Baylor Crew Club students dedicate new boat to late WWII veteran

Posted at 2:07 PM, Apr 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-07 00:10:10-04

Students on the Baylor Crew Club named their newest boat to the fleet after a World War II veteran.

Ben Aaron, a member of the Crew Club and a student veteran, said a new boat was donated to their fleet in part by the Lau family and the crew wanted to name the boat.

"A boat without a name is bad luck," Aaron said. 

Aaron said he received an email from Baylor stating that the former barber of the university had died. As he read the obituary, he found out that man, Ervin Davis, served in the United States Army in World War II. He had served at Baylor as a barber for 56 years.

Davis died last month at the age of 92.

Aaron presented the idea of naming the new boat after Davis to his team, and they all agreed. 

“Whenever we race with these boats, we do it in their honor and we feel it gives us a little bit of oomph when it gets down to it,” Aaron said.

For Aaron, it’s much more personal, too. He served in the Marine Corps for five years.

In addition to his connection of being a veteran, Aaron’s grandfather remembers getting his hair cut from Davis when he attended Baylor.

“So that held a special significance for me,” Aaron. “We need to ensure that not only what we did at Baylor but especially overseas in the Eastern Theatre of operations during WWII should never be forgotten. It's a testament to who we are."

The Baylor Crew Club named the boat The Ervin Davis.

The Baylor Crew Club revealed the name of the boat on Friday afternoon at the boat house, with Davis' family there as well.

“He would be so pleased,” Erwin Davis, Ervin’s twin brother, said. “It’s beyond what I expected, you know. But it’s so special.”

Erwin and Ervin served in the Army together as a bazooka team. Ervin received two bronze stars for his service.

“I’m younger by 15 minutes,” Erwin said. “He never let me forget it.”

Several members of Ervin’s family attended the ceremony on Friday.

“It’s such an honor for all the years he spend at Baylor to have this named in his honor. It’s a high honor,” Erwin said. “We all appreciate it.”

The Baylor Crew Club also presented the Davis family with a painting of The Ervin Davis boat for the family to keep to commemorate the day.

The Ervin Davis boat will be in its first race on April 7.

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