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Voices of our Veterans: Judge Davis (Super Bowl Special)


Judge Davis grew up in Kenton Tennessee and was in high school during World War II

Davis recalls, “The draft was moving in on me and I didn’t want the army, so I volunteered for the navy.”

After two months of training in Norfolk Virginia he was assigned his ship.

“I was assigned the U.S.S Missouri battleship, BB63,” Davis said.

He recalls the day they sailed away, "Out of the sight of land for the first time… you had an unusual feeling.”

Davis learned to love the ship and the open sea. He served his on the U.S.S Missouri his entire navy career

“My duty station was in what we called sky one…observation dome,” said Davis. From the dome under the captains' quarters, they controlled and fired the 6-inch guns.

The U.S.S Missouri took Davis the crew all over the world, across the Equator, the Artic Circle, the Antarctic and many other places.

Davis said, “A lot of times we didn’t really know where we were.”

Their ship happened to be in the right place at the right time to be used for a historic moment in the war

“We were in the Philippines…Truman was the president at the time, and he was going to sign a peace treaty in Tokyo Bay…so he commandeered the ship to go there for the peace treaty to be signed,” Davis tells.

He recalls the emotions of the day, “It was a very somber ceremony…it almost made you feel sad for the ones surrendering even though they were our enemies at one time.”

Truman remained on the U.S.S Missouri for a while and traveled to many parts of the world with Davis and the rest of the crew.

“He was quite a character, sort of a dirty mouth sometimes…he gave the marines that were on the ship a run for their money," Davis said.

After two years aboard the U.S.S Missouri Davis decided he wanted to try something new, "I wanted to start my education… I got out and it was kind of an early deal.”

He received an associate degree in industrial management from Jackson State Community College.

He was married and had three daughters.

Davis says God has blessed him with many grand and great grand kids.

Davis also says he is glad that he served his county and is thankful for the experiences the navy gave him, “I got to see a lot of the world that i would not have gotten to see otherwise.”

“Mr. Davis, thank you so much on behalf of channel and West Tennessee for your service, we just want to present you with this small token of appreciation," said Alexander Bitterling.

“Thank you it was an honor to do this and an honor to serve out country,” said Davis.

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