Hutchinson newspaper article, February, 1945:TRAGEDY HITS FAMILY AGAIN
“Tragedy struck the home of Mr. and Mrs. W.S.L. Davis, 407 East 11th, Friday, the second time within two weeks, with war department communication that their son, Sgt. Kenneth P. Davis, was killed in a raid over Budapest, Hungary, April 13, 1944.
“January 20 they received word that another son, Sgt. John A. Davis, had been seriously wounded Dec. 24 while serving with Patton’s army in Luxembourg and was hospitalized in England.
“Last May 6 the Davises were notified that their son Kenneth was missing since the April 13 raid over Budapest. No further word concerning him was received until yesterday. In service since October, 1942, he went overseas in December 1943, and was based in Italy. He was a aerial engineer gunner on a B-24.
“Survivors are his widow and a 17-months-old daughter, Anita Louise, who live in Arkansas City; his parents who moved here recently from Sterling; three sisters, Mrs. Robert Mc Gonigle and Mrs. Kenneth Mc Crum of the home, and Mrs. John Bartman of Sterling; and three brothers, W. S. Davis of Hutchinson RFD, Charles Davis of Arkansas City and Sgt. John A. Davis.”OBITUARY
“Kennth Pearson Davis was born October 30th, 1914, in Reno County, Kansas. He was graduated from the Nickerson High School in 1934.
“On April 22, 1942, he was united in marriage to Miss Viola Jane Wilson of Arkansas City; to this union was gifted a daughter, Anita Louise.
“Kenneth entered the service of his Country in October of 1942 from Houston, Texas. He served overseas as a Staff-Sergeant Engineer-Gunner on a B-24 crew. On April 13, 1944, his plane was returning from a mission over Germany to its base in Italy when it was hit by flak over Budapest, Hundary. One of his comrades had been injured, and as Kenneth was administering first-aid to the wounds, he was killed.
“Survivers are: his daughter Anita Louise; his parents Mr. and Mrs. W.S.L. Davis; three brothers: William, Charles and John; three sisters: Ellen Bartman, Lillian McCrum, and Jennie McGonigle; three aunts: Mrs Francis Stauffer, Mrs Lillian Pearson, and Mrs’ Jennie W. Smith; and three uncles: Al, T.B., and W. G. Pearson.”
“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.”
Kenneth was a Staff Sargeant , 738 Bomb Squadron, 454 Bomb Group, 15th Air Force – Italy. (Recorded on his tombstone.)
Three and a half years after his death during World War II his remains were returned home where he was born. He lies at rest next to his father, Wm. S.L. Davis, in Sterling Community Cemetery, Sterling, Kansas.
Pallbearers at Kenneth’s funeral were his 3 surviving brothers: William, Charles, John and his 3 brothers-in-law: John Bartman, Kenneth McCrum, Robert McGonigle. A basket of red roses & stevia with a red satin bow was given by the family in remembrance at the funeral. A total of 22 flower sprays & bouquets were recorded in the Memorial Record.
For us, the dead, though young,
For us, who fought and bled,
Let a last song be sung,
And a last word be said.
Dreams, hopes, and high desires,
That leaven and uplift,
On sacrificial fires
We offered as a gift.
We gave and gave our all
In gladness, though in pain;
Let not a whisper fall
That we have died in vain.
— Clinton Scollard
(poem on inside cover of funeral leaflet)