- Category: USS Arizona Survivor Stories
- Last Updated: Saturday, 21 November 2015 23:12
- Published: Friday, 23 May 2003 00:00
Henry Donald Davison
Ensign on 7 December 1941
From the USNA "Class of 1940"
Along with about ten others of the class, Hank was ordered to USS ARIZONA upon graduation. They soon found themselves in a somewhat accelerated program of qualification for top watch, etc., which gave some hint as to what the future held.
It was his luck to have the 8-12 deck watch on that fateful morning. Wounded during action, he was hospitalized for about three weeks before being ordered to a destroyer, USS CRAVEN, where he served for 2-1/2 years as Gunnery Officer and then Executive Officer. He was awarded the Silver Star for action in the battle of Vella Gulf.
Hank returned to CONUS and commissioned USS ROGERS as Executive Officer. The war ended with ROGERS in Pearl Harbor en route to Japanese waters. He thus found himself at the end of the war only a mile from where he was so personally involved in its beginning.
Subsequent tours included: USNA (taught Spanish, Seamanship and Navigation); Operations Officer of an APA during the Korean conflict; recommissioned and commanded USS ROBINSON (DD); Armed Forces Special Weapons Project (concerned with refining atomic weapons effects data; determined the placement of military equipment at Nevada test site to receive specific parameters of damage; determined also the location for troop placement and occupied the trench with the troops); Chief, Navy Section, MAAG, Uruguay (determined the needs of the host Navy to enable them to meet their obligations under the Rio Treaty and programmed the delivery of equipment and training of personnel in the operation and maintenance of same); commanded USS EDISTO (icebreaker) in Arctic and Antarctic deployments. Hank received SECNAV Commendation ribbon for various rescue operations performed during the EDISTO tour.
Hank retired in May, 1963, and spent the next 21-1/2 years as faculty member, Department of Engineering Technology, St. Petersburg Junior College, teaching mathematics, physics, mechanical design, circuit theory, engineering graphics and computer programming.
Hank has been active in community affairs; over 25 years a Rotarian; past Secretary and Past President, St. Petersburg Rotary Club--honored by that club by being named a Paul Harris Fellow. Past Area Coordinator, Polioplus campaign. Member, Administrative Board, First United Methodist Church.
Hank married his Academy O-A-O, Bettye Stewart of Cambridge, Maryland, in 1942. They have two daughters and one granddaughter.
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