George A. Davison


On June 6, 1944, George Davison huddled behind the ramp of his landing craft several hundred yards off Omaha Beach. Rounds of gunfire pinged the flip side. All around, boats were being hit, ”bodies being blown to bits, parts of men flying through the air like birds,” Davison wrote. The ramp fell, plunging the men into water far deeper than they expected. Davison grabbed onto the back of a truck as it rolled off the ramp. The truck sunk like the 2½  tons of steel that it was, and Davison let go. At five feet, eight inches tall, he plunged into the 56-degree surf, his gear a dead weight on his 180-pound frame. He paddled toward shore, and prayed the machine-gun fire thwacking the water around him would miss. A wave gave him a hearty push and his feet touched ground. Relief. At least he wouldn’t drown today. 

Decades after the war George Davison wrote his story in a notebook. It is one of the few personal histories that exist among men of the 320th. 
Photo: Courtesy of Bill Davison

George Davison identified himself as “Your Hubby” in this photo he sent home to his wife, taken in Hawaii in June 1946. Pictured with him are Alfred Bell, Prince Frazier and Wilson Monk.
Photo: Courtesy of Bill Davison

Bill Davison is a regular visitor to his parents’ grave in Waynesburg, Penn. Davison has devoted his life to securing a place in history for his father, George, and the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion.
Photo: Linda Hervieux

George Davison marks the spot where he landed on Omaha Beach.
Photo: Courtesy of Bill Davison

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