DAVIS, RICARDO GONZALES
DAVIS, RICARDO GONZALES
Rank / Branch:
SFC E-7 U. S. ARMY
Date of Birth:
152757N 1071443E (YC
HOSTILE, SMALL ARMS/
BODY NOT RETURNED
Awards & Decorations:
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list by County
RICARDO GONZALES DAVIS. SERGEANT FIRST CLASS, U.S. ARMY SPECIAL FORCES, FORT STOCKTON, PECOS COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Combat Medic's Badge, Parachute Wings, Special Forces Badge, Silver Star, Bronze Star (2 Awards), Purple Heart, Army Commendations Medal, Good Conduct Medal with 2 Bronze Knots, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm
Ricardo Gonzales Davis was born March 17, 1941, in the west Texas community of Fort Stockton, in Pecos County. He first entered the Army in 1958 from Carlsbad, New Mexico at age 17. Already a veteran of military service, he reenlisted in the United States Army at Fort Campbell, Kentucky for this third enlistment in 1967, and was assigned to Military Assistance Command, Vietnam - Studies and Observation Group, or MACV-SOG.
On Leave after Basic 1959-With His Family
After First Tour in Vietnam-Fort Bragg
In Vietnam-2nd Tour-Green Beret
A joint-service command, MACV-SOG was engaged in highly classified operations throughout south-east Asia, including deep-penetration reconnaissance and interdiction missions. The 5th Special Forces channelled personnel into MACV-SOG (although it was not a Special Forces group) through Special Operations Augmentation (SOA), which provided their "cover" while under secret orders to MACV-SOG. The teams performed deep penetration missions of strategic reconnaissance and interdiction which were called, depending on the time frame, "Shining Brass" or "Prairie Fire" missions.
On March 20, 1969, SFC Davis was the team leader six-man reconnaissance team was operating in Saravanne Province, 11 miles inside Laos west of Kham Duc when the patrol was attacked. Sgt. James C. LaMotte was two feet away when Davis was hit by rifle fire in the upper chest and face and said, "Jim, Jim!", and fell. One of the team members approached Davis two minutes after he fell and removed Davis' weapon and ammunition belt and reported that Davis was covered with blood. The assistant patrol leader advanced to Davis' position seven minutes later, and checked Davis' pulse and respiration, but could detect no signs of life.
The patrol was forced to evacuate the area because of advancing hostile soldiers and impending U.S. airstrikes on the area. Ricardo Davis was not seen again. No further searches of the area where he was last seen was possible because of the air strikes and the fact that this territory was held by the enemy from that day forward. He was classified Missing In Action by the U.S. Army. Although Davis was seriously wounded, there apparently was some question as to whether he was dead, because the Army did not place him in Killed/Body Not Recovered status.
The story of Richard Davis took strange turn early 1994 when his were one of six sets of dog tags found in a bag, 20 miles from the former American airbase at Da Nang, Vietnam which is more than 130 miles from the spot in Laos where he was last seen. The dog tags were accompanied by a letter written in Vietnamese, which was translated by authorities in Washington D.C. The other five pairs of dog tags have all been accounted for as belonging to service-men who have long since returned to the United States. To date, this find has raised more questions than answers for Davis' loved ones, who wonder if he might still be alive.