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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Bryce Canyon (AD-36)

USS Sperry (AS-12)

USS Polana (AKA-35)

Rear Admiral James W. Davis

Rear Admiral James W. Davis, the son of Dr. and Mrs. J. J. Davis, was born at Buxton, North Carolina, on the Outer Banks, on October 12, 1906. He attended public school in North Carolina and Washington, D.C., before entering the United States Naval Academy in 1926. Commissioned ensign upon his graduation in 1930, Davis began his long military career aboard the USS WYOMING and USS PENNSYLVANIA before attending submarine school. After additional training in mechanical engineering, Davis was assigned to submarine duty and subsequently commanded two submarines in the Pacific during World War II. As commanding officer of the USS S-47 and later the USS RATON, Davis led his crew in a number of dangerous but successful war patrols. The Navy recognized his leadership and daring with a number of decorations, including the Silver Star.

Davis was made commanding officer of the USS POLANA at the close of World War II. This was the first of seven command positions he held during the next twenty years. He also held administrative positions, including deputy director, joint staff for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and naval deputy for the NATO Defense College.

Davis was separated from the Navy in 1965 after thirty-five years of service. He retired to his small farm near Williston in Carteret County, North Carolina, that same year. After living near Williston for almost 30 years, he moved to Hereford, Arizona, where he died on June 9, 1995.

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