Ed Davis was born on August 16, 1939, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was commissioned through the U.S. Naval Academy in 1962, and completed flight training in March 1964. After becoming a Naval Aviator, Davis began flying combat missions in Southeast Asia with Attack Squadron 152 off the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany (CVA-34) in 1965. Lt Davis was shot down on his 57th combat mission over North Vietnam while flying an A-1H Skyraider on August 26, 1965. He spent the next 2,727 days as a Prisoner of War of the North Vietnamese before being released on February 12, 1973. LCDR Davis managed to smuggle out a puppy named Ma Co from his North Vietnamese prison, saving it from certain death at the hands of the camp commander who would surely have eaten the dog. After repatriation, Davis served as Executive Officer of the Navy ROTC unit at the University of Virginia from August 1975 to June 1978, before going into Navy Recruiting. His final assignment was as Commander of the Fourth Naval Recruiting District at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Capt Davis also served as Director of Navy Advertising in Washington, D.C. He retired from the Navy on March 29, 1987. Captain Davis was able to make the last flight of the C-141 "Hanoi Taxi" before he died on November 7, 2006.
His 3rd Silver Star Citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. In August 1967, his captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attracting international attention. By his determination, courage, resourcefulness, and devotion to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.