- 24 years old
- Date of birth: Nov 17, 1979
- Date of passing: Dec 2, 2003
|Let the memory of Spc Raphael be with us forever|
24, of Tutwiler, Miss.; assigned to B Company, 223rd Engineer Battalion, Army National Guard, based in Calhoun City, Miss.; killed Dec. 2 when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in Tampa, Iraq.
TUTWILER, Miss. — The body of a Mississippi National Guard member killed in Iraq left the Middle East on Dec. 3, just one day before the father of three was expected home on leave.
Spc. Raphael Davis, 24, was killed Dec. 2 when an improvised explosive device ripped through the Humvee he was driving in a convoy in Tampa, Iraq. Passengers in the vehicle survived.
His father, Clifton Bailey, said his son knew God wanted him home.
“He called me on Nov. 16, the day before his birthday,” Bailey said. “He tracked me down until he found me at work. I never heard him sound so happy. He told me he was coming home. We all assumed he meant Tutwiler, but he knew he was going to his heavenly home. He was calling me to say goodbye.”
Bailey learned the circumstances of his son’s death from another son serving in the same unit, Clifton Bailey Jr., 26.
The brothers joined the National Guard two years ago under the buddy system. When they were called to duty, the two went as a pair.
Davis grew up in the Mississippi Delta, dividing his time between his father’s house in Webb and his mother’s home in Tutwiler. His parents were divorced.
After graduating high school in 1998, Davis went to work at a Circuit City in Jackson installing car stereos and alarms. He also was in his second year at Holmes Community College pursuing a degree in engineering when he was deployed. Davis was a member of Company C, 223rd Engineer Battalion of the Mississippi Army National Guard.
“He was going to make something of himself, and education was very important to him,” said his stepfather, the Rev. Dr. Ilanda Pimpton. “He was a perfectionist. He was going to do it right or not do it at all.”
Davis’ big family recently grew larger with the addition of his four-week-old son, Razavier Seon, born Nov. 6 to his girlfriend, Deetra Tucker, while he was in Iraq. A Calhoun City resident, Tucker is also a member of the National Guard. But because of her pregnancy, she said she was not deployed to Iraq with Davis and the other members of the unit.
Davis and Tucker have two other children — 6-year-old Raphael Jr. and 5-year- old Ravin.
Betty Pimpton said she worried, as any mother would, when Davis got orders to leave for Iraq, but she never imagined that he would die over there.
“You always hope for the best, never thinking about the worst that can happen,” she said. “I didn’t want him to go over there, but it was his choice. He was already enlisted.”
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