In Memory

Leslie Allan Davis

Born in Sweetwater, Texas, the youngest of three sons to Lille Marea (Momma Rae) Walls and Willie Eugene (Pappy) Davis.  

The family moved to Odessa just before Leslie began the second grade.  His father was a car wholesaler and his mother worked at J.C. Penney's.  Leslie attended Cameron Elementary, Crockett Junior High and Odessa High School.  He was a gifted athlete and musician.  He played drums in the Odessa High School Band.  He graduated in 1965 and entered the Navy in June 1965 following in his two older brothers steps.  He had the intention of making it his career.  

He was an Structural Aviation's Mate.  He served aboard the USS Bonhamme Richard, CVA 31.  In February, 1967, the Bonhamme Richard was serving at Yankee Station off the coast of North Vietnam making bombing strikes against North Vietnam.  Leslie Davis was serving on the launching crew.  After a plane was launched, Davis went onto the deck to check the launching cable.  The next aircraft that was staging accidentally launched a rocket and it came down the flight deck and struck Davis in the stomach.  He was medevaced to Da Nang where he was treated and transferred to Corpus Christi, where he underwent treatment and several surgeries. He lost about 1/4 of his stomach and a foot and 1/2 of his intestines.  He was able to return to duty on the Richard and was  medically retired in 1969 with 100% disability.  

He attended barber school and married Brenda Bailey in January 1972.  She passed away the following year from Hodgin's Disease.  Leslie married Edith Baumstimler of Odessa in 1974 and they were the parents to one son, Brandon.  They divorced in 1980.  

Leslie continued to barber and was a member of a West Texas Band, named "Shalako".  He played rhythm guitar and was a vocalist.  The band enjoyed success in the Country Rock  chandre.  He married Judy Bell in 1984 in Andrews, where he moved his barber shop.  They later moved to San Angelo, where Leslie retired as a barber and worked at the the State Home in Carlsbad, Texas.  

He died from complications following gall bladder surgery.  He was cremated.  He was predeceased by his parents.  He was survived by his wife, Judy, an adopted daughter, his son, brothers, Bob of Odessa and Tim of Florida.

From FAG on line

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05/04/15 07:34 PM #1    

Billy Mac Brown

Les was a good buddy.  I first met him when I moved into the Cameron District in the 5th grade.  Les and I played grade school football and baseball together.  We played on different little league and pony league teams. After Cameron, Les went to Crockett where he played drums in the band and then also at OHS.  We were reunited at OHS when we entered as sophomores.   Les was a fun guy, had a great sense of humor and he could really dazzle my mother.  Mom thought Les could do no wrong.  We ran together though the end of our junior year.  My path took a different direction and I started to work after school.  When we completed high school, Les immediately joined the U.S. Navy and he wanted to make a career of it as was his two older brothers, Bob and Tim. 

In the spring of 1967, Les was on the Bon Homme Richard, an aircraft carrier and they were operating off of the coast of North Vietnam in what was referred to as Yankee Station.  Les was a part of the launching crew and Les was to ensure that the catapulting cable did not bunch up after an aircraft was launched.  He was on the deck checking the cable and the next aircraft had a rocket to come loose underneath the wing.  The rocket came rolling down the deck and struck Les in the abdomen.  Les was critical and was air medevaced to the Da Nang Naval Hospital.  Les ended up loosing two and a half feet of his intestinal tract and he was hemorraghing internally.  He ended up convalscenting for almost 18 months before he could return to duty on the Richard.  He was medically retired from the Navy in the summer of 1969, as he could not pass the phyical to re-enlist.  

Les married Brenda Bailey, the younger sister of our classmate Diane Bailey.  Shortly thereafter their marriage, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease.  She passed away in late 1971 and the loss was more than he could bear.  He completed Barber Training and worked a several shops in Odessa.  He remarried, was the father of a son and that marriage ended in divorce.  He also played in a band named Shalako and he was the rhythm guitar player and they played in clubs in the Midland-Odessa area. 

He remarried once again, moved to Andrews and set up his barber shop there and operated it for three years.  His wife was transferred to San Angelo and they moved down there.  He did not return to barbering and went to work at the State School in Carlsbad, Texas. He and his wife also adopted a girl.  In  April 2004, Les began to have gall bladder problems and had his gall bladder removed from the traditional surgurical method.  He began to have trouble with the incision as it ruptured.  He went to the ER and they sent him home and told him to see his doctor the next day.  On April 29, 2004, his wife went to wake him up to take him to the doctor.  He had died during the night.  He was cremated and his funeral was held in San Angelo.  Les was a good friend and I still miss him.   



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