers at Pearl Harbor and Midway — who had been assigned to Saipan to direct the Japanese naval air forces based there.

In the end, almost the entire garrison of troops on the island — at least 30,000 — died. For the Americans, the victory was the most costly to date in the Pacific War. 2,949 Americans were killed and 10,464 wounded, out of 71,000 who landed. Hollywood actor Lee Marvin was among the many American wounded. He was serving with "I" Company, 24th Marine Regiment, when he was shot in the buttocks by Japanese machine gun fire during the assault on Mount Tapochau. He was awarded the Purple Heart and was given a medical discharge with the rank of Private First Class in 1945.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1944
To Year
1944
 
Last Updated:
Oct 29, 2011
   
Personal Memories

Memories
In April 1943, he was named commander of Battleship Division 8. He was awarded two Legion of Merit medals for leading the division against the enemy at Truk, and during carrier raids on Saipan, Tinian, and Guam, and in other legendary battles of the Pacific war. He returned to the mainland in March 1945.

   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  192 Also There at This Battle:
  • Besson, John Henry, RADM, (1931-1959)
  • Block, Charles John, CPO, (1938-1945)
  • Brewster, Donald, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Clonts, Alpheus Eugene, PO1, (1942-1948)
  • Crawforth, Evan, PO2, (1942-1945)
  • Crookshank, Irvin, PO2, (1942-1946)
  • Flynn, Paul, SN, (1944-1951)
  • Garrett, Earl, PO2, (1941-1953)
  • Habick, Henry
  • Hazelwood, Denna, PO1, (1942-1944)
  • Kundrot, Vity
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