Lloyd L. Davis
Boatswain Mate (E-3)
U. S. Navy
Dates of Service: 07/16/1963 - 02/01/1967
Boatswain Mate

Lloyd was born at Charity Hospital in Shreveport. He was the son of Ruth Davis and Joseph Willy. He has three brothers and four sisters. Lloyd was raised on a family farm in Coushatta, where his grandparents took an active interest in his life. The family grew much of their food in an acre-and-a-half truck patch, and bought only flour, meal, sugar, and rice from the store. In the fall they killed hogs to preserve the meat with salt. His family had one of the few telephones in the area, hooked into what was called a party line, in which several residences used the same line. Often, neighbors came to make calls to relatives. Church was "mandatory," he states. He attended Summerhill Baptist Church, where he was baptized on July 16, 1957, at age 11. Even as a teenager he served as an usher and as assistant superintendent of Sunday School. In 1959 Lloyd entered Springville High School, where his agriculture teacher, Virgil Knighten, "made a big impact" on his life. He was 17 years old when he graduated. Although he strongly considered attending Grambling University, he chose to enter the U.S. Navy, and was sworn in on July 16, 1963. He was sent to Great Lakes Training Center in Illinois. There his company consisted both of white and black trainees. He spent a year at the Naval Training Center in San Diego, then boarded the USS Washington, a radar picket ship, pausing at stations in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington. He says he was seasick only once. In 1965, with his ship slated for decommissioning, he was sent to US Naval Station at Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, where he remained for the rest of his enlistment. A boatswain's mate, he drove small crafts (LCM3, LCM6, LCM8, and PB) in hauling supplies to ships, including many aircraft carriers, going back and forth to Vietnam. He also brought personnel to shore, including Marines on rest and recuperation. Lloyd was discharged in 1967 in San Francisco as a seaman third class. Returning to the South, he noticed there were no more signs for "colored" water fountains and bathrooms, and other signs of segregation evident when he left for the service. Lloyd went to work for Chrysler in Detroit for two years. He returned to help on his family farm, then moved to Shreveport, where he worked at Borden Milk Company, Allen Monument Company, and Cast Metal Continent Steel until the plant closed in 1984. He then worked at LSU Medical Center as an equipment technician, retiring on disability in 1990. He married Juanita Davis on July 16, 1977. They would have three sons and four grandchildren. He does volunteer work for two non-profit organizations, Queensborough Neighborhood Association and Shreveport Renascent Corporation. He is a member of Mt. Canaan Missionary Baptist Church.