Date Original



This certificate was presented to Herman Davis of Manila, Arkansas, by the French government.

Biographical/Historical Note

Herman Davis was born January 3, 1888, to Jeff and Mary Ann Vance Davis at Manila, Mississippi County, Arkansas. As a child, he would shoot game in the woods near his house, killing as many as400 ducks in one day. His excellent marksmanship skills served him well during World War I. He tried to enlist but was rejected due to his 5'3" height. However, he was drafted and inducted into the Armyon March 4, 1918, serving as a private in Company I, 113th Infantry, 29th Division. As a scout he was exposed numerous times to poison gas. He was honorably discharged March 19, 1919.Due to his remarkable service, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Croix de Guerre with Palm, the Croix de Guerre with Gilt Star, and the French Medaille Militaire. His family learned of his valor in the war only after General John J. Pershing published a list of the greatest heroes of World War I with Davis listed as fourth. Due to his exposure to poison gas, he developed tuberculosis and died during an operation on January 5, 1923.Herman Davis State Park at Manila (Mississippi County) in northeast Arkansas was named for Davis. Theone-acre park surrounds a monument to him. Thanks to a penny drive by the school children of Arkansas, a 25-foot granite spire stands behind the life-size marble statue of Herman Davis. He was buried at the base of the statue.

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area

Arkansas; Mississippi





Resource Type



Herman Davis Croix de Guerre certificate, SMC.007.004


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Herman Davis Croix de Guerre certificate, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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United States History