Charles (Chuck) Davis 101st Airborne 501st PIR
They are known as the “Greatest Generation” those who fought in WWII and today June 5, 2014 we honored and celebrated Charles Davis. Chuck as he likes to be called was a proud member of the 101st Airborne 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment who jumped into Normandy June 6th, 1944. Charles was born in Adrian MN on November 28th, 1918 joined the army in June of 1942 and recalled that day for us present as we honored him at the Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home in Bellevue Nebraska. We loaded around 1AM and jumped at 1:30 AM. He said he was “scared while he was in the air and didn’t feel safe until his feet touched the ground”. With an almost memorial look on his face he said “it was hell on earth”, what he witnessed. “It was my only jump in combat”. The unit was pulled back after 39 days and he spent the rest of his tour in France and Belgium. He smiled and said those people were just wonderful to us. They treated us like kings and we ate steak and potatoes, I never felt more welcomed in my life.
On his return from Europe in 1945, he reentered the US through NY and got to see the Statue of Liberty. He smiled as he remembered that day, “she’s a pretty lady”. Chuck worked in floor covering in Salt Lake City UT, Albuquerque NM, and Texas covering floors of department stores until he retired. He enjoyed the game of golf up until the age of 83 when he had to give it up. “I just hated doing it, but I had to. I really enjoyed playing with my daughter”.
With his family and friends present for the ceremony, Chuck posed for pictures next to his “adopted” grandson/family friend Dustin Brey a recent veteran of the Iraq war and Gary Wilbur a veteran who served during Viet Nam. He couldn’t be more proud to know that they followed in his footsteps in serving our great nation in the US Armed Services. At the end of the interview he couldn’t understand why he was chosen for this honor. I smiled and humbly mentioned to him that he was one of the very few left alive to be thanked for his service and his heroism. He relented to my awe and was very spirited to hand over the greatest generation to the rest of us. We hope we can live up to it.
VFW Post 2280