Sunday, April 10, 2016

TRIBUTE TO A TRUE AMERICAN HERO: 
COLONEL EMMETT SMITH "CYCLONE" DAVIS  1918 - 2015 

1.     From the Deseret News ,Nov. 6, 2015

Colonel Emmett Smith "Cyclone" Davis  1918 - 2015 


 A great warrior has "slipped the surly bonds of earth" and left this mortal sphere behind. How the heavens must be rejoicing to receive this man! Cyclone endured many health trials in his later years but met them all with the same courage and fortitude with which he lived his entire life. Finally, in the wee hours of the morning on November 3rd, his great heart gave out and he passed into the loving arms of his wife who had visited him earlier in the day. 

Cyclone, the fifth of eight children, was born on December 12, 1918 in Roosevelt, Utah to John Henry Davis and Nora LaRena Smith Davis. His first few summers were spent living in a tent near the Avintaquin Canyon as his father herded cattle and sheep. The family moved to Duschesne and then to Salt Lake City where Cyclone graduated from East High School and attended the University of Utah. In 1939 the family moved to California and settled in Compton. 

In March of 1939, Cyclone met and fell in love with the beautiful Marjorie Gwen Poulton. Their courtship was interrupted by World War II, but Cyclone carried her picture on his kneepad throughout the war. After the war, Marjorie and Cyclone were married in Salt Lake on January 23rd, 1946.

Cyclone joined the U.S. Army Air Corps on April 5. 1940 and was stationed at Wheeler Field, not far from Pearl Harbor. It was Col. Davis's prowess as a dogfighter that earned him the nickname, "Cyclone." When Wheeler was bombed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Cyclone pulled four planes out of the fire, broke down the door to the armament depot to get guns and ammunition for his plane, and was one of the few pilots to get airborne during the attack.

 He commanded the 35th Squadron and the 8th Fighter Group during World War II. Both were known as "Cyclone's Flying Circus." Cyclone may have been the only pilot to fly missions the first day of the war as well as one of the last missions of the war. On August 10, 1945, the day after the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, he led 62 P-38s to bomb Kumamoto. Col. Davis and the 8th Fighter Group escorted the Japanese envoy to Manila to arrange the surrender protocol and were later part of the Army of Occupation in Japan. 

After the war, he was a test pilot for the Air Force at Eglin Field in Florida. In November of 1950, he commanded the Air Proving Ground Test Team in Korea. In 1951 he flew in the fabled Bendix Trophy Race, finishing second. During his career, he served as a base commander, commanded five different squadrons, he was a group or wing commander six times, he commanded an air division, and held several high level staff positions. He piloted over one hundred different types and models of aircraft, flying everything from bi-wings to mach 2 jet aircraft. He was decorated forty-five times, including the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with one oak leaf cluster, the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, and the Presidential Unit Citation with two oak leaf clusters. 

He served in the Air Force for 23 years, his last tour of duty being at the Pentagon. He retired in 1962 and moved to Palos Verdes, CA where he began his second career working for Hughes Aircraft Company. There he helped develop the first smart bombing systems and implemented the installation of the new Hughes radar into the F-15. He became reactivated in the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in 1966 he and Marjorie and their three children were sealed in the Los Angeles Temple. He served his church as a Sunday School teacher, ward and stake missionary, high councilman, and temple worker. In 1972, the family moved to Westlake Village, CA where Cyclone and Marjorie lived happily for many years. In 2005, Cyclone finally fulfilled his lifelong promise to his adored wife to return to her beloved Utah. They built a home in Highland with their oldest daughter and lived there the rest of their lives.

Cyclone is an American hero, a national treasure. It is because of him and people like him that we are a free country. He lived a life that most could only imagine. He met with presidents, royalty, heads of state and many other dignitaries. He led multitudes, influenced thousands, and saved and changed lives. He has given everything he has, spiritually, physically, and temporally, to any and all who were ever in need. He is truly a great disciple of Jesus Christ. He loves fiercely and deeply. And he derived immeasurable joy from his beautiful wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was always singing a song, doing a little dance, telling a story, composing a poem, holding a child, and loving and cherishing Marjorie. He will be desperately missed by his family. He was the strong one who would always pick you up, lift you high, and hold you for as long as you needed it. 

Cyclone was preceded in death by his beloved Marjorie who died December 4, 2014, and by his parents and siblings: Thelma (Ted), Lela, Jack, Con, Red (Rainy), Zeke (Erlene), and K. He is survived by his devoted children, Dr. John Tucker Davis, Pamela Lyn Mull (Gary), Kimberlee Davis Richards (Bob) and K's wife, Mary. He has 11 grandchildren here and one beyond the veil, 11 great grandchildren, as well as many beloved nieces and nephews. 

2.     From The Salt Lake Tribune November 4, 2015 1
Emmett 'Cyclone' Davis, Utahn who flew from Pearl Harbor through Korean War, dies at 96
Davis commanded a flight group at age 25 and retired as a colonel.

Emmett Davis, an eastern Utah native who was one of the first American pilots in the air during the attack on Pearl Harbor, bombed Japan shortly before its surrender and then flew jets in the Korean War, died Tuesday. He was 96.

Davis' son, Tucker Davis, said his father died at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray where he had been receiving treatment for circulation problems. Emmett Davis, who retired from the Air Force in 1963 with the rank of colonel, had lived in Highland.

Davis joined the Air Force's predecessor, the U.S. Army Air Corps, in 1940. The next year, he was assigned to Wheeler Field on the island of Oahu. There, he invented a spiral maneuver to flummox his airborne adversaries.

A training opponent said flying against him was like flying against a cyclone. "Cyclone" would be painted on the side of Davis' aircraft, and comrades and admirers called him by that name for the rest of his life.

The night of Dec. 6, 1941, then-2nd Lt. Davis and his comrades had gone to a dance and stayed up late partying and playing poker. When Japan struck, Davis was asleep on a friend's daybed at Wheeler Field, about 16 miles north of Pearl Harbor.
According to a 2011 account he gave The Tribune, Davis' roommate shook him and said, "Cyclone, wake up, the Japanese are here."
Davis looked out a window and saw a Japanese dive bomber. Davis and another officer raced in a convertible toward the airfield. On the way, they were strafed by a Japanese plane.
At the airfield, personnel began moving U.S. fighters, lined up wingtip to wingtip, out of the flight line to keep them from burning in a spreading fire. Davis used an ax to break into the armory and load his plane with machine guns.The battle was largely over when Davis took off in a P-40 fighter only to be shot at by the U.S. Navy. Davis radioed to whoever was listening to quit firing at him.

Davis flew the duration of World War II in multiple fighters. He became a lieutenant colonel at just 25 years old. He was credited with three kills, though he claimed seven, and earned the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

The same day or the day after the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki — there's a discrepancy as to which — Davis lead 62 P-38s that dropped napalm on Kumamoto.
"The two big bombs got their attention, and my 62 P-38s brought them to the table," he told The Tribune in 2012.

In his last mission of World War II, Davis flew among the aircraft that escorted the Japanese delegation to surrender to Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

Emmett Smith Davis was born Dec. 12, 1918, in Roosevelt, the fifth of eight children born to John Henry Davis and Nora LaRena Smith. His father had joined Torrey's Rough Riders, the Wyoming infantry that went to the Spanish-American War. The family moved to Duchesne when Davis was in the third grade.

The husband of Davis' fourth grade teacher flew a mail plane.
"I used to go up and watch him fly that old airplane, and I guess that was really when I got struck with being an aviator," Davis told KUED in 2006.

After the seventh grade, the family moved to Salt Lake City. Davis went to Roosevelt Junior High School then East High School and the University of Utah. He joined the Air Corps cadet program in April 1940.

After Pearl Harbor, Davis was sent to Australia and New Guinea. In New Guinea, he survived a bout of malaria that ravaged his squadron.

When he took control of the 8th Fighter Group, comprised of three squadrons and about 4,000 men, "Cyclone's Flying Circus" was painted on a sign at the group's base.
Davis knew Marjorie Gwen Poulton, of Salt Lake City, before he left for the Air Corps. They married Jan. 23, 1946.

Davis remained in the military as the Air Corps became the Air Force. He commanded a team that was to introduce and evaluate the new F-84 and F-86 in Korea. Tucker Davis said his father wasn't supposed to fly combat missions himself, but he sneaked into a few missions in the F-86.
In 1957, Tucker Davis said, Davis crash-landed an F-100 in New Mexico and was nearly killed. When Davis retired, he had a post at the Pentagon.

Davis and his family moved to Southern California, where he was employed by Hughes Aircraft Co. working on bombing and radar systems. In 2005, Marjorie and Emmett Davis moved to Highland.

Marjorie Davis died in December. Besides Tucker Davis, Davis is survived by two daughters, Pamela Lyn Mull and Kimberlee Davis Richards, and seven grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

Davis told KUED that he remembers being a leader from the time he began playing with neighborhood boys."I don't know if I was natural born, but I always assumed [leading] was my job," Davis said.


3.     From youtube “plane talk” {a talk by “Cyclone”  Davis 2004}




Plane Talk - Colonel Emmett "Cyclone" Davis 1/3 2004
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CznGMd1Mi8c&ab_channel=AerospaceUtah


Plane Talk - Colonel Emmett "Cyclone" Davis 2/3 2004
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1_kRifB6TY&ebc=ANyPxKprvzx87IxP_jp2ECSIJeF_gcD3zvw322KiXVT_XzpbXlrkVOeas8MYpFL4HkMaJnTorhf5Dc7mXffNG4UDfe6L7YD_8A&ab_channel=AerospaceUtah


Plane Talk - Colonel Emmett "Cyclone" Davis 3/3 2004
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8drG2G03Eo&ebc=ANyPxKqTjMIoDtpDTzx9agdOnAu1Fd34mtwgc0eJVf-ebuQ29Em6-A_szcMru_YEBVrcSbkwPdrQ118Hib2nZOgQ7qBUvD5pPw&ab_channel=AerospaceUtah