Benjamin O.Davis, Sr., is appointed brigadier general in the U.S. Army, becoming the highest ranking Black officer in the armed services.
1940 (Oct 16)
Benjamin O.Davis, Sr., was appointed brigadier general in the U.S. Army, becoming the highest ranking Black officer in the armed services. Davis was born in Washington, D.C., in 1877, and he studied at Howard University. He entered the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant in 1898 and served with the 8th Infantry during the Spanish-American War. Prior to World War II, Davis served in the Philippines, Liberia, and Wyoming. He also taught military science at Wilberforce University in Ohio and at Tuskegee Institute. In World War II he served in the European Theater of Operations as an advisor on the problems of Black servicemen, and he helped implement the desegregation of armed forces facilities in Europe. When he retired in 1948, Davis was an assistant to the inspector general in Washington, D.C. His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star, the Croix de Guerre with Palm, and an honorary doctorate from Atlanta University, Davis's son, Benjamin, Jr., also had a distinguished military career.