AFRH-W Resident Highlight – Roger Davison
By Christine Baldwin | Librarian
Roger Davison was the youngest of ten children. He was fortunate to have eight sisters who helped raise him. He also was not in line for hand-me-downs! He grew up as a farm boy from Indiana and the Wabash River was his good friend. In fact, their seven-bedroom house was right on the river! Roger was a child of the Depression and learned to make his own enjoyment. He learned how to fish and how to handle various guns. All of this outdoor life was to be useful in his military career. In October 1945, at the age of 16, Roger broke his leg in gym class. This didn’t deter him from wanting to join a service. So he checked out the U.S. Army Medical Corps, but he needed a parent's signature to join and neither parent would sign. In August of 1946, Roger turned 17. Even though he was still a junior in high school, he had enough credits to graduate and so he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
Roger took basic training at Lackland, Texas, where he was pulled to become an instructor of the use of various guns. He moved up the ranks quickly. He was a PFC in six months and one month later he was a corporal! Roger spent four years at Lackland, including a stint at their technology school. He was then sent to Korea from 1950 – 1952, where he was in the parachute and equipment section. One of his tasks was to help write and update the main test for the airmen. He then went to Harlingen Air Force Base (AFB), Texas for five and a half years, where he made his E-8 in operations.
Roger’s next assignment was to Chanute AFB, Illinois from 1959 – 1963, where he became the superintendent of Life Support Schools. There were 800 students and the classes included six basic, four adult NCO, and one officer’s course. Roger then went to Panama for Jungle School, where he helped train the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts! His last assignment was in Vietnam with the inspector general’s team. He retired in 1970 and went into civilian work in San Diego, California.
Roger came to AFRH-W in 1991. He had visited the place earlier and knew that this was where he wanted to be in retirement. He has always been active, incorporating lots of travel around the world and even now participates in physical therapy and attends the recreation therapy events. Roger has three daughters; Patty, Sandy and Judy, who come to visit regularly.