Edward Harvey Daves

Edward Harvey Daves went "forever aloft" on May 2, 2014. He was born on October 10, 1922, in Kingsburg, Ca to Willis and Gladys (Benson) Daves. Edward, "Ted" to his family, attended Kingsburg High School, graduating in 1941. He entered Reedley College where began the Civilian Pilot Training Program, enrolling in Liaison Pilot Training after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Ed was soon called up by the US Army Air Corps, completing his flight training and receiving his "wings" at Stockton Air Force Base on December 5, 1943.

His military career began in earnest when he chose to become a B-17 "Flying Fortress" pilot. Assigned to the Eighth Air Force's 401st Bombardment Group in Deenthorpe, England, he immediately began flying combat missions over Germany. On September 28, 1944, on his eleventh mission, his bomber, the "Little Moe", was hit by flak 30,000 feet over Magdeburg, Germany. Only after all of his crew was accounted for did Ed exit his dying aircraft via the front escape hatch. He and all of his crew landed safely, but were all captured and sent to P.O.W. camps. Ed was shipped to Stalag Luft I camp in Barth, Germany, and was liberated on May 1, 1945, by the Russian Army.

Shortly after Ed returned from Europe, he married his Reedley College sweetheart, Edna Henkel, on July 28, 1945, in her hometown of Orosi, CA. He spent the next two years on active duty as a Liaison Flight Instructor, ending up teaching ground officers to fly Stearman aircraft in San Marcos, TX. In 1947, they returned to California, where both began degree programs at San Jose State College. He graduated in 1949 with a B.A. in Industrial Arts and then completed a Secondary Teaching Credential. He taught in Folsom until his father passed away in 1951, when he and Edna returned home. They eventually settled in Fresno, where he began teaching Industrial Arts at Ft. Miller Junior High School, while simultaneously running his parents' small ranch in Kingsburg. He was the woodshop teacher at Ft. Miller, as well as commandant of the student Cadet Corps until 1973, when he transferred to Fresno High School. Ed formally retired from teaching in 1982.

Ed was a gifted wood worker and draftsman, having designed and built two homes and many beautiful pieces of furniture and cabinetry over his lifetime. He was as also an exemplary educator, a man of high principle, possessed of quiet dignity and humility, and capable of great empathy. There was a depth to him that he allowed few people to see, but which shone through in his willingness to help friends and strangers in need, and to judge each person he met with fairness and on their individual merit. He represented all of the qualities we have come to respect in the "Greatest Generation" a man of honor who devoted his entire life to country, family, and community with resolute dedication.

He was a proud member of the 401st Bomb Group Association and the Fresno American Ex-POW Club, Chapter 1, as well as an emeritus Master Mason at Las Palmas Lodge. Ed's experience as a P.O.W. in Germany was also featured in "Stories of Service" by local author Janice Stevens. As with many WWII vets, it took a long time for him to talk about what he saw and experienced in the war, but ever the teacher, he considered being asked to participate in a historical record for future generations his duty as well as a great privilege.

Ed was preceded in death by his parents; Willis and Gladys Daves, and his sister, June Moss of Windsor, CA.

He is survived by his wife Edna of Fresno; his daughter, Jill Daves-Plaunt and her husband Christian Plaunt of Fresno; a son Gregory; his niece, Dian Coleman of Windsor, CA; his nephew, Marvin Moss of Bay Point, CA; and many beloved nieces and nephews on his wife's side of the family.

Visitation will be held at Lisle Funeral Home on Thursday, May 15, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

A Memorial Graveside Service will be held on May 16, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at Fresno Memorial Gardens.

The family requests that donations in Ed's name be made to the Champaign Lady Restoration Project of the 401st Bomb Group Association, P.O. Box 2718, Gig Harbor, WA 98335; or to any charity of your choice that you feel would be an appropriate tribute to him.

Arrangements under the direction of Lisle Funeral Home, Fresno, CA.


  • Graveside Service Friday, May 16, 2014

Edward Harvey Daves

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August 3, 2016

Missing you today Daddy. Your Jill

William Zempel

October 26, 2015

While writing my memoirs I was thinking about my past teaching career and it's many great memories. Ed had been my Master Teacher at Fort Miller Jr. High School in 1958. One day while chatting about this and that he told me about his wartime experiences. I felt a bonding to him as my brother also had been a B17 pilot. Then he began telling me about his "retraining" upon his return after the war and the antics that he and his instructor pilot would do while flying as they searched for places they could take their girls on picnics. This sounded very familiar to me, having heard similar stories from a very good friend, so I said "This sounds exactly like my friend Bill Jarvis". Ed was as surprised as I was. I had met Bill in 1948 when we both worked at the same machine shop and attended the same church. Ed was a great teacher and as for me, I went on to become a college professor at College of San Mateo, retiring in 1990. I'm sorry that I missed the opportunity to renew my acquaintance with Ed when he attended the Jarvis' 60th wedding anniversary.


May 18, 2014

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains immortal." - Albert Pike

Dad apparently touched a few lives along the way, and I know that he would be so honored at your tributes to him. Thank you all so very much.

Robert Gee

May 16, 2014

Mr Daves was my Cadet Corps Leader and Shop Teacher from 1960 to 1962. I remember the Drill Team meets, rifle matches and Cadet Balls as if they were yesterday after 50 plus years. But what I remember and cherish the most are Mr Daves abilities to lead and guide young teens into productive and responsible adult lives. His affect on me personally lead to a military career and later to a life of public service. It has been my privilege and honor to have know and been guided by this man. My deepest respect to you Mr Ed Daves!

May 15, 2014

Many memories have been shared with you already about Uncle Ed. One that I may have "missed" is when he was the Cadet Corps Leader at Fort Miller Junior High School. We would go to the Fresno Memorial Auditorium to watch hundreds of cadets from various schools complete their "planned precision drills" by school, and then we would watch them listen to commands, and be eliminated one by one. You could hear a pin drop since the cadets were listening to the commands, and completing them. I remember that only the "clicking" of the rifles was audible. I know that one year, Fort Miller was the only junior high school ever to be represented in the State Final. (According to my "1957 Outrider" (aka Yearbook), there were 165 cadets in the Corps.) Uncle Ed was delighted with their accomplishments--the discipline and precision were amazing.

On a sadder note, I remember that my Dad took us to Uncle Ed and Aunt Edna's after my Mother had a C-section on December 28, 1955. Our baby brother lived only 12 hours because of underdeveloped lungs. (Herb and Lois were at your parents' house, but it was "fine" with all of them that we came.) Your Dad's quiet compassion was felt without his having to "speak" a word.

Debbi Giannoni-Herr

May 13, 2014

My mom and dad, Rudy and Jeanne Giannoni had many nice memories of both your parents especially time spent at Cayucos. Dad has enjoyed sharing he and your dad's WWII experiences as POW's and being a part of the Fresno Ex-POW Chapter for many years together. I know my dad is planning to come to Ed's service. May your family be blessed with many happy memories of your dad. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers during this time. Warm regards,

Dian Coleman

May 12, 2014

Thank you Uncle Ted for being so wonderful and loveing. I will miss you.

Linda Frye

May 12, 2014

Thank you, Uncle Ed, for being a special person in my life.

May 12, 2014

Goodbye, my dear daddy. Love, Jill