Get ready for extra commute traffic on the 120 Bypass as well as Lathrop Road starting Monday.
Work on the Union Pacific Railroad tracks will close three crossings between Manteca and Lathrop — Yosemite Avenue, Louise Avenue and Roth Road — as well as McKinley Avenue.
The crossings could be closed through Wednesday.
A number of commuters in west Manteca travel through Lathrop to reach Interstate 5 and then Bay Area freeways to avoid the congestion on the 120 Bypass.
That leaves only two ways to travel between Lathrop and Manteca or to reach Interstate 5 — Lathrop Road with its two bridges across railroad tracks and the 120 Bypass.
of Honor recipient
in Manteca May 29
Sammy Davis — Manteca’s own Congressional Medal of Honor recipient — will be back in town for the Memorial Weekend Commemorative Event at Woodward Park on May 29.
Pastor Mike Dillman said Davis will serve as the keynote speaker for the event that has drawn in excess of 20,000 people in previous years.
Davis, 69, grew up in French Camp where he fondly remembers playing in canals during the summer to cool off.
At Manteca High, he played football — left tackle — and was on the dive team.
It was also at Manteca High where he was influenced by several teachers including Bill Forbes.
”He (Forbes) taught me to stand up for what I thought was right in my heart,” Davis said during a 2007 appearance in Manteca.
Davis attended Manteca High through his junior year. After that, his family moved to Indiana. He enlisted in the Army in Indianapolis.
Davis’ decision to enlist in the military at the height of the Vietnam War was a no-brainer for him.
”It was my time to serve,” Davis said.
His father, Robert Davis, served in World War II. Brother Hubert “Buddy” Davis served in the Korean War and brother Darrell Davis served in the Vietnam War. His grandfather also served in the Spanish-American War.
Davis has been a Sea Scout in Stockton. Because of that, when he went to the recruitment center, his intent was to join the Marines.
”This is the truth,” Davis said as he started to explain why he joined the Army, “I don’t like standing in lines. The line to join the Army was shorter, so I got in that line and joined the Army.”
The defining moment of Davis’ life took place nearly 49 years ago in November 1967 west of Cai Lay in the Republic of Vietnam.
Davis was a 21-year-old sergeant with the U.S. Army, Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 4th Artillery, 9th Infantry Division.
A number of his seriously wounded comrades were hollering out for help across a deep Vietnam river as 1,500 enemy troops were advancing on 90 Americans. Davis didn’t worry about the fact he was wounded so he couldn’t swim or that heavy incoming fire threatened to end his life at any second.
Davis helped fire rounds back at the enemy located some 25 meters away when mortars hit American artillery positions and gravely injured three of his comrades. Between valiant efforts to keep the enemy from advancing, Davis grabbed an air mattress and struck out across the river to rescue his wounded comrades one by one. Each time he reached the far shore, Davis stood up and opened fire on the enemy to prevent them from advancing and finishing off the three soldiers.
Though suffering from critical wounds, Davis’ heroics continued after he pulled the last man back across the river. He refused medical attention and instead joined another howitzer crew that fired at the large Viet Cong force until it broke contact and fled.
An interesting footnote: The news footage of Davis receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Lyndon Johnson was used in the movie “Forest Gump” with Tom Hanks’ face super imposed. Gump’s valor depicted in the movie is loosely based on what Davis did in Vietnam.
Catch the train
to Super Bowl 50
The Altamont Corridor Express is rolling out a special train Sunday for those trying to reach the Super Bowl 50 and accompanying activities in Santa Clara at Levi’s Stadium.
The train departs the Lathrop-Manteca stadium at 9:32 a.m. and arrives at Levi’s Stadium at 11:07 a.m. Kick-off is at 3:30 p.m. The train departs for the return trip at 9:30 p.m. arriving in Lathrop-Manteca at 11:05 p.m.
The cost for a round-trip ticket from Lathrop-Manteca is $35. For more details, go to acerail.com/BigGame.
Stockton Metro Airport is expected to see a bit of Super Bowl traffic as well with almost 10 private jets already booked to land there with passengers heading to Levi’s Stadium. The Bay Area airports are expected to be saturated with private jets needing to park for a couple of days. Last year there were 1,000 plus private jets flown to the Super Bowl in Phoenix. Stockton Metro can accommodate 80 private jets.