Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Major James Leon Davenport
When James Leon Davenport, the
of John Prescott Davenport (better known as Press) and Ethel Lee
Davenport was born on
Did he play soldier as a little
dreaming that some day he would wear the uniform of his country and
enemy bravely? When he volunteered for
the US Army in 1945, he was destined for a career in service, one that
lead him to many places in the world and from which he would retire as
the most-decorated soldiers from
A Gallant Soldier
(In tribute to Major James Leon Davenport.
Retired, 24th Infantry Division and 3rd Infantry Division, US Army
by Charles Waymon Cook)
A gallant soldier from the hills
With valor demonstrated;
He never hesitated.
Twenty-one years in three tough wars
He fought for liberty;
While decorated many times,
He wore humility.
Commissioned on the battlefield
For bravery sublime,
He risked his life for other men
When he was in his prime.
Our country owes its gratitude
For services well done;
He gave the best one man could give
With earthly battles won.
In quietude his pace has slowed
As age and time drift in;
Let’s not forget this gentle giant—
A soldier and a friend.
I am grateful to Charles Waymon Cook, poet, who ably captured the life and spirit of brave soldier Major James Leon Davenport in his poem, “Gallant Soldier.” More of his poems can be read in his recently-published book entitled Beyond the Mountain Haze.
this salute is to the soldier, Major James Leon Davenport.
His military career, spanning twenty-one
years, saw him volunteering for the infantry as a private as World War
coming to a close in 1945. During his
career, he served 131 months overseas in various locations. He was in the
From private to major, he worked through the ranks, serving admirably as a rifleman, in a tanker, as a platoon leader, as company commander, and as his battalion’s executive officer. During those years, he practiced fairness and soldierly conduct, admired and emulated by those who needed a role model for their own military service.
On five occasions he was decorated for heroism. Three Silver Stars are among his medals, as are the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Bronze Star with victory medallion, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Combat Infantry Badge, and others. You do not hear of his decorations from him. Ever humble and grateful that he had opportunity to serve his country, he is the last to talk about or ever boast of how his country recognized his service. But we are beginning to find out, and we gladly salute Major James Leon Davenport.
After his first ten years in the Army, he came back to Blairsville in 1955, but then in 1961 he was recalled to active duty during the Berlin Crisis. He spent eleven more years serving his country until he retired in August of 1972. Toward the end of his service career, he was Inspector General of Fort Knox, Kentucky.
His retirement from active
did not bring an end to Major Davenport’s career. Recognizing
his leadership and administrative
skills, the Board chose him to became CEO of the new and struggling
Active in his church and
Davenport is citizen, patriot, family man and friend.
He comes from a long line of solid citizens
whose ancestors both paternally and maternally go back to the
James Leon Davenport and Barbara
Twiggs were married
For his service to country and community, and for his firmly held family and spiritual values that continue to make our country a leader among nations, we salute Major James Leon Davenport!
Jones; published Sept. 23, 20103 in The Union Sentinel,
[Ethelene Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian. She may be reached at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA 31061-2411.]