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Chief 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 these years.

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.

In: “Personnel Panorama,” p. 3. June 1957.

Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.

Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:24 AM

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