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This Day in History: Sammy L. Davis's heroism

On this day in 1967, a hero engages in an action that would earn him the Medal of Honor. Sammy L. Davis has been called the “real Forrest Gump” because footage from his Medal ceremony was used in the much-loved Tom Hanks movie.

“I went to war ‘cause I loved my grandpas. And I love my country,” Davis later said. “And when I got over there, the reason why we fought so hard, was because we discovered we loved each other, that we were all we had. And we became brothers.”


On November 17, 1967, then-Pfc. Davis was serving in an artillery unit at a remote fire support base near Cai Lay, Vietnam. Fighting had been ongoing all day. As night fell, the fighting ceased—at least for a little bit.


But everyone knew another attack was coming.