Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. becomes the first Black General in the U.S. Air Force.
1954 (Oct 27)
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., commander of the 15th Air Force bombers in their attacks on Romanian oil fields during World War II, became the first Black general in the U.S. Air Force. Davis, son of the Army's General Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., was born in Washington, D.C., in 1912. He was educated at Western Reserve University, the University of Chicago, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In 1936 Davis became the fourth black to graduate from West Point. He received his wings from the Tuskegee Advanced Flying School in 1942 and became commander of the 99th Fighter Squadron at the Army Air Field at Tuskegee. He was ordered to North Africa in 1943. During and after World War II, Davis served in Italy, Japan, Formosa, Germany, and Korea, where he served as commander of the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing. Davis's awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.