Antiques on the Square Organizes Shadowbox for Vietnam Veteran’s Family


As one of the managers of the antique store, we are always pleased when a customer comes in and states “Hey do you buy items?” to which we love to look at things others deem as antiques. A few years ago, a man came in & had a “Purple Heart” medal. I told him yes these were collectible items and the research began. I noticed a name on the back “Aubrey G. Davis”, so my research would pull up a lot of information regarding this man. I asked the man James, who brought it in, how he came in possession of this medal and he began to tell me a story.

Aubrey was his brother, and he had served and died in Vietnam. The medal was in a small frame and we began to look further into his information. He had become “missing in action” of soldiers serving as Private First Class Aubrey Guy Davis, Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry, 199th Light Infantry Brigade. He had been reported missing while in action in the service of his country on 27th of January 1969. He and his platoon to which he was assigned to as a medic were on an operation southwest of Saigon when they came under intense enemy ground fire. Several of the soldiers were initially wounded. Acting without regard for his own safety, Aubrey attempted to crawl to the wounded men to administer first aid. Once again the enemy began firing, and the company was forced to withdraw to a more secure position. A head count was then taken, and it was discovered that Aubrey was missing. The other men were successively extracted and treated while still under intense hostile fire. The next day a search of the area by the members of his company failed to locate Aubrey. The search would continue for a while.

Meanwhile Aubrey’s mother would receive a letter in the mail from the Defense Department notifying her of her missing son and the search for him. Still in March the letters would arrive at her doorsteps stating they were unable to find him or his body. In May of 1969 a letter received by his mother stated that the Department of The Army had promoted Aubrey to the grade of Specialist Four. In June yet another letter received stated “We have no additional information concerning Aubrey’s status”, still considered missing at this time. In August of 1969 a telegram arrived stating Aubrey might have been taken as prisoner by the enemy and that there was concern for the treatment of personnel held. They offered again their heart felt understanding of the family’s wait for news of his recovery. In September another letter stating “we are indeed happy that the North Vietnamese finally released three servicemen in accordance to the July 3rd announcement. These three men were questioned but could not offer any information regarding Aubrey.

October 30th, 1969 a letter from Congress of the United States to Aubrey’s mother Mrs. Clara Davis would arrive with these words, “The Department of the Army has just advised that Aubrey has been declared a casualty of war on this date”. The letter would arrive nine months after he was missing. The letter states his body was found. Aubrey was awarded the Silver Star for his Gallantry in Action, the Bronze Star for his Meritorious Achievement in Ground Operations Against Hostile Forces and a Purple Heart for Wounds Received In Action. His Purple Heart medal was issued on the 12th day of December, 1969. His name is carved at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. His unit lost a total of 6 men from this event. They were: PFC Richard Clark, SFC John Edward Conger, Jr., SP4 Aubrey G. Davis, SGT Dennis Ray Forney, SP4 John David Keel and SF4 James Alexander Nicholson.

SP4 Aubrey Davis was survived by his wife, Margaret J. Davis (no children) and his parents, Mr. & Mrs. Roba Davis and his brother James Davis of Gleason, a brother Hubert Davis and Robert Paul Davis and one sister, Linda Dotson. I found his story around the Purple Heart medal to be strangely fascinating and sad all the same. James remembers well playing with his brother and seeing him off to Vietnam, never to see him again. Thinking this was a great Memorial Day reminder of those who served our country and we needed to be reminded of this. I hope this serves as a “Thank you from me for all the service men/women” who lost their lives serving our country. I took the remaining items James brought to me and organized them in a shadowbox for he and his family to have as a reminder of Aubrey. It was my pleasure to do this on behalf of Antiques on the Square, where we see the needs of family members from time to time and help them save their precious memories.