DAVIS, RICARDO GONZALES
Name: Ricardo Gonzales Davis
Rank/Branch: E7/US Army Special Forces
Unit: Command & Control North, MACV-SOG, 5th Special Forces Group
Date of Birth: 17 March 1941 (Ft. Stockton TX)
Home City of Record: Carlsbad NM
Date of Loss: 20 March 1969
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 152757N 1071443E (YC409110)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S.
Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families,
published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 2020.
SYNOPSIS: SFC Ricardo G. Davis was born in Ft. Stockton, Texas. After he
reenlisted in the Army in 1967 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, he was sent to
Vietnam and assigned to Command & Control North, MACV-SOG (Military
Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observation Group). MACV-SOG was a
joint service high command unconventional warfare task force engaged in
highly classified operations throughout Southeast Asia. The 5th Special
Forces channelled personnel into MACV-SOG (although it was not a Special
Forces group) through Special Operations Augmentation (SOA), which provided
their "cover" while under secret orders to MACV-SOG. The teams performed
deep penetration missions of strategic reconnaissance and interdiction which
were called, depending on the time frame, "Shining Brass" or "Prairie Fire"
On March 20, 1969, SFC Davis was the team leader six-man reconnaissance team
was operating in Saravanne Province, 11 miles inside Laos west of Kham Duc
when the patrol was attacked. Sgt. James C. LaMotte was two feet away when
Davis was hit by rifle fire in the upper chest and face and said, "Jim,
Jim!", and fell. One of the team members approached Davis two minutes after
he fell and removed Davis' weapon and ammunition belt and reported that
Davis was covered with blood. The assistant patrol leader advanced to Davis'
position seven minutes later, and checked Davis' pulse and respiration, but
could detect no signs of life.
The patrol was forced to evacuate the area because of advancing hostile
soldiers and impending U.S. airstrikes on the area. Ricardo Davis was not
seen again. No further searches of the area where he was last seen was
possible because of the air strikes and the fact that this territory was
held by the enemy from that day forward. He was classified Missing In Action
by the U.S. Army. He is one of nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in Laos
during the Vietnam War.
Although Davis was seriously wounded, there apparently was some question as
to whether he was dead, because the Army did not place him in Killed/Body
Not Recovered status. Due to the close proximity of enemy forces, it is
strongly believed that the Lao could account for him. While evidence mounts
that Americans are still alive in Southeast Asia, one must wonder if Ricardo
Davis is among them.