Davis, Penrose M

Penrose Moore Davis Jr. was born on January 26, 1919 to Penrose M. and Mary Davis who lived in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Penrose was the younger of two children. His father was president of the Downingtown Iron Works manufacturer and the National Bank of Coatesville.

Penrose graduated from Westtown School in 1937. The Westtown School is a Quaker boarding School founded in 1799.

According to the yearbook from the Esther Duke Archives, Westtown School his Activities included: Senior Class President; Boys’ Council; Yearbook Board, Advertising Manager (senior year); Greek Play, playing the part of Aegus in Medea (senior year); Mixed Chorus and Operetta, The Mikado (senior year); Rustic Club (senior year), Glee Club (senior year); Senior Hiking Club; Drama Group (junior year); Motto and Flower Committee (junior year).

The yearbook describes him as:
The art of making others feel at home, that’s Pen’s most appreciated gift. He always seems at ease and automatically instills the same feeling into those near him. Courtesy is ever a part of Penrose, and it makes him many friends. His tact and clear vision have been well exercised this year in controlling the conflicting interests, which display themselves in his class meetings. Pen is also senior representative to the Boys’ Council. Here he shares nobly in the job of defending justice. He was among those who pushed through the new plan to make it customary for every accused to have a complete hearing of his case. Pen is frank and earnest and his opinion is always well-worth hearing!

Penrose was a member of the Williamson Lodge F. and A.M., in Downingtown and the Bradford Meeting of Friends in Coatesville.

Penrose went on to graduate Duke University.  After graduation, Penrose returned to the Coatesville area and obtained employment with the G. O. Carlson Company. The company manufactured products from stainless steel.

Penrose entered service in the Navy in September, 1942 and commissioned as an officer. He returned home on leave in April, 1943, the last time his family saw him alive. Penrose was assigned to serve on the USS Seid – DE-256. The Sied was a 256-foot destroyer escort of the Evarts Class, and was commissioned in June, 1943 at the Boston Navy Yard.

Penrose’s ship conducted training exercises, then provided convoy escort through the Panama Canal into the South Pacific. The Seid operated in the Central and South Pacific the balance of the war.

Lieutenant J.G. Penrose Moore Davis Jr. Died on March 6, 1945, in a hospital in Guadalcanal. No information was found as to his injury or illness before being transferred from the ship to Guadalcanal. His parents received notification of his death while on duty March 10, 1945, with no details.

Penrose’s remains were returned for burial in his home country in 1948. A private service was held at the Gensemer Funeral Homein Coatesville on March 10th. Interment was at the Hephzibah Cemetary.

The Westtown School planted trees in Penrose’s memory, adding to the border of the walkway from the school to the farmhouse.


Research by: Don Wambold, WCMSC