AKRON, OH (WOIO) - Howland Davis, a Vietnam War veteran, is on a mission to pay tribute to his fellow veterans who died in the war.
Davis is completing a database containing information on all veterans with ties to Summit County.
"It's a way of honoring them," Davis said. "We call it the Veteran's Honor Roll."
He recently took over the database from the Summit County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, which started the effort.
Davis is now on the last leg of the project. He's working to find the final resting places of Vietnam War veterans. Davis said the veterans are either buried locally, out of state or their ashes may remain with relatives.
Outside the City and County Safety Building in Akron, 175 names of Vietnam War veterans are listed on a memorial. When Davis started the heartfelt project, he was looking or information on nine remaining Vietnam War veterans. Tips helped Davis learn the whereabouts of six service members. Now, he's on the hunt for the remaining three.
"Ronald Canter- we're trying to find him. Charles Wilcox- we're trying to find him. And, Robert Collins - we're trying to find him," Davis said.
Have insight that could help complete the veterans database? Contact Howland Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org
It's personal for Davis, who served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Army. Davis shared a photograph with Cleveland 19 News showing his days on the frontlines.
"Most of us have probably watched the Ken Burns (documentary) on Vietnam and learned more about it," Davis said. "And realized, in my case, how damn lucky I was to come back."
It's easy to see why finding Ronald, Charles and Robert is so important. Davis said relief comes when details emerge.
"One of the ones we were looking for was Billy DeWeese. His name is actually Billy 'C' not 'O' DeWeese," Davis said. "And we got an email from another veteran, who still lives here in Summit County, who was one of his friends."
The friend told Davis about being hurt alongside DeWeese in the hospital in Vietnam before DeWeese left for another location.
"They took off from the base and the plane crashed. And the friend who was in the hospital- saw the plane crash," Davis said. "So, we knew exactly where he was killed and everything."
DeWeese is buried in West Virginia.
Davis hopes to have answers on the three remaining service members soon.
"A lot of the emails have said, 'We're glad to hear that somebody's doing this,'" Davis said.