Carl R. Davidson

NAME
Carl Robert Davidson
NICKNAME
Bob
SERVICE NUMBER
O-6371
UNIT
VMF-211
HOME OF RECORD
419 West 26th Street, Sioux Falls, SD
NEXT OF KIN
Father, Mr. Harry B. Davidson
DATE OF BIRTH
January 19, 1917
ENTERED SERVICE
November 17, 1939
DATE OF LOSS
December 22, 1941
REGION
Central Pacific
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Wake Island
CASUALTY TYPE
Missing In Action
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Second Lieutenant Carl Davidson, a fighter pilot with VMF-211, took off from Wake Island at 1000 hours for a regular midday patrol. At 1200, he and Captain Herbert Freuler engaged approximately forty Japanese fighters and bombers.

Only Freuler returned to Wake; he reported seeing Davidson engaged in a dogfight with no less than six enemy aircraft. A Japanese pilot, PO3 Tahara Isao of theĀ Hiryu air group, later claimed credit for shooting down F4F-3 Bureau Number 3988.

Davidson was never seen again, and was eventually declared killed in action. He was awarded a posthumous Navy Cross for his participation in the defense of Wake Island.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Navy Cross, Air Medal, Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Second Lieutenant
STATUS OF REMAINS
Not recovered.
MEMORIALS
West Branch Cemetery, Cedar County, IA
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

Biography:
Temporarily removed for editing and updating. Contact the webmaster for information on this Marine.

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant Carl R. Davidson (MCSN: 0-6371), United States Marine Corps Reserve, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving as a Pilot with Marine Fighting Squadron TWO HUNDRED ELEVEN (VMF-211), Marine Air Group TWENTY-TWO (MAG-22), Naval Air Station, Wake Island, during action against enemy Japanese land, surface and aerial units at Wake Island, 8 to 23 December 1941. Skilled as an airman, gallant as an officer and determined and aggressive in whatever he was assigned or voluntarily undertook to do throughout the bitter days of combat with a vastly superior enemy force, Second Lieutenant Davidson assumed a major role in maintaining morals among the officers and men imperiled with him, sustaining their spirits by his own unwavering high courage and inspiring them to greater effort by his heroic work in rescuing wounded from burning airplanes and camp areas and in reorganizing the unit following the first devastating enemy raid. Carrying out his daily tasks and his part in combat operations with initiative and fortitude during this prolonged period of siege, Second Lieutenant Davidson went up to fight two full squadrons of Japanese aircraft on 22 December, and, with only one other Marine plane for assistance, pressed home a vigorous attack against the large hostile force, diverting many enemy planes from the raid on Wake before he was shot down at sea following a fearless engagement with six Japanese fighter craft. His brilliant leadership and unswerving devotion to duty in the face of almost certain death constantly inspired the stouthearted defenders of this tiny island, and his valiant conduct throughout reflects the highest credit upon Second Lieutenant Davidson and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


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