William Rhodes Davis (1889 – August 1, 1941) was an American businessman,[1] named in assistant U.S. Attorney General O. John Rogge's Nazi Report,[2] published in 1961, as Abwehr agent C-80,[3][4] financed with the personal approval of Hitler, engaged in supplying petroleum to Germany.[5]

Biography[edit | edit source]

William Rhodes Davis first married Pearl Peter,[6] (she later married Paul Chandler Matthews).[7] The couple had three sons, William R. Davis, Jr., Joseph Graham Davis, Sr., and Currie Boyd Davis.[8] William R. Davis, Jr., at age 24,[9] was killed in a 1933 airplane crash[10] in Nicaragua, along with two fellow employees of his father's Davis & Co., Inc. of Boston.

Sometime after 1925, William Rhodes Davis married his second wife, Marie[11] Marjanna[12] Tomkunas. After Davis's sudden death in August, 1941, M. Marjanna Tomkunas Davis became beneficiary of half[13] of Davis's $5 million[14] estate trust, Davis's longtime,[15] personal secretary,[16] Erna Frieda Wehrle[17] became chairman[18] of Davis's Crusader Petroleum and Davis & Co, Inc., oil companies, and Werner von Clemm became vice-president.[19] Werner von Clemm, while under U.S. Federal indictment in 1942, was accused in a complaint received by the U.S. State Department to be linked to a network of Allen Dulles.[20]

In 1940 Sam Pryor, Jr.,[21] in his private plane, flew[22] William Rhodes Davis to Indiana to meet with republican presidential candidate Wendell Willkie at Willkie's home. Drew Pearson reported in 1946[23] that William Rhodes Davis was working as an Nazi agent[24] for Hermann Göring to finance Willkie's campaign,[25] along with labor union leader John L. Lewis.

In January 1941, U.S. Senator Josh Lee, (D-OK) said[26] of William Rhodes Davis, in reaction to Davis's role in forming and financing the No Foreign Wars Committee, that Davis's support of the new group was "the diabolically cunning betrayal of the American people." Senator Lee went on to say,[27]

The record of this man Davis shows conclusively the great financial stake he has in a complete Nazi victory in the European war. Much of the gasoline sending showers of fiery death into the defenseless heart of London was sold to the German government by this man Davis. ... He is still trying to promote a phony peace through the White House to pull Nazi Germany's chestnuts out of the fire. ... The No Foreign Wars Committee is a timely object lesson in the technique of all Nazi infiltration.

[28]

In his book, "A Man Called Intrepid", author William Stevenson claims that the famed British spy, William Stephenson killed William Rhodes Davis.[29]

A New York Times article, dated January 14, 1968, states that Doris Jane Davis is the daughter of Mrs. Armand M. Morell,[30] and the granddaughter of Mrs. Paul C.Matthews and of the late William Rhodes Davis.[31][32][33] Mrs. Armand M. Morell was (Mrs. Morell was formerly[34] Doris Meyer Davis, the wife of Joseph Graham Davis, Sr.),[35] the mother of, and Doris Jane Davis is the sister of, former Governor of California, Joseph Graham Davis, Jr., aka Gray Davis.[36][37]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Milestones, Aug. 11, 1941. August 11, 1941. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,765913,00.html. 
  2. Rogge, Oetje John (1961). The official German report: Nazi penetration, 1924–1942. T. Yoseloff. http://books.google.com/books?id=82ohAAAAMAAJ&q=%22Gentlemen%2C+I+have+reviewed+Mr.+Davis#search_anchor. 
  3. Stevenson, William (1976, 2000). A Man Called Intrepid: The Secret War. Globe Pequot. http://books.google.com/books?id=6khAintPuicC&pg=PA291&dq=rhodes+davis+c-80&hl=en&ei=YyXWTZvpL4f40gHZ9KmqBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=rhodes%20davis%20c-80&f=false. 
  4. Farago, Ladislas (1973). The Game of the Foxes: The untold story of German espionage in the United States and Great Britain during World War II. Bantam Books. http://books.google.com/books?id=ix4yAQAAIAAJ&q=abwehr+agent+c-80&dq=abwehr+agent+c-80&hl=en&ei=mwfVTePeGqrk0gGF-Zy2DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CEwQ6AEwBA. 
  5. "WM. R. DAVIS DEAD; NOTED OIL MAN, 52". New York Times. August 2, 1941. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70914F7345F17738DDDAB0894D0405B8188F1D3. 
  6. "Google Nieuws". Google. http://news.google.com/archivesearch?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=pearl+peterdavis&cf=all. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  7. "PAUL MATTHEWS SR.". New York Times. June 21, 1974. http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=pearl+paul+c+matthews&btnG=Search+Archives&hl=en&ned=us&scoring=a. 
  8. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=+Currie+Boyd+Davis+died+January+18%2C+2001.+Born+in+Tulsa%2C+OK+in+April+1925&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=
  9. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&tbs=bks%3A1&q=%22dale+harrington%22+william+davis%2C+jr.+nicaragua&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=
  10. "Google Nieuws". Google. http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=bodies+lake+managua+davis+%26+co&scoring=a&hl=en&ned=us&sa=N&cid=4251948903563366. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  11. http://www.google.com/search?q=marjanna%20tomkunas&ned=us&hl=en&tbo=u&tbs=bks:1&source=og&sa=N&tab=np
  12. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&tbo=1&tbs=bks%3A1&q=%22*Further%2C+Wehrle+also+had+to+know+that+the+viability%22&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=
  13. "Google Nieuws". Google. http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=wife+marie+tomkunas+receive+half+Each+of+the+two+sons%2CJoe+G.+Davis%2C+18&btnG=Search+Archives&ned=us&hl=en&scoring=a. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  14. "Google Nieuws". Google. http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=To+Probate+W.R.+Davis%27s+Will+estimated&btnG=Search+Archives&ned=us&hl=en&scoring=a. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  15. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&tbo=1&tbs=bks%3A1&q=%22*She+had+spent+the+past+seven+years+of+her+life+with+Davis%22&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=
  16. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&tbo=1&tbs=bks%3A1&q=Erna+Wehrle%2C+help+him+prepare+a+secret+code&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=
  17. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&tbs=bks%3A1&q=secretary+and+constant+companion%2C+Miss+Erna+Frieda+Wehrle%2C&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=
  18. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&tbo=1&tbs=bks%3A1&q=%22Davis%27s+personal+secretary+and+close+friend+from+1934+and+president*%22&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=
  19. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Werner%20von%20Clemm%20became%20vice-president.&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbo=u&tbs=bks:1&source=og&sa=N&tab=wp
  20. "Gentleman spy: the life of Allen Dulles – Google Books". Google Books. http://books.google.com/books?ei=XiwyTLjbLIS8lQeevc2-Cw&ct=result&id=GoGIl_wI_fgC&dq=%22werner+von+clemm%22+chairman&q=%22werner+von+clemm%22+#search_anchor. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  21. "Mystery man: William Rhodes Davis ... – Google Books". Google Books. http://books.google.com/books?id=VBJnAAAAMAAJ&q=Davis+and+Marshall+stayed+two+days&dq=Davis+and+Marshall+stayed+two+days&pgis=1. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  22. http://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&tbo=1&q=HERB+PARMELET+SAM+PRYOR&btnG=Search+Books#sclient=psy&hl=en&safe=off&tbo=1&tbm=bks&source=hp&q=PARMET+%22Willkie%27s+friend+to+use+his+private+airplane+to*%22&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&psj=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=1531c49d9c39fc37
  23. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=e6IzAAAAIBAJ&sjid=oO4HAAAAIBAJ&pg=2441,3271497&dq=rogge+million+willkie&hl=en
  24. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=newsweek%20rhodes%20davis%20werner%20von%20clemm&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbo=u&tbs=nws:1,bks:1&source=og&sa=N&tab=np
  25. "Wendell Willkie: Fighter for Freedom – Google Books". Google Books. http://books.google.com/books?id=xurZhUonAMAC&pg=PA559&dq=pryor+willkie+davis+lewis&hl=en&ei=iEAsTJCnC4TGlQeF7oDPCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CEAQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=pryor%20willkie%20davis%20lewis&f=false. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  26. "LEE ATTACKS COMMITTEE; Senator Calls It 'a Lesson in Nazi Infiltration'". The New York Times. January 1, 1941. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00E1FFD3E5F167B93C3A9178AD85F458485F9. 
  27. [1][dead link]
  28. "Google Nieuws". Google. http://news.google.com/archivesearch?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=The+No+Foreign+Wars+Committee+is+a+timely+object+lesson+in+the+technique+of++Nazi+infiltration.&cf=all. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  29. "A man called Intrepid: the secret war – Google Books". Google Books. http://books.google.com/books?id=6khAintPuicC&pg=RA1-PA295&dq=%22a+man+called+intrepid%22+prime+fifty-two&hl=en&ei=XEQsTL7fLML7lwek1tH1CQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  30. "Google Nieuws". Google. http://news.google.com/archivesearch?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=%22Doris+Jane+Davis+Is+Future+Bride+Of+George+Ross%22&cf=all. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  31. "Google Nieuws". Google. http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=%22Doris+Jane+Davis+Is+Future+Bride+Of+George+Ross%22+matthews&btnG=Search+Archives&ned=us&hl=en&scoring=a. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  32. "Google Nieuws". Google. http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=pearl+peterdavis+matthews+joe&btnG=Search+Archives&ned=us&hl=en&scoring=a. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  33. "Google Nieuws". Google. http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=joseph+graham+davis+son+of+matthews+rhodes+davis&btnG=Search+Archives&ned=us&hl=en&scoring=a. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  34. http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=+In+1963+Armand+Morell+married+Doris+Meyer+Davis+and+became+the+loving&btnG=Search+Archives&hl=en&ned=us&scoring=a
  35. http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=+Matthews+joseph+graham+currie+%22rhodes+davis%22&btnG=Search+Archives&hl=en&ned=us&scoring=a
  36. "Paid Notice: Deaths MORELL, DORIS MEYER". The New York Times. October 8, 2006. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E00E7DB153AF93BA35753C1A9609C8B63. 
  37. Nelson, Valerie J. (October 4, 2006). "Doris Meyer Morell, 83; Mother of Gray Davis Helped in His Campaigns". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2006/oct/04/local/me-morell4. 

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