Richard Travis Davenport

1953 - 2017

Vietnam War

Their Story

Richard Travis Davenport was born in Harris County, Texas, on August 14, 1953, to James Henry Davenport and Eva A. Gilmore.1 He was an only child, whose mother died in a Sioux City, Iowa, hospital after a brief illness when Richard was 33 years old.2 His father died in a Sioux City, Iowa, nursing home when Richard was 35.3 His mother was previously married to Alvin Joseph Arnell in California in 1928 and they had a son, also named Richard (Arnell, Sr.), who lived in Scotland at the time of her death.4

Not much is known about his early life, but friends tell of his good relationship with his grandmother in Texas, who he lived with for a while on her farm, and that they liked to fish.5 He was married at some point to Martha Ellen (Ford) Davenport, called Marty, who died of cancer in 1998 in Huxley, Iowa.6

Richard served in the U.S. Army from June 7, 1972, until June 1, 1975, when he was honorably discharged after returning from one year and five months of overseas duty.7 His last overseas assignment and command was USAREUR, returning from Germany. His home of record at that time was Salix, Iowa, where his parents were living. His rank was SP4, attaining that on March 1, 1974. He served as a pay dispersing specialist with the 38th Finance Section. He earned the National Defense Service Medal, which is awarded for honorable active service for any period between June 27, 1950, and July 27, 1954, and between January 1, 1961, and August 14, 1974.8

He had last lived in Moline, Illinois. He had previously lived with a friend in Bettendorf, Iowa, while they both worked for Amtrey Appliance, and then they moved to Colona, Illinois. He also had lived in numerous places in Iowa. With long hair and a beard, Richard died at Manor Care in Davenport, Iowa, on June 10, 2017.9 His friend said he died from cancer, had severely swollen legs, and had been in a wheelchair.

Richard was buried at the Rock Island National Cemetery.


1 Texas Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics, 1953 Births, p.890

2 Sioux City Journal (Sioux City, Iowa) · 7 Dec 1986, Sun · Page 12 Downloaded on Mar 22, 2022

3 Sioux City Journal (Sioux City, Iowa) · 23 Apr 1988, Sat · Page 30 Downloaded on Mar 22, 2022

4 Eva Alverta Gilmore (1909–1986) • FamilySearch

5 Robert Wiedemann (listed as next-of-kin) and Paul DeRoin, friends of Richard Travis Davenport in interviews during March, 2022

6 Martha Davenport (

7 D1 TM MB-JB Relief from Active-Duty papers dated 6/1/1975

8 Code of Federal Regulations (

9 Richard Davenport (