GALLIPOLIS — A Gallia County native will be inducted Friday into the 17th Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor class.
The ceremony will take place at 11:30 a.m. Friday in the atrium of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.
Master Sgt. Kenneth L. Davenport, of Delaware, Ohio, and formerly of Cheshire, is being enshrined for his actions rescuing a civilian during heavy fighting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 1965.
Davenport, who entered the service from Columbus in May 1955, was a staff sergeant on May 4, 1965, and squad leader with Company B, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 505th Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division. He distinguished himself when his squad came under heavy fire from rebels during the early stages of the Dominican Civil War (April-September 1965).
According to a newspaper story from the time, after taking cover and returning fire, Davenport noticed a civilian sitting wounded and stunned across the street from his position. Without any regard for his personal safety, he ran across the street, under hostile enemy fire, to help the civilian into a nearby hallway and applied a pressure bandage to his wound. The civilian was later evacuated for medical treatment.
Davenport’s actions earned him a Bronze Star with a “V” Device. The “V” stands for valor and is awarded to military service personnel who demonstrate such during combat scenarios.
The Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor is a non- profit organization established in 2000 to recognize Ohio servicemen and women who were decorated for heroism while in combat situations. Inductees represent all branches of military service who served during World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War, as well as conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Dominican Republic.
Friday’s ceremony will bring the total number of Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor inductees to 313, of whom six have received the Medal of Honor.
The induction ceremony will be open to the public. Currently, Col. Chip Tansill, director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, has been invited to speak at the event, which will culminate with the singing of “God Bless The USA” by Brian Michael Smith.
Davenport was unavailable for comment for this story.
Reach Michael Johnson at 740-446-2342, ext. 2102, or on Twitter @OhioEditorMike.