Paul Harrison Davis

Paul Harrison Davis

Age: 37-38
Branch: USNR
Rank(s): S1c, RM3c
Unit(s): NCDU213, UDT15
Station: Naval Combat Demolition Training and Experimental Base, Maui

Fallen on: 18 Feb 1945
Location: Japan
Campaign: Invasion of Iwo Jima

Medals & Commendations: Purple Heart (awarded posthumously)

Hometown: North Augusta, GA

RM3 Davis was killed on 18 February, as the U.S.S. Blessman (APD-48) headed for a screening station after being damaged in the Invasion of Iwo Jima.¬† The phosphorous wake made the APD an easy target for a kamikaze and an enemy bomber, identified as a “Betty”, when it came in at 2121, very low over the port quarter, strafing, and scored a direct bomb hit in the high-speed transport’s starboard mess hall, above her number one engine room. A second bomb hit her stack, glanced off, and splashed close aboard without exploding. Fire broke out immediately in the mess hall, galley, and troop quarters on the main deck; and the ship lost all power. Heavy smoke forced the abandonment of the number two fire and engine rooms, while a 500-gallon-per-minute portable pump was demolished, and all other such pumps were rendered inoperable by the shock. At 2250, anti-aircraft and small arms ammunition began exploding, forcing the evacuation of wounded to stern. In all, 40 men were killed, including RM3 Davis and 16 others of UDT15.