Sgt. Rodney M. Davis, USMC (MOH) Memorial Scholarship Fund
Memorializing Uncommon Valor
The Marines were outnumbered that day. Without hesitation, Marine Sgt. Rodney M. Davis fell atop a live grenade that had just been thrown into a trench in Vietnam. At the bottom of the trench with the grenade under him, he crawled away from his comrades to keep them from harm’s way. It exploded, killing him instantly, but his comrades were saved. The selfless hero from Macon, Georgia was just 25—a Marine, a son, a brother, a husband, and the father of two toddler girls. Davis was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery above and beyond the call of duty.
When Davis’ remains were returned home from Vietnam, his mother, Ruth Davis passed up the offer to have her son interred at prestigious Arlington Cemetery. She wanted his final resting place to be closer to home so it could be easily visited by family. For his burial, Ruth Davis chose Linwood Cemetery, established in 1884 near the Pleasant Hill neighborhood where she lived and Rodney and his brothers had grown up. For years after, the Davises lovingly tended Rodney’s gravesite but in the decades that followed, Linwood fell into disrepair with many of its markers and monuments broken and sinking into the ground. When word got out that Rodney Davis’ gravesite in was in need of repair and prominence, Marines and others rallied to raise money to make that happen.
Marines, some of whom had been saved that day by Davis’ selfless act of bravery, championed the cause and helped raise more than $80,000 to honor the Macon hero. The money raised was used for a new monument in Linwood Cemetery and to create the Sgt. Rodney M. Davis, USMC (MOH) Scholarship in Davis’ memory, which is administered by the Community Foundation of Central Georgia.
John Hollis, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter who is married to Sgt. Davis’ niece, Regina, is writing a book about Davis: “His story communicates that we are all capable of greatness.”