A Gentleman and a Hero by aglennc

A Gentleman and a Hero

We attended an air show today and met and visited with World War II hero Ed Davidson. Davidson was a 20 year old Army Air Force pilot when his B-17 was shot down over France. It was his seventh combat mission in the big bomber, a World War II heavily armed “flying fortress”. German Messerschmidt fighters hit Davidson and his crew, and the B-17 caught fire over Bordeaux. His co-pilot was killed and the rear gunners bailed out over the water and were never found. Davidson and several other survivors were picked up by the Germans. He spent his 21st birthday and 16 months in a German prisoner-of-war camp north of Berlin. “I didn’t vote in the election that year”, he commented today.

Davidson also served in the Korean War. He became an American Airlines pilot after retiring from the military, retiring in the 1980s.

For his heroism Ed Davidson received both the Air Medal and the Purple Heart. The Air Medal is awarded to anyone who, while serving in any capacity in or with the Armed Forces of the United States, distinguishes himself or herself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.

The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those wounded or killed while serving, on or after April 5, 1917, with the U.S. Military. With its forerunner, the Badge of Military Merit, which took the form of a heart made of purple cloth, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award still given to U.S. military members – the only earlier award being the obsolete Fidelity Medallion.

Davidson's cap states "American Ex-Prisoner of War"
He sure has had an exciting and memorable life!
April 22nd, 2018  
bep
Great story of a real hero!
April 22nd, 2018  
Wow. What a great man. Super photo too.
April 22nd, 2018  
Looks like he has lots of stories to tell and you captured his essence well
April 23rd, 2018  
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