Home Black Vietnam War hero, Special Forces officer finally awarded Medal of Honor

Black Vietnam War hero, Special Forces officer finally awarded Medal of Honor

Courtesy of whitehouse.gov.

Col. Paris Davis of Arlington led his patrol through two days of fighting against North Vietnamese forces in 1965 while wounded.

He was nominated for the Medal of Honor soon afterward for his heroics and again in 1969, but both of his nomination packages went missing.

On Friday, Davis, a Black Vietnam War veteran and Special Forces officer, was finally given the nation’s highest honor for engaging in hand-to-hand combat while wounded in 1965, exposing himself to intense enemy fire, saving two wounded non-commissioned officers and extracting all members of his Company.

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia applauded the long overdue recognition.

“We are extremely heartened to see President Biden finally award Col. Paris Davis with the Medal of Honor for his heroism in Vietnam. Nearly six decades later, this long-overdue recognition serves as a reminder of the lives saved and families made whole thanks to Colonel Davis’ bravery. Davis’ leadership and his willingness to place himself in harm’s way to save others represent the highest values espoused by our military and serve as a model for our servicemembers.”

The senators wrote the Secretary of the U.S. Army in 2016, and encouraged him to review the Medal of Honor nomination package for Davis. After ongoing advocacy, the Secretary of Defense wrote Warner and Kaine in December 2022, and notified them that the Colonel’s actions merit the Medal of Honor.


Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.