James T. Davis monument.

Hometown Monument to the First American Killed in Vietnam

Field review by the editors.

Livingston, Tennessee

James Davis's monument, complete with his photograph, identifies him as "the First American Killed in Vietnam," although this isn't correct. Americans soldiers had been killed in Vietnam since 1945, and the first one listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall was killed in 1956. Davis wasn't killed until 1961, but his death was proclaimed to be the first by President Lyndon Johnson, partly because the war didn't officially "begin" until December 11, 1961 (Davis was killed days later), and partly because he died valiantly, drawing fire away from his men, sacrificing his life to save theirs.

Hometown Monument to the First American Killed in Vietnam

N. Church St., Livingston, TN
The monument stands on the southeast corner of the Livingston County Courthouse square. On the west side of N. Church St. just north of S. Court Square.
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September 18, 2020

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