Manage episode 329329457 series 2885711
BlackFacts.com presents the black fact of the day for May 22.
Benjamin O. Davis Jr. became the first black Brigadier general in the United States Air Force.
Davis studied at the University of Chicago before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1932.
Upon his graduation, he was swiftly promoted to lieutenant colonel, and he organized the 99th Pursuit Squadron, the first entirely African American air unit, which flew tactical support missions in the Mediterranean theatre.
In 1959 Davis became the first African American officer to reach the rank of major general in the air force and was promoted to lieutenant general in 1965.
On December 9, 1998, Davis was awarded his fourth general’s star (making him a general of the highest order within the U.S. military). He was the first African American to be so honored in retirement. His 1991 autobiography, "Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American", recounts his career.
Davis followed in his father's footsteps in breaking racial barriers, as Benjamin O. Davis Sr. was the first black brigadier general in the United States Army.
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