July-August 2023 President’s Message
Dear Fellow OMSA members:
Recent US Medal of Honor awarded
On March 3, 2023, President Biden presented Colonel Paris D. Davis, US Army (retired), with the Medal of Honor for acts of gallantry during actions in Vietnam on June 17-18, 1965. Then Captain Davis, a Special Forces officer commanding a South Vietnamese raiding force, attacked a North Vietnamese force in the Bong Son district. During the enemy counterattack, Captain Davis was wounded at least twice, directed air and artillery fire against the enemy, and rescued two other wounded Americans. He also directed the evacuation of the wounded by helicopter and refused medical extraction until the North Vietnamese forces were eliminated. He retired from the Army in July 1985 and later published a newspaper in Virginia. Col Davis was later inducted into the US Army Ranger Hall of Fame in 2019.
Fort renamed to honor US Medal of Honor awardee.
Also in March of this year, Fort Pickett was renamed Fort Barfoot. Stemming from the recommendations of the Naming Commission, Fort Barfoot is one of the first military installations to change names from Confederate soldiers. Then Sergeant Van Barfoot, a member of the 45th Infantry division, had been awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on May 23, 1944. Sgt. Barfoot eliminated three German machine gun positions in the initial assault. During a German counterattack, Barfoot disabled one Tiger tank with a bazooka and in the final assault eliminated an artillery piece. He was subsequently given a commission after the action; his award of the Medal of Honor occurred in 1944 while he was still serving with the 45th Infantry Division in France. He retired a Colonel in the US Army after serving in both the Korean and Vietnam War. In later life, he was again in the news for successfully contesting his local homeowner’s association decision to remove a flagpole on his property. Van Barfoot died in 2012.
Upcoming Convention in Orlando. Free to 5 new attendees!
I know many of you attend the convention every year and know it to be a great time. If you haven’t been before now is the time to come. The hotel is providing us with a very competitive room rate (good for three days before and after the convention) which will allow you to bring your family to see the sights. The first five NEW registrations to the convention (never attended before) will register for free. If you want to reserve a table or bourse case, however, those will be extra. You will have to contact our Secretary, Clyde Tinkelpaugh, for the full details before sending in your registration form. The registration form for the upcoming convention in Orlando is enclosed in this issue. If not, it is on our website: www.omsa.org. This year’s theme is the Vietnam War Ends – 50 Years Ago. I hope to see a lot of new faces.
All the best, John Allgood