Thomas Preston Davis

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Dr. Thomas Preston Davis, MD, FACS,(born July 31, 1953) is a trauma/general surgeon and formerly a Captain in the Medical Corps of the United States Navy. While serving as a trauma surgeon at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, Dr. Davis rose to prominence for being lead clinical medical caretaker of the survivors of the USS Cole (DDG-67) attack in Yemen and the survivors from the USS Firebolt terrorist attack[1] which occurred during operations to protect oil platforms in the Persian Gulf. After transferring to Okinawa, Japan in 2004, then Commander Davis was deployed to Sri Lanka for the 2004 tsunami relief effort where the group from 3d Force Service Support Group (now 3d Marine Logistics Group[2]) was sent to Point Pedro, Sri Lanka near the Tamil Tiger/Government civil war truce line. In late 2005, Davis was Chief of Professional Services for the joint relief effort in Shinkiari[3] in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan[4] after the earthquake which killed approximately 73,000 victims. Additionally, in the spring of 2006, Davis led the medical relief effort[5] in Java, Indonesia following the earthquake in that area. Davis was frequently the face of US military relief operations in the 2004-2006 time period.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Davis was born in Charlottesville, Virginia, son of James Madison Davis and Alma Lucille Tate. In the late 1950s, the family moved to the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC where he attended public school in Bladensburg.[7] After graduating from high school in 1971, Davis enlisted in the United States Navy and remained on active duty and in the reserve until 1977. Tradevman Second Class Davis played in the All-Navy Volleyball championship in 1974 and 1975 and performed in the All-Navy Talent Contest in 1974. After leaving the Navy, Davis attended one year of college at Bucks County Community College[8] in Newtown, Pennsylvania and then transferred to the University of Maryland at College Park.[9] He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering in 1981 and was a member of the Omega Chi Epsilon honor society. Davis married Kathryn Louise Nugent, daughter of Jerry Nugent and Geneva Hembree, on September 6, 1980. The couple are the parents of four children. Davis is the brother of J. Madison Davis, renowned author and retired English Professor at the University of Oklahoma and a younger brother/former US Army Ranger, Donald Robert Davis.


After graduating from Maryland in 1981, Davis was recruited by the DuPont corporation and worked at the Savannah River Plant[10] in Aiken, SC in the Away From Reactor Storage program then the L Area Restart project. In 1984, he trained as a US Department of Energy-certified nuclear reactor control room supervisor. After serving as a technical expert during the design and construction of a control room simulator, Davis left DuPont to begin medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina.[11] He graduated in 1990 with a Doctor of Medicine degree. After graduation, Davis completed a residency in General Surgery at the National Naval Medical Center,[12] in Bethesda, Maryland. From 1995–1997, he was Chief of Surgical Services at the US Naval Hospital in Naples, Italy. Davis completed a Trauma/Critical Care Fellowship at Grady Memorial Hospital/Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia from 1997-1999 with Drs. David V. Feliciano and Grace S. Rozycki.[13][14] From 1999-2004, he was stationed at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, VA. It was during this period that the USS Cole (DDG-67)[15] and USS Firebolt (PC-10)[16] incidents occurred. After deploying from Okinawa[17] for the humanitarian missions in 2004-2006 noted above, Davis served as Ship's Surgeon aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65)[18] and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)[19][20] participating in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. In 2009, CAPT Davis became Head of Surgery at the Joint Health Care Clinic on the Naval Weapons Station in Charleston, SC and served there until his retirement from the Navy in October 2013. Doctor Davis is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons,[21] a State Faculty level Advanced Trauma Life Support[22] instructor, and has been certified in General Surgery by the American Board of Surgery[23] since 1997. After retiring from the US Navy, Doctor Davis was recruited to the position of Facility Medical Director for Acute Care/Emergency Surgery and the TeamHealth Elective Surgery Program at Carolina East Medical Center in Craven County, North Carolina.

During his naval career, Captain Davis received the following awards: Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Meritorious Service Medal (two awards); Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards); Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal; Joint Unit Commendation; Navy Unit Commendation; Meritorious Unit Commendation (six awards); Battle "E"; National Defense Medal (three awards); Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War On Terrorism Service Medal; Armed Forces Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal (three awards); Sea Service ribbon (five awards); Overseas Service Ribbon (two awards); NATO Medal, Rifle Sharpshooter ribbon, Pistol Sharpshooter ribbon; Medical Surface Warfare Officer device; and the Fleet Marine Force Officer device.


The Journal of trauma, injury, infection, and critical care ISSN 1079-6061 2003, vol. 55, no6, pp. 1022–1028 [7 page(s) (article)] (4 ref.)


  1. ^ Navy trauma surgeon gets brief visit home:
  2. ^
  3. ^ US Relief in Pakistan:
  4. ^ III MEF helps quake victims in Pakistan:
  5. ^ US Relief in Indonesia:
  6. ^ WVEC newscast video:
  7. ^ Bladensburg High School
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Surgeon-performed ultrasound (Published in 1998, W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia):
  14. ^ A Prospective Study of Surgeon-Performed Ultrasound as the Primary Adjuvant Modality for Injured Patient Assessment:
  15. ^ USS Cole bombing
  16. ^ USS Firebolt (PC-10)
  17. ^ Medical personnel receive advanced trauma training:
  18. ^ Big E's Medical Department Performs Emergency Surgeries:
  19. ^ USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)
  20. ^ Operations Aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt:
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