From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
Thomas Davis '18

Date of birth: May 3, 1896

Date of death: July 21, 1918

Age: 22

Naval Academy Register

Thomas Hart Davis was admitted to the Naval Academy from South Carolina on June 23, 1914 at age 18 years 2 months.

He resigned on March 17, 1916.

Lucky Bag

"T.H. Davis" is among those listed under the heading "Lost In Action."


Thomas was lost on in Europe on July 21, 1918, likely in combat with the Germans, though unable to determine any details. His loss was initially reported on August 1, 1918 as "wounded, degree of wound not determined."

Thomas was a member of the 12th Field Artillery Regiment, which was a part of the 2nd Infantry Division, I Corps, American Expeditionary Forces.

Other Information

From researcher Kathy Franz:

Thomas was born in Fort Sheridan, Illinois. His father Thomas was an Army Brigadier General who was stationed in many forts out west (Colorado, Wyoming, Dakotas and Arizona) and fought in the Spanish American War in Cuba. He was in the General Recruiting Service in 1900, and the family lived in St. Louis, Missouri: mother Pauline, daughter Eileen (born 1887) and son James (born 1888.) Over the next 10 years, his father was mostly in the Philippines. He then commanded Fort Mackenzie from January 17, 1912, to February 26, 1913. He then went to Texas City, Texas. Pauline died here 13 days after the census was done in May 1910.

Thomas must have stayed back east. His sister married Lieutenant Joseph Cummins in 1910. They lived near Fort Niagara and had an 18-year-old male Filipino servant. Starting in 1912, Lt. Cummins commanded the cadets at Clemson College. Thomas passed the mental exam on May 14, 1914, for USNA and was listed as living at Clemson College. After leaving USNA, he joined the Army 12 days later. For the next 18 months, he went from private to sergeant. On 8/24/17 he accepted being 1st lieutenant artillery. His unit, the 12th US Field Artillery, 2nd Infantry, I Corps, was sent to France and took part of the 2nd Battle of Marne. Commanded by Major General Omar Bundy, his unit was stationed at Belleau Wood, part of the Aisne-Marne Operation (July 18-August 6) fighting with the French 6th Army. He was appointed a temporary captain on 7/19/18 in combat with the Germans, and died in an accident on 7/21/18. This was one of the last battles; Armistice came 100 days later.

In 1921 Thomas’ father would have received his son’s WWI Victory Medal as he served between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918. He also would be the beneficiary of his son’s WWI insurance claim #171346. Father Thomas was living in El Paso then where he had met the family running Hart’s Mill years before. He was stationed at nearby Fort Bliss from October 1880 to January 2, 1882. His first wife was Paulina’s oldest sister Corinna who died shortly after their marriage. In 1930 Thomas lived with his son James and his family in Grass Valley, California. Thomas died in 1935.

Eileen and her husband Joseph had a daughter Kathleen. In 1940 Eileen and Kathleen returned from Panama, and in 1952, Eileen and Joseph visited France (I assume to see where Thomas died).

  • USNA 6/23/14 – 3/17/16
  • Army 3/29/16 – 8/13/17 – private to sergeant
  • 8/7/17 – 2nd lt and 1st lt artillery, accepted 8/24/17
  • 12th US Field Artillery, 2nd Infantry, I Corps, American Expeditionary Force
  • Temporary captain 7/9/18 in combat with Germans
  • 2nd Battle of Marne. Died 7/21/18.

Thomas’ sister Eileen married Col. Joseph M. Cummins. Thomas was under him at Clemson (1912-1914). Joseph and Eileen had two daughters, Eileen and Kathleen, and two sons: Lt. Joseph M. Cummins, Jr., 29th Infantry and Ensign Thomas Davis Cummins (’35), USS Idaho.

Class of 1918

Thomas is one of 14 members of the Class of 1918 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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