Charles Henry Davis, born 16 January 1807 in Boston, Mass., was appointed Midshipman 12 August 1823 and made many valuable scientific contributions to the Navy before the Civil War during which he served with distinction. As Flag Officer of the Mississippi Flotilla he directed the capture and destruction of seven Confederate gunboats and rams near Memphis, Tenn., and received the surrender of the city 6 June 1862; joined Farragut's fleet for operations against Vicksburg; and cooperated with the Army expedition up the Yazoo River from 16 to 27 August 1862. From 1862 to 1865 Admiral Davis served as Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, then served as Superintendent of the Naval Observatory; Commander in Chief, South Atlantic Squadron; Commandant of Norfolk Navy Yard; and member of the Lighthouse Board. Admiral Davis died in Washington, D.C., 18 February 1877.
(DD-395: displacement 1,850; length 390'11"; beam 36'11"; draft 11'4"; speed 38 knots; complement 235; armament 8 5-inch, 8 21-inch torpedo tubes; class Sampson)
The third Davis (DD-395) was laid down on 28 July 1936 at Bath, Maine, by the Bath Iron Works Corp.; launched on 30 July 1938; sponsored by Miss E. Davis, granddaughter of the late Rear Adm. Davis; and commissioned on 9 November 1938, Cmdr. T. Dewitt Carr in command.
Davis was assigned to Neutrality Patrol in the North Atlantic after war broke out in Europe 1 September 1939. On 13 November she sailed from Boston for Galveston, Tex., from which she patrolled in the Gulf of Mexico and conducted training exercises until clearing for patrol duty on the west coast between 11 March 1940 and 26 April 1941. She returned to the Caribbean for patrol and escort duty.
Continuing to serve in the Caribbean, after the United States entered the war, Davis also sailed on escort and patrol off Recife, Brazil, occasionally voyaging to the southern ports of the United States to pick up men and cargo, or to join convoys. On 19 July 1942 she rescued 10 men from the torpedoed British sailing ship Glacier. She sailed from Recife 19 December 1943 for a blockade runner Burgenland (7 January 1944) whom she transferred to the authorities at Recife upon arrival 9 January.
Davis arrived in New York 15 April 1944 escorting Franklin (CV-13), and sailed for England 14 May as a convoy escort, arriving at Plymouth 25 May. On 5 June she was underway from Milford Haven, Wales, to join a convoy en route to Baie de la Seine for the invasion of Normandy. Davis arrived 7 June and five days later, while on patrol, repulsed an enemy torpedo boat attack. Returning to the Baie from Devonport, England, 21 June, with a support convoy, she was heavily damaged from an explosion on the port quarter, probably a mine, and after emergency repairs departed 2 days later for Portland England. She continued to Charleston, S.C., arriving 11 August for permanent repairs.
Davis returned to convoy escort duty 26 December 1944 and until 21 June 1945 made four voyages between New York and English ports. Arriving at Norfolk 10 July, she remained there until decommissioned 19 October 1945. She was sold 24 November 1947.
Davis received one battle star for World War II service.