Milton Henry Davis was born March 4, 1920 in Holton, Kansas, a town of about 2,700 in the northeast part of the state.
His father, Walter “Dick” Davis, was a dairy farm laborer, and his mother, Mary Davis Davis, a homemaker.
Young Milton, apparently their only child, attended local schools and enlisted in the Navy on Nov. 7, 1939. The Great Depression was still bearing down on Holton. His father reported earning $312 for 52 weeks of work in 1939 – equivalent to about $5,740 in 2019. Neighbors — a dentist, housekeeper, welder, salesman, and barber — each reported earning $0 in 1939.
Milton wrote home from the U.S.S. Arizona in late November 1941 that he liked the Navy life and work. His parents expected him home soon on leave and had redecorated the house in preparation.
That was not to be. Their son was killed on Dec. 7, 1941, in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was a seaman first class.
A granite cenotaph with his name was placed by his parents in 1942 at the Holton Cemetery.