Engineer Samuel N. Davis retired on April 30,
1957 after an outstanding career of more than 35 years in the
Coast and Geodetic Survey.
He was born in 1897 in North Carolina where
he received his education. In 1919 he came to the Coast and
Geodetic Survey and was assigned to the ships ISIS and WENONAH.
From 1929 to 1936 he served on the LYDONIA, during which time
he was promoted from First Assistant Engineer to Chief Engineer.
Sam’s next assignments were aboard the Ships EXPLORER
and DISCOVERER, engaged in hydrographic surveys in Alaskan waters,
until 1939 when he reported for duty as Chief Engineer on the
ship PIONEER. In 1942 he reported as Chief Engineer on the new
streamline ship PATHFINDER which was under construction. During
World War II, the new ship PATHFINDER was transferred to the
United States Navy. Chief Engineer Davis, a Lieutenant in the
U.S. Navy Reserves, was ordered to active duty in August 1942
aboard the PATHFINDER which was conducting surveys in the waters
surrounding New Caledonia, Guam, Guadalcanal, and at numerous
points in the Ellice, New Hebrides, Russell, Treasury, Admiralty,
Caroline, and Philippine Islands, and Okinawa. While in Okinawa
waters the PATHFINDER was attacked, May 6, 1945, by two Kamikaze
planes, one of which crashed into a gun platform killing one
man and setting fire to the ship. The fire was extinguished
without serious damage.
While serving in World War II, Sam was promoted
from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Commander. He returned with the
PATHFINDER to the Coast Survey in August 1945 and resumed his
duties as her Chief Engineer. In 1949 he reported to the Ship
HYDROGRAPHER, basing at St. Petersburg, Florida, as Chief Engineer,
holding this position until his retirement. His leadership,
resourcefulness, dependability, technical proficiency, and ability
to develop long range planning have been outstanding during
Sam is affiliated with the Masonic Lodge, Scottish
Rite, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion. He
and Mrs. Davis reside in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“Personnel Panorama,” p. 3. June 1957.