Benjamin O. Davis Sr., 1st. African American General in the Regular Army & U.S. Armed Forces

Title

Benjamin O. Davis Sr., 1st. African American General in the Regular Army & U.S. Armed Forces

Description

"My own opinion was that blacks could best overcome racist attitudes through achievements, even though those achievements had to take place within the hateful environment of segregation." By Brigadier General Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr.

Benjamin Oliver Davis, Sr., was born in Washington, D.C., on July 1, 1877. He entered the military service on July 13, 1898, during the War with Spain as a temporary first lieutenant of the 8th United States Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered out on March 6, 1899, and on June 18, 1899, he enlisted as a private in Troop I, 9th Cavalry, of the Regular Army. He then served as corporal and squadron sergeant major, and on February 2, 1901, he was commissioned a second lieutenant of Cavalry in the Regular Army.

He was promoted to first lieutenant on March 30, 1905; to captain on December 24, 1915; to major (temporary) on August 5, 1917; and to lieutenant colonel (temporary) on May 1, 1918. He reverted to his permanent rank of captain on October 14, 1919, and was promoted to lieutenant colonel on July 1, 1920; to colonel on February 18, 1930; to brigadier general (temporary) on October 25, 1940. He was retired on July 31, 1941, and recalled to active duty with the rank of brigadier general the following day.

General Davis' U.S. military decorations consisted of the Bronze Star Medal and the Distinguished Service Medal (DSM). His DSM medal, awarded by General Order 10, dated 22 February 1945, stated that General Benjamin O. Davis was awarded the DSM "for exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility from June 1941 to November 1944. The War Department release issued about General Davis' DSM on February 11, 1945 included the following citation:

For exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility from June, 1941, to November, 1944, as an Inspector of troop units in the field, and as special War Department consultant on matters pertaining to Negro troops. The initiative, intelligence and sympathetic understanding displayed by him in conducting countless investigations concerning individual soldiers, troop units and other components of the War Department brought about a fair and equitable solution to many important problems which have since become the basis of far-reaching War Department policy. His wise advice and counsel have made a direct contribution to the maintenance of soldier morale and troop discipline and has been of material assistance to the War Department and to responsible commanders in the field of understanding personnel matters as they pertain to the individual soldier.

Additionally, General Davis was awarded an Honorary Degree of LL.D. from Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia. His foreign awards and honors consisted of the Croix de Guerre with Palm from France and the Grade of Commander of the Order of the Star of Africa from Liberia.

Creator

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE

Date

No date given

Source

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Benjamindavis.jpg

Relation

Rights

In January 1997 the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp in their Black Heritage Stamp series to honor the service and contributions of Brigadier General Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.

Source: The U.S. Army Center of Military History 

Publisher

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE

Contributor

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE

Format

Medium: Photograph,

Medium: Postage Stamp

Language

English

Type

Figures

Identifier

African-Americans, Benjamin O. Davis Sr., General, Military Service, War

Coverage

Historic

Files

Benjamindavis.jpg
benjamindavissrstamp.jpg

Reference

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, Benjamin O. Davis Sr., 1st. African American General in the Regular Army & U.S. Armed Forces, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, No date given

Cite As

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, “Benjamin O. Davis Sr., 1st. African American General in the Regular Army & U.S. Armed Forces,” Virtual Museum of Public Service, accessed August 12, 2022, https://vmps.omeka.net/items/show/156.