Benjamin Davis

Benjamin Davis


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Benjamin Davis se je rodil v Dawsonu v Gruziji 8. septembra 1903. Družina se je leta 1909 preselila v Atlanto, kjer je njegov oče postal ustanovitelj in urednik Atlanta Independent.

Davis je leta 1920 diplomiral na Akademiji Morehouse College. Študij je nadaljeval in diplomiral na Amherst College (1925) in Harvard Law School (1929).

Leta 1932 je Davis postal odvetnik v Atlanti. Eden njegovih prvih primerov je zadeval Angela Herndona, člana ameriške komunistične partije, ki je vodil protestne demonstracije v mestu. Herndona so obtožili, da je kršil zakon, ki ga je leta 1861 sprejel zakonodajalec Georgije proti uporom sužnjev. Če bo Herndon obsojen, mu grozi smrtna kazen.

Tožilstvo je trdilo, da je posedovanje komunistične literature dokazovalo, da je Herndon marksistični revolucionar, in prosilo, naj ga obsodijo na električni stol. Med sojenjem je tožilstvo Davisa in Herndona nenehno označevalo kot "******". Kadarkoli se je Davis obrnil na sodišče, mu je sodnik obrnil hrbet in prebral njegov časopis. Po končanem sojenju je bela porota vrnila obsodilno sodbo s priporočilom usmiljenja. Posledično je bil Herndon obsojen na osemnajst let zapora.

Davis je bil zgrožen nad tem, kar je bil priča na sodišču, in se odločil, da se pridruži ameriški komunistični partiji. Pozneje se je spomnil, da je bil primer: "bila prelomnica v mojem življenju. Pomislil sem, kaj bi lahko storil, da bi mi uspelo zadeti to stvar, ta sistem Jim Crow. Mislil sem, da je najbolje, da se pridružim komunistom Zabavajte se, ker bi to najbolj prizadelo, in tako sem tudi storil. "

Leta 1935 je Davis opustil odvetniško prakso v Atlanti in se zaposlil za stranko v New Yorku. To je vključevalo urejanje časopisa, Osvoboditelj. Naslednje leto se je pridružil Dnevni delavec.

Davis je bil s pomočjo svojega prijatelja Paula Robesona leta 1943. izvoljen v mestni svet New Yorka. V naslednjih šestih letih se je Davis boril proti ločenim stanovanjem, prenatrpanosti v afriškoameriških bolnišnicah, policijski brutalnosti in barvni vrstici v višji ligi. baseball.

Julija 1948 so Davisa in deset drugih voditeljev ameriške komunistične partije obtožili kršitve zakona o registraciji tujcev. To dejanje je onemogočilo vsakomur v Združenih državah zagovarjanje, spodbujanje ali poučevanje o zaželenosti strmoglavljenja vlade.

Oktobra 1949 je bil Davis po devetmesečnem sojenju spoznan za krivega dejanja. Obsojen je bil na pet let zapora in 10.000 dolarjev globe. Po treh letih in štirih mesecih je bil izpuščen iz zapora Terre Haute.

Davis je ostal v ameriški komunistični partiji in postal tesni zaveznik nacionalnega predsednika Williama Z. Fosterja. To je vključevalo obrambo zapisov Stalina in sovjetske invazije na Madžarsko leta 1956.

15. marca 1962 je bil Davis obtožen kršitve zakona o notranji varnosti. Vendar je Benjamin Davis 22. avgusta 1964 umrl zaradi pljučnega raka, preden je primer prišel na sodišče.


Ben Davis in Mickleyville, Wayne Township, okrožje Marion

1852. Železnica Terre Haute & amp Richmond je gradila svojo glavno progo od Terre Haute do Indianapolisa. Šest milj zahodno od središča mesta se je železnica odločila, da bodo zgradili postajo. Ampak le, če bi za to kdo poskrbel. Prevzemnikov ni bilo, železnica pa je mesto preskočila. Vseeno je bil postavljen signal, če se je kdo želel vkrcati ali zapustiti vlak na praznem polju 3/10 milje južno od državne ceste.

Minilo bo več kot dve desetletji, preden bo na lokaciji zgrajena platforma. To je bilo po dodelitvi zastopnika za prodajo vozovnic Johna Piersona, ki bi šel na železniško lokacijo za prodajo vozovnic tik pred vlakom. G. Pierson bi nadaljeval z najemom železnice, do takrat Terre Haute & amp Indianapolis, da bi lahko zgradil majhno postajo in skladišče. Leta 1877 bi odprli poštni urad Ben Davis, dve leti pozneje pa so postaji dodali še ekspresno pisarno.

Zemljevid Ben Davis Post Office iz leta 1895

Toda postaja nikoli ni pripadala železnici, zato jo je John Pierson prodal drugi osebi, Wilsonu Morrowu. Morrow je prodajal postajo in blago na skladišču Humphreyju Forshei, tedanjemu agentu postaje. Forshea je bilo tudi ime ceste, ki se je raztezala južno od državne ceste do točke 1 miljo južno od današnje ulice Minnesota, kot je prikazano na zemljevidu iz leta 1895 na levi. Konec ceste, prikazan na zemljevidu, je približno tam, kjer cesta High School zavije proti vzhodu, da bi obkrožila mednarodno letališče Indianapolis.

Postaja in pošta sta dobila ime po Benjaminu Davisu, prvem kupcu železnice Terre Haute & amp Richmond Railroad. G. Davis bi od Indije doposlal veliko lesa in lesa iz prihodnjega Bena Davisa. Rodil se je v okrožju Lewis v Kentuckyju 27. oktobra 1821. Umrl je 24. januarja 1899 na svojem domu na 2406 Parker Avenue v Brightwoodu. Bil je železniški izvajalec in lastnik hleva v mestu.

Drugo mesto na tem območju je bilo tam, kjer je današnja ulica Morris prečkala nacionalno cesto. Trgovec J. A. Mickley je na mestu, ki se bo kasneje imenoval Mickleyville, zgradil trgovino. G. Mickley bi postal čevljar pri Ben Davisu, potem ko je leta 1868 prišel v Indiano iz Pensilvanije. Leta 1873 se je preselil na lokacijo National Road. Mickley Avenue, ki je blok zahodno od Washington Street in Morris Street, je dobil ime po nepovezanem mestu.

Ko je bila državna cesta cestninska cesta, so bila cestninska vrata na mestu, ki je postalo Mickleyville. To je smiselno, saj je bila zdaj ulica Morris tudi cesta v zasebni lasti, imenovana cesta Emma Hansch (prosti gramoz), ki je potekala od okrožne proge (danes Raceway Road) vzhodno do državne ceste. Vzhodno od državne ceste, vzdolž iste črte ulice Morris Street, je bila cesta Jesse Wright (prosti gramoz), ki se je raztezala proti vzhodu do današnje ulice Warman Street.

V Wayne Townshipu v okrožju Marion so se začele še druge pošte. Vključno z eno vzdolž državne ceste, imenovano Bridgeport. Druge, o katerih bom govoril v poznejši objavi, so bile: Clermont (Crawfordsville Road in Peoria & amp Eastern Railroad) postaja Mitchell, na Wall Street Pike in Baltimore & amp; Ohio Brooklyn Heights, na Lafayette & amp; Indianapolis med današnjim 34. in 38. ulici Glendale, severno od ceste Crawfordsville (16. ulica) na ulici Lafayette Road Sabine na železnici Indianapolis & amp. St. Louis v bližini današnje šole za dekleta Maywood na državni cesti Vincennes in iste železnice Haughville in Mount Jackson, obe te zadnje so bile ob državni cesti.


Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., se spominja po marsičem: Bil je prvi general črnih letalskih sil, ki je vodil letalsko eskadrilo Tuskegee Airmen in se zavzemal za vojaško ustanovo pri napredovanju v boju za črne vojake. Še več, on je simbol sposobnosti črnega človeka, da vztraja skozi ovire na poti do odličnosti.

Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr. se je rodil v Washingtonu. 18. decembra 1912, sin Benjamina O. Davisa, starejšega in Elnore Dickerson Davis. Njegov oče je bil priznani vojaški častnik, prvi črni general v vojski ZDA. Benjamin, starejši, je služboval na različnih položajih (od špansko-ameriške vojne), vključno z eno od prvotnih polk Buffalo Soldier. Na žalost je Elnora umrla zaradi zapletov pri porodu leta 1916, ko je bil Benjamin, mlajši, star štiri leta.

Ko je bil Benjamin, mlajši (v nadaljevanju samo Davis) star 13 let, se je udeležil razstave neviht na Bolling Fieldu v Washingtonu (danes Bolling Air Force Base). Eden od pilotov mu je ponudil priložnost, da ga spremlja na vožnji z letalom. Benjamin je tako užival, da se je odločil, da bo nekega dne sam pilotiral letalo.

Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. in Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

Z očetom, ki se je premikal po vojaških dolžnostih, je obiskoval Srednjo srednjo šolo v Clevelandu v Ohiu in diplomiral leta 1929. Vpisal se je na Univerzo Western Reserve (1929-1930) in se kasneje preselil na Univerzo v Chicagu (1930-1932). Še vedno je želel služiti kot vojaški pilot in stopil v stik z predstavnikom Illinoisa Oscarjem De Priestom (prvim temnopoltim članom v Chicagu in takrat edinim temnopoltim v Kongresu). De Priest ga je sponzoriral za mesto na vojaški akademiji ZDA v West Pointu v New Yorku. Njegov čas na Akademiji je bil oster, sovražen in neusmiljen v izzivih in ovirah, ki so mu jih postavljale na pot. V vseh štirih letih se nihče od sošolcev z njim ni pogovarjal zunaj službe. Nihče mu ne bi bil sostanovalec in nihče ne bi sedel z njim, da bi jedel. Kljub temu je leta 1936 diplomiral in zasedel 35. mesto v razredu 278. Ko je kot podporočnik v pehoti prejel naročilo, je postal eden od le dveh črnih bojnih častnikov v ameriški vojski - drugi je bil njegov oče Benjamin O. Davis, starejši

»Pogum, vztrajnost in inteligenca, s katerim je premagal težavo, neprimerljivo težje kot leto plebe, so zanj pridobili iskreno občudovanje sošolcev, njegova enotna odločnost, da nadaljuje z izbrano kariero, pa ne more zanemariti spoštovanja povsod vodi ga. " - Haubica, letnik West Point iz leta 1936

Po diplomi se je poročil z Agato Scott, mlado damo, s katero je hodil med obiskom Akademije.

Zaradi visokega položaja v svojem diplomskem razredu bi moral Davis izbirati med nalogami, ko pa se je odločil za prijavo v vojaški letalski korpus, so ga zavrnili, ker letalski korpus ni imel črne eskadrilje. Namesto tega je bil dodeljen v 24. pehotni polk, popolnoma črno divizijo v Fort Benningu v Gruziji. Čeprav je bil častnik, mu ni bilo dovoljeno vstopiti v častniški klub v bazi. Po obisku pehotne šole ameriške vojske je sledil očetovim stopinjam in odpotoval v Tuskegee v Alabami, kjer je na Inštitutu Tuskegee vodil tečaj vojaške taktike. 19. junija 1939 je bil povišan v čin prvega poročnika, nato pa v poveljnika, majorja in nato začasno v podpolkovnika (čin, ki bi ga imel za stalno junija 1948).

Kljub prestižu inštruktorja si je Davis še vedno želel leteti. Na srečo so imeli drugi enako željo in pritisk na Rooseveltovo upravo je omogočil večjo udeležbo temnopoltih, ko se je država približevala vojni. Uprava je zato vojaškemu ministrstvu naročila ustanovitev črne leteče enote. Na njegovo veselje je bil Davis dodeljen usposabljanju v prvem razredu na vojaškem letališču Tuskegee Army. Leta 1942 je končal usposabljanje in bil eden od petih temnopoltih, ki je končal tečaj, nato pa je postal prvi črni častnik, ki je opravil samostojni let v letalu Army Air Corps. Povišan je bil v čin podpolkovnika, julija 1942 pa je bil imenovan za poveljnika 99. eskadrile zasledovanja, ki jo zgodovina pozna kot letalce Tuskegee.

Leta 1943 je bila 99. eskadrila preganjanja dodeljena najprej Tuniziji, nato bojni misiji na nemškem otoku Pantelleria in končno sodelovala pri zavezniški invaziji na Sicilijo. Septembra je bil Davis vpoklican v Tuskegee, da bi prevzel večjo črno enoto, ki se pripravlja na boj v Evropi, 332. borilno skupino.

Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. in Edward Gleed

Skoraj takoj pa so se za Davisa pojavile težave. Številni višji častniki letalskega korpusa so se pritožili načelniku štaba vojske Georgeu Marshallu, da je 99. lovska eskadrila premalo uspela in da bi jo potem morali umakniti iz boja. Generalmajor Edwin House, poveljnik poveljstva XII zračne podpore, je septembra 1943 zapisal, da "tip črncev nima ustreznih refleksov, da bi naredil pilota lovca prvega razreda." Jezen Davis je trdil, da mu niso bili predloženi nobeni podatki, ki bi kazali na to, da so piloti črnih lovcev delovali nezadovoljivo. Svoj primer je predstavil vojaškemu ministrstvu in imel tiskovno konferenco v Pentagonu. General Marshall je sicer zahteval preiskavo, vendar je 99. eskadrili dovolil, da se še naprej bori, medtem ko se preiskava nadaljuje. Ko so se rezultati preiskave vrnili, je bila 99. eskadrila potrjena in ugotovljeno je bilo, da je delovala podobno kot druge lovske eskadrilje. Vsi trajajoči argumenti so prenehali januarja 1944, ko je 99. v dveh dneh sestrelil 12 nemških borcev.

Kmalu zatem sta polkovnik Davis in 332. borbena skupina prispela v Italijo, kjer sta imela sedež na letališču Ramitelli. 332., imenovana Red Tails zaradi značilne sheme barvanja na repu njihovih letal, se je dobro odrezala v spremstvu bombnikov, kar so pogosto zahtevali piloti bombnikov zaradi svojega vztrajanja, da ne zapustijo bombnikov. Skupina bi sčasoma začela uporabljati najsodobnejše strele P-47 Thunderbolts.

Davis je sodeloval v številnih misijah, letel je v P-47 Thunderbolts in P-51 Mustangs. Za misijo v Avstriji je bil odlikovan s srebrno zvezdo, junija 1944 pa je osvojil zaslužni leteči križ za misijo spremljevalca bombnikov v Münchnu v Nemčiji.

Leta 1945 je bil polkovnik Davis postavljen za vodjo 477. bombne skupine, ki je bila v celoti sestavljena iz temnopoltih, stacioniranih na Godman Fieldu v Kentuckyju.


Po koncu druge svetovne vojne je novi predsednik Harry Truman poslal ukaz o popolni integraciji vojaških vej. Polkovnik Davis je bil poklican, da pomaga pri pripravi novega načrta "letalskih sil" za izvajanje tega ukaza. Naslednjih nekaj let je bil razporejen v Pentagon in na službe v tujini. Ko je izbruhnila korejska vojna, je spet sodeloval v bojih, ki je imel v lasti lovsko letalo F-86 in vodil 51. krilo lovcev-prestreznikov.

Poleti 1949 je bil Davis dodeljen na Air War College. Bil je prvi temnopolti, ki mu je bilo dovoljeno obiskovati fakulteto, kar je bilo pomembno, ker je bilo nadaljnje napredovanje odvisno od uspešnega diplomiranja. Kljub temu, da se je v Montgomeryju v Alabami, kjer je potekala vojna šola, spopadal z rasno klimo, je vztrajal in se odlično odrezal, po diplomi pa je prejel nalogo, da služi v Pentagonu v zračnih silah Združenih držav.

Nato je bil direktor operacij in usposabljanja v štabu letalskih sil Daljnega vzhoda v Tokiu, nato pa je bil dodeljen položaj podpoveljnika trinajstega letalstva in je bil napredovan v čin brigadnega generala, čina, ki je postal stalni šele po začasnem napredovanju. generalmajorju. Njegove naloge po vsem svetu so postale skoraj preveč, da bi jih lahko naštevali, vendar so vključevali:

  • Dodeljeno poveljstvo 477. sestavljene skupine na Godman Fieldu v Kentuckyju
  • Dodeljeno poveljstvo letalske baze Lockbourne Army, Ohio
  • Dodeljeno poveljstvo 332. bojnemu krilu.
  • Imenovan za vodjo podružnice letalske obrambe operacij letalskih sil
  • Imenovan za namestnika načelnika štaba za operacije, sedež letalskih sil ZDA, Washington, DC
  • Dodeljeno poveljstvo 51. krilu lovcev-prestreznikov, letalske sile Daljnega vzhoda, Koreja.
  • Imenovan za direktorja operacij in usposabljanja na sedežu letalskih sil Daljnega vzhoda v Tokiu
  • Imenovan za podpoveljnika, trinajsto letalstvo, z dodatno dolžnostjo poveljnika, letalske delovne skupine 13 (začasna), Taipei, Formosa.
  • Imenovan za načelnika štaba dvanajstega letalstva, letalskih sil ZDA v Evropi v nemškem Ramsteinu.
  • Imenovan za namestnika načelnika štaba za operacije, sedež letalskih sil ZDA v Evropi, Wiesbaden, Nemčija.
  • Imenovan za direktorja delovne sile in organizacije, Združene države in sedež ameriških letalskih sil ter namestnik načelnika generalštaba za programe in zahteve.
  • Namestnik pomočnika namestnika načelnika, programi in zahteve.
  • Dodeljen kot načelnik štaba poveljstva Združenih narodov in ameriških sil v Koreji.
  • Dodeljeno poveljstvo trinajstega letalstva v letalski bazi Clark v Republiki Filipini.
  • Imenovan za namestnika vrhovnega poveljnika ameriškega udarnega poveljstva s sedežem v letalski bazi MacDill na Floridi.
  • Imenovan za vrhovnega poveljnika, Bližnjega vzhoda, južne Azije in Afrike.

Predsednik Bill Clinton pripisuje oznake štirih zvezdic generalu Benjaminu O. Davisu, mlajšemu.

Maja 1960 je bil napredovan v čin brigadnega generala, januarja 1962. v čin generalmajorja. Aprila 1965 je bil povišan v čin generalpodpolkovnika, 1. februarja 1970 pa se je po več kot 33 letih služenja vojaškega roka upokojil. . Nazadnje, 9. decembra 1998, ga je predsednik Bill Clinton odlikoval s štirimi zvezdicami, s čimer je napredoval v čin generala, ameriškega letalstva (upokojen).

Ob upokojitvi se ni upočasnil, temveč je prešel na druge načine služenja. Leta 1970 je bil imenovan za vodjo zveznega programa Sky Marshall, leta 1971 pa je bil imenovan za pomočnika sekretarja za promet za okolje, varnost in potrošniške zadeve. V tej vlogi je nadzoroval oblikovanje in izvajanje programov in postopkov za varovanje letališč in varnosti avtocest (to je vključevalo določitev omejitve hitrosti 55 milj na uro za izboljšanje učinkovitosti plina in za spodbujanje varnosti voznikov). Potem ko se je leta 1975 upokojil z Ministrstva za promet, je spet stopil po očetovih stopinjah in služil v ameriški komisiji za bojne spomenike. Nazadnje je leta 1991 Davis napisal svoje spomine, v katerih je v svoji knjigi opisal svoje izzive in dosežke v preteklih letih Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.: Američan.


General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., je umrl 4. julija 2002 in je bil 17. julija 2002 pokopan z vsemi vojaškimi častmi na narodnem pokopališču Arlington (njegova žena Agatha je umrla v začetku leta). Poleg časti, da je bil pokopan na nacionalnem pokopališču Arlington, je Davis v preteklih letih prejel številna priznanja, vključno s številnimi šolami, ki nosijo njegovo ime. Njegovo vojaško odlikovanje vključuje:

  • Medalja za zasluge v letalskih silah
  • Medalja za zasluge v vojski
  • Zračna medalja s štirimi hrastovimi listi
  • Filipinska častna legija
  • Legija zaslug z dvema grozdoma hrastovih listov
  • Medalja pohvale letalskih sil z dvema grozdoma hrastovih listov
  • Srebrna zvezda
  • Ugledni leteči križ

Bodisi na nebu ali v učilnici, bodisi pri usposabljanju pilotov ali svetovanju predsednikom, je Benjamin O. Davis, mlajši, vodil življenje profesionalnosti, dostojanstva in dosežkov, nikoli pa ne dovoli, da bi ga rasizem in druge ovire upočasnile. S tem je odprl vojaške poti generacijam vojakov in pilotov, ki so sledili njegovim ogromnim stopinjam.

"General Davis je danes tukaj kot živi dokaz, da lahko človek premaga stiske in diskriminacijo, doseže velike stvari, skeptike spremeni v vernike in z zgledom in vztrajnostjo lahko ena oseba prinese resnično izjemne spremembe." - predsednik Bill Clinton


Benjamin Davis - Zgodovina

Vsako leto se na tekmovanje mladinskega eseja Patriot's Pen VFW prijavi več kot 125.000 učencev od 6. do 8. razreda. Prvoplasirani iz vsake države se poteguje za državna priznanja v skupni vrednosti 50.000 USD, pri čemer vsak zmagovalec prve države prejema najmanj 500 USD na nacionalni ravni. Nacionalni zmagovalec prvega mesta osvoji marca 5000 in za vse stroške plača potovanje v Washington, D.C.

Natečaj esejev spodbuja mlade misli, da skupaj s svojimi izkušnjami v sodobni ameriški družbi preučijo zgodovino Amerike, tako da pripravijo esej s 300 do 400 besedami, ki izraža svoja stališča na podlagi domoljubne teme, ki jo je izbral vrhovni poveljnik VFW.

KDO LAHKO VSTOPI: Program Patriot's Pen je namenjen učencem od 6. do 8. razreda, ki so vpisani v javno, zasebno ali župnijsko šolo ali na domači študijski program v ZDA in na njenem ozemlju.

VFW Post 9934 služi območju Dana Point v Kaliforniji in bližnjih skupnosti. Na tem področju se obrnite na VFW Post 9934 za dodatno pomoč in kopijo prijavnega obrazca.

Za območja zunaj Dana Pointa v Kaliforniji se obrnite na lokalno pošto VFW. Če želite poiskati objavo, pojdite na http://www.vfw.org/find-a-post.

Tema 2018-19 je: Zakaj častim ameriško zastavo

Učenci lahko zaprosijo učitelja ali vodjo mladinske skupine, da nadzira njihov napredek na tekmovanju. Nato se lahko študentje obrnejo na VFW Post 9934 in vzpostavijo kontaktno osebo, ki je član te pošte ali pomožne osebe.

Rok - Izpolnjen esej in prijavni obrazec morata biti v rokah predsednika Pošte VFW do polnoči 31. oktobra 2018.

Poznavanje teme je vredno 30 točk. Pri svojem delu morate pokazati temeljito poznavanje teme. Dokažite, da ste zadevo podrobno raziskovali.

Razvoj teme je vreden 35 točk. Odgovorite na vsa pomembna dejstva o temi, na primer kdo, kaj, kje, kdaj in zakaj. Temo povežite z lastnimi izkušnjami.

Jasnost idej je vredna 35 točk. Esej napišite v razumljivi obliki. Bralcu pustite, da jasno razume vašo razlago teme.

Dolžina eseja: 300-400 tipkanih besed.
Esej morate napisati sami.
Vsi eseji morajo biti napisani v angleščini brez barv ali grafik in ne smejo biti krajši od 300 besed ali več kot 400 besed. (Eseji pod ali nad temi zneski besed bodo odpravljeni.) Vsaka beseda se šteje ne glede na dolžino. Naslov eseja (tema) ali dodane opombe ne prispevajo k štetju besed.
Tekmovalci se v svojem eseju nikakor ne morejo identificirati. V eseju ne navajajte svojega imena. Obrazec za prijavo je naslovnica vašega eseja. Uradni obrazec za vpis študenta zavarujte s sponko ali drugo zaponko na vrhu eseja. Eseji morajo biti napisani izključno za to tekmovanje. Uporaba istega eseja za druga tekmovanja bo povzročila diskvalifikacijo. Tekmovalci se lahko prijavijo samo enkrat (eno poštno tekmovanje). Tekmovalci, za katere se ugotovi, da kršijo to pravilo, bodo izločeni iz natečaja in bodo morali vrniti vse nagrajene ali prejete denarne nagrade.

Esej mora biti tekmovalčevo izvirno delo in produkt njegovega razmišljanja. Pristop k temi Patriot's Pen mora biti pozitiven in jasno osredotočen. Poezija ni sprejemljiva. Ponudbe se lahko uporabljajo zmerno, če so povsod jasno opredeljene. Učitelj, svetovalec ali starš tekmovalca lahko preveri esej glede ločil, slovnice in/ali črkovanja, vendar mora vsebina ostati tekmovalčeva. Tekmovalci bodo ocenjeni samo na podlagi njihovega eseja in jim ni treba ustno predstaviti eseja. Vsi eseji postanejo last veteranov tujih vojn. VFW si pridržuje neizključne pravice za uporabo vašega eseja in podobnosti pri promociji in izvajanju programov in dejavnosti organizacije.


Benjamin O. Davis Jr. (1912-2002)

Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., je kot prvi temnopolti general v ameriških letalskih silah sledil stopinjam svojega očeta. Rodil se je v Washingtonu, 18. decembra 1912, v celoti predan vojaški karieri. Leta 1932 je vstopil na vojaško akademijo West Point in leta 1936 iz razreda 276 diplomiral petintrideset. Po končani akademiji je bil razporejen v 24. polk, nato pa nameščen v Fort Benningu v Gruziji.

V času, ko so obstajali resni dvomi, da imajo črnci mentalno sposobnost letenja z letali, se je pozneje pridružil majhnemu številu afriških Američanov v prvem programu usposabljanja za črnce v Tuskegeeju v Alabami. Njegovi dosežki pri določanju tempa so ga pripeljali do tega, da je poveljeval slavni 99. eskadrilji zasledovanja in kasneje 332. borilni skupini v drugi svetovni vojni. Črni piloti pod vodstvom polkovnika Davisa so se začeli kot nezaželen dodatek letalskim silam, saj so pod vodstvom polkovnika Davisa dosegli zavidljiv rekord letenja 15.000 letal, sestrelitev 111 sovražnikovih letal in uničevanje ali poškodovanje 273 letal na tleh. Piloti belih bombnikov, ki so se nekoč izogibali črni lovski skupini kot spremljevalci, so se hitro premislili. 332. borbena skupina ni nikoli izgubila niti enega spremljevalnega bombnika v 200 misijah skupine.

Benjamin Davis Jr., ki je po drugi svetovni vojni prejel srebrno zvezdo in ugledni leteči križ, je služboval v Pentagonu in na več čezmorskih položajih. V korejskem spopadu je poveljeval 51. krilu lovcev-prestreznikov in letel s F-86. Maja 1965 je bil Benjamin Davis Jr. povišan v čin generalpodpolkovnika. General Davis se je po 37 letih vojaškega roka upokojil leta 1970. Leta 1998 je predsednik Bill Clinton podelil generalu Davisu četrto zvezdo, s čimer je dobil čin polnega generala. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., je umrl 4. julija 2002 v starosti 89 let in je bil pokopan na nacionalnem pokopališču Arlington.


General Benjamin O. Davis Jr.

9. decembra 1998 je general letalskih sil prejel četrto zvezdo, s čimer je postal član ožjega kroga najvišjih častnikov te službe. Kot prvi afroameriški častnik, ki je to čast prejel ob upokojitvi, je general Benjamin O. Davis Jr. član še manjše skupine. Ustanovitelj in poveljnik letalcev Tuskegee, 33-letni veteran treh vojn in sin prvega črnega generala vojske, Davis je "veliki bojevnik, odličen častnik in odličen Američan", kot je minister za obrambo William S. Cohen je rekel, ko je Davis prejel četrto zvezdo.

Benjamin O. Davis Jr. se je rodil 18. decembra 1912, kariernemu vojaškemu častniku Benjaminu Davisu starejšemu in njegovi ženi Elnori. Davis starejši, čigar kariero so ovirali predsodki, je svojega sina učil ne le zla segregacije, ampak mu je vlil odločnost, da bo odpravil. Davis Jr. je leta 1932 na ameriški vojaški akademiji dobil nominacijo od predstavnika republike Oscar S. De Priest (R-Ill.), Takrat edinega ameriškega črnega kongresnika. Bil je prvi Afroamerikanec, ki je bil sprejet na Akademijo po rekonstrukciji. Davis Jr. je bil odločen, da bo letel, a po štirih letih, ko so ga "izogibali" (govorili le iz uradnih razlogov) kot edini črni kadet West Pointa, je ugotovil, da tudi njegov 35. položaj v 276-članskem razredu leta 1936 ne more prepričati vojaški letalski korpus, da mu dovoli vstop na letalsko usposabljanje.

Potem ko je predsednik Franklin D. Roosevelt starejšega Davisa povišal v brigadnega generala, je ukazal vojaškemu letalskemu korpusu, naj ustvari letečo organizacijo za barvne čete. Davisa Jr., edinega živega temnopoltega diplomanta West Pointa, so naročili pri Ft. Benning, Ga., Na vojaško letališče Tuskegee Army v Alabami. Od dneva, ko je prvič pripetel krila na črne pilote, bi Davis videl, da se njegovi letalci Tuskegee povečujejo na 1.000 in sestavljajo 99. eskadriljo zasledovanja, kasneje 332d lovsko eskadrilo.

Čeprav so kritiki in zgodnji pregledi poročali, da "tip črncev nima ustreznih refleksov, da bi naredil pilota prvega razreda," je Davis s kombinacijo politične diplomacije in strokovnega delovanja prepričal nasprotnike, da so njegovi možje bolj usposobljeni kot nekateri in pogumnejši od najbolj. Njihova spremljevalna misija 24. marca 1945 v Berlin, ki je povzročila tri neposredne umore in izgubo prijaznih bombnikov, je legendarna.


Benjamin O. Davis: prvi črni general v ameriški vojski

Nekaj ​​družin je tako močno vplivalo na črno ameriško zgodovino kot Benjamin O. Davis in njegov sin Benjamin Jr. Njihovo življenje in kariera sta bila izrazito vzporedna. Oče in sin sta v ameriški vojski vodila neprekinjeno, brezkompromisno bitko za enakost, tako da sta storila, kar naj bi storili vsi dobri častniki: dali zgled svojim možem.

Benjamin Oliver Davis starejši se je rodil Louisu in Henrietti Davis, družini srednjega razreda v Washingtonu, 28. maja 1880. Že zgodaj v življenju je želel biti konjeniški častnik, a se je soočal z močnim nasprotovanjem. Med letoma 1865 in 1940 v celotni vojski ni bilo nikoli več kot treh črnih častnikov hkrati. 39 let bi bil Davis eden izmed njih.

Leta 1898 se je Davis vpisal v ameriško vojsko in poskušal vstopiti na vojaško akademijo v West Pointu, New York. Brez strahu se je Davis prebil med vrstnike, pri čemer je v dveh letih dobil komisijo drugega poročnika in poročnika v šestih letih - kar je izjemen dosežek za vsakega vojaka, črnega ali belega. Po službi na Filipinih se je Davis vrnil v ZDA, oktobra 1902 pa se je poročil z Elnoro Dickerson. Rodila mu bo tri otroke: Olive, Benjamina Jr. in Elnora.

Davis je vojaškim oblastem postavil dilemo. Čeprav si je zaslužil napredovanje, je prevladujoča segregacija zahtevala, da ne prehiti belih častnikov v isti bazi ali poveljuje belim vojakom. Rešitev vojske je bila oblikovanje "shuttle sistema", ki je Davisa prestavil na eno "varno" kvazivojaško nalogo. Njegovo prvo tovrstno napotitev je bilo na Wilberforce, temnopolto univerzo v Ohiu, kjer je služil kot profesor vojaške znanosti in taktike. Pri naslednji nalogi na mehiško mejo je prejel poročilo o učinkovitosti, ki ga je opisalo kot "navadnega", "predebelega" in "nima pobude in navdušenja". Revizijski odbor je to poročilo zanikal in ga povišal v kapitana. Vrnil se je v Wilberforce.

Leta 1916 je umrla Davisova žena. Med prvo svetovno vojno so ga poslali na Filipine, kjer se je dve leti po pošti dvoril družinski prijateljici Sadie Overton. Leta 1919 je odpotovala v Manilo in oba sta bila poročena. Razočaran nad zavrnitvijo možnosti, da vodi čete v bojih, je bil Davis tudi razburjen, ko je prebral članek v Časopis za vojsko in mornarico trdijo, da črnci niso napredovali, ker jim je »primanjkovalo moralnih vlaken, zaradi česar so neprimerni kot častniki in vodje moških«. Leta 1920 je bil Davis kot podpolkovnik ponovno premeščen na mesto profesorja na Inštitutu Tuskegee. Novembra 1929 je bil edini temnopolti častnik v ameriški vojski. Povišan v polkovnika, je nadaljeval brezupno kariero, ki so jo v tridesetih letih prejšnjega stoletja zaznamovali pogosti premestitve. Nato je leta 1940 dobil brez primere čin - za temnopoltega Američana - brigadnega generala. Nekateri so dejali, da je bila promocija politično motivirana z željo predsednika Franklina D. Roosevelta, da se privoli v črno glasovanje. Mogoče. Res pa je bilo tudi, da je imel Davis odlične kvalifikacije in da je napredovanje zamudilo.

Davis se je po 50 letih služenja vojske upokojil leta 1948, vendar je ostal aktiven v gibanju za državljanske pravice. Sadie je umrla leta 1966, Benjamin pa ji je sledil na zahvalni dan 1970. Do takrat je njegove sanje zagovarjal njegov sin.

Benjamin O. Davis Jr., rojen 18. decembra 1912, je bil spodbujen k branju in doseganju visokih ocen v šoli. "Oče me je discipliniral," se je pozneje spominjal. "Ko je mama Sadie predpisala bičevanje, je oče slekel pas in ga dal."

Leta 1929 je starejši Davis začel kampanjo, da bi svojega sina sprejel v West Point. Medtem ko se je leta 1931 vpisal na Univerzo v Chicagu, je mlajši Davis dobil imenovanje na akademijo, vendar ni opravil izpitov. Ko je leta 1932 dobil drugo priložnost, mu je to uspelo.

Trije črnci so šli skozi celoten kurikulum v West Pointu, odkar je Henry O. Flipper diplomiral leta 1877, vendar se je Davis še vedno soočal s težkim, osamljenim časom na akademiji, saj, se je spomnil, »nobenega belega fanta ni bilo mogoče prositi, da bi prišel v sobo z mano. ” Nekega dne je Davis slišal, da je nekdo vprašal: "Kaj bomo storili z črncem?" Rešitev je bila "utišanje" - kadeti so se zaobljubili, da se z njim nikoli ne bodo pogovarjali, razen zaradi vojaških poslov. Kljub izolaciji, namenjeni prisilitvi nezaželenega kadeta, da odstopi, je Davis vztrajal. At the same time, he applied to the U.S. Army Air Corps, only to be rejected. In 1936 Davis emerged from his ordeal 35th in a class of 276, West Point’s fourth black graduate and its first since 1889.

After graduation, Davis happily married Agatha Scott and unhappily accepted an assignment to the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Ga. Shortly thereafter, he was sent to Tuskegee, to serve as his father’s aide as a captain. His fortunes changed, however, when he was assigned to pilot training at Moten Field, Ala., which would later be renamed Tuskegee Army Air Field. Overruling the protests of Army Air Forces General Henry H. “Hap” Arnold that blacks would create “an impossible social situation,” the Army had initiated an experimental black flying program. Davis knew that he and every other black trainee would have to prove themselves if the concept were to take root in the military, and they conducted themselves accordingly.

One of the first Tuskegee Airmen to earn his pilot wings, Davis was given command of the 99th Fighter Squadron, and in May 1942 he advanced two ranks to lieutenant colonel. In April 1943, the 99th left for North Africa, where its pilots would fly Curtiss P-40s against veteran German airmen in superior Messerschmitt Me-109G and Focke Wulf Fw-190A fighters. Game as the black pilots were to take on the Luftwaffe in the air, for months the 99th was almost exclusively engaged in ground-attack missions, while the squadron was passed from one fighter group to another. On July 2, 1st Lt. Charles B. Hall drew first blood for the squadron in the air when he downed an Fw-190 over Tunisia.

In September 1943, Davis returned to the United States to take command of the all-black 332nd Fighter Group being formed at Selfridge Field, Mich. There, he was shown a letter from Colonel William Momyer, commander of one of the 99th Squadron’s least hospitable hosts, the 33rd Fighter Group, saying that the 99th had “demonstrated insufficient air discipline…its formations had disintegrated under fire.” Momyer concluded, “The Negro type has not the proper reflexes to make a first class fighter pilot,” and that the 99th and all succeeding black squadrons should be assigned to noncombat areas.

Davis defended the 99th’s performance, arguing that poor pilot training and the lack of sufficient combat flying had indeed caused the squadron to falter initially, but that his group was now performing on a level with white fliers. The Momyer report was dismissed.

Soon thereafter, Davis obtained more tangible evidence to hold up to the critics. On January 27, 1944, the 99th Fighter Squadron was credited with downing eight Fw-190s, and Captain Charles Hall downed two more the next day. It was a turning point for the entire Tuskegee program— proof that the experiment was working.

Davis found Selfridge Field rife with racial turbulence. One ugly incident almost led to murder. In direct violation of Army Regulations 210-10, black officers were not allowed in the officers’ club. On New Years’ Day 1944, three black officers tried to gain entrance but were refused by three senior white officers. One, Colonel Charles Gayle, announced, “I will court-martial for inciting to riot the first [black] man who steps into the officers’ club!”

Furious, the three black officers resolved to get rid of Gayle. They planned to follow him into the air, then, positioning one man at each wing and one over his cockpit, they would force him to crash into the ground. Fortunately, once Gayle was airborne the officers were unable to find him and, after reconsideration, discarded their plot. One of the conspirators, Daniel “Chappie” James Jr., would later become the U.S. Air Force’s first black four-star general.

Meanwhile, the 332nd Group shipped out to Italy in 1944, escorting bombers of the Fifteenth Air Force. Colonel Davis habitually led his squadrons, racking up 35 combat missions and earning the Silver Star. As the group’s squadrons—the 100th, 301st and 302nd, later joined by the 99th—gained experience and confidence, they scored 39 victories in July 1944. Davis regarded such achievements as of secondary importance, however, and kept strict control over which of his men could go after individual enemy fighters, to prevent them from being distracted from their primary mission of protecting the bombers. In late June 1944, the 332nd was fully equipped with first-class North American P-51 Mustang fighters, and soon gained fame as the “Red Tails” because of its adopted group marking. In September 1944, the 332nd Fighter Group was honored at an awards ceremony in which Brig. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Sr. watched as Maj. Gen. Nathan Twining, commander of the Fifteenth Air Force, pinned the Distinguished Flying Cross on Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Jr.

By the time Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945, the 332nd Group had been credited with 116 victories and the extraordinary achievement of not losing a single bomber to enemy fighters. In June Colonel Davis returned to the States to command the 477th Composite Group. He then spent 10 months at the prestigious War College as its only black officer.

Davis was serving with the Directorate of Operations in the Pentagon when the Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950. Racial discrimination had officially been prohibited in the recently independent U.S. Air Force, and in 1953 Davis commanded the 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing in Korea. The next year he was promoted to brigadier general and assigned to Far Eastern Air Force headquarters in Japan, as director of operations and training. In 1955 he became vice commander of the Thirteenth Air Force, rising to the rank of major general.

Davis reached the pinnacle of his military career in 1965. Now a lieutenant general, he served as chief of staff for the United Nations Military Command in Korea. He retired from the service in January 1970 and, like his father, continued to champion civil rights until his death on July 4, 2002, at age 89.

As soldiers, citizens and freedom fighters, Benjamin Davis Sr. and Jr. are unique in American history. The father was the U.S. Army’s first black general, setting a precedent that his son, the U.S. Air Force’s first black general, would live up to and surpass.

Originally published in the August 2006 issue of Vojaška zgodovina. Če se želite naročiti, kliknite tukaj.


Benjamin Davis - History

World War II- Red Tail Ceremony with Benjamin O. Davis Senior

Lt. Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. led the 99th Pursuit Squadron. He was the first black officer to solo an Army Air Corp aircraft.

He and other airmen are decorated by his father, the Army’s first black General, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.

Brigadier General Benjamin O. Davis Sr. in France, August 8, 1944.

Brigadier General Benjamin Oliver Davis, Sr. (1877 or 1880 – November 26, 1970) was the first African-American general officer in the United States Army. He was the father of Air Force General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

Benjamin Oliver Davis was born in Washington, D.C., the third child of Louis P. H. Davis and Henrietta (née Stewart) Davis. Biographer Marvin Fletcher has presented evidence that Davis was born in May 1880, citing a June 1880 census document. Fletcher concludes that Davis lied about his age so that he could enlist in the Army without the permission of his parents. The birth date that appears on Davis’s gravestone at Arlington National Cemetery is July 1, 1877, the date he reported to the Army.

Davis attended M Street High School in Washington where he participated in the school’s cadet program. During his senior year of high school he took some classes at Howard University. His father, a messenger for the Interior Department, and his mother, a nurse, urged him to enroll in college after high school. Against his parents’ wishes he determined to take a military career.

Early Career

After graduating high school, in response to the start of the Spanish-American War, Davis entered the military service on July 13, 1898, as a temporary first lieutenant in the 8th United States Volunteer Infantry, an all-black unit. This regiment was stationed at Chickamauga Park, Georgia, from October 1898 until the unit was disbanded in March 1899. During the war, Davis briefly served in Company D, 1st Separate Battalion of the Washington D.C. National Guard.

Davis was mustered out on March 6, 1899, and on June 18, 1899, he enlisted as a private in Troop I, 9th Cavalry Regiment (one of the original Buffalo Soldier regiments), of the Regular Army. At his post in Fort Duchesne, Utah, he served first as the troop’s clerk and later as squadron sergeant major through 1900. In late 1900, Davis’s unit was commanded by Lieutenant Charles Young, the only African-American officer serving in the US military at that time. Young encouraged Davis’s ambition to become an officer. Young tutored Davis in all of the subjects that were covered in the officer candidate test, especially mathematics which had been Young’s most difficult subject at the United States Military Academy at West Point. In early 1901 Davis passed the test at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, his highest score coming in the math section. (A second African American, John E. Green, passed the test along with 10 other soldiers. On February 2, 1901, Davis was commissioned a second lieutenant of Cavalry in the Regular Army.

In the spring of 1901, Troop I was posted overseas to serve in the Philippine–American War. In August 1901, Davis was assigned to Troop F, 10th Cavalry, where he assumed the duties of a second lieutenant. Troop F returned to the US in August 1902. Davis was then stationed at Fort Washakie, Wyoming, where he also served for several months with Troop M. In September 1905, he was assigned to Wilberforce University in Ohio as Professor of Military Science and Tactics, a post that he filled for four years.

In November 1909, shortly after being ordered to Regimental Headquarters, 9th Cavalry, Davis was reassigned for duty to Liberia. He left the United States for Liberia in April 1910, and served as a military attaché reporting on Liberia’s military forces until October 1911. He returned to the United States in November 1911. In January 1912, Davis was assigned to Troop I, 9th Cavalry, stationed at Fort D. A. Russell, Wyoming. In 1913, the 9th Cavalry was assigned to patrol the Mexican-United States border.

In February 1915, Davis was again assigned to Wilberforce University as Professor of Military Science and Tactics. From 1917 to 1920, Davis was assigned to the 9th Cavalry at Fort Stotsenburg, Philippine Islands, as supply officer, commander of 3rd Squadron, and then of 1st Squadron. He reached the temporary rank of lieutenant colonel, but returned to the United States in March 1920 with the rank of captain.

Davis was assigned to the Tuskegee University, Alabama, as the Professor of Military Science and Tactics from 1920 to 1924. He then served for five years as an instructor with 2nd Battalion, 372nd Regiment, Ohio National Guard, in Cleveland, Ohio. In September 1929, Davis returned to Wilberforce University as Professor of Military Science and Tactics. He was assigned to the Tuskegee Institute in the early part of 1931, and remained there for six years as Professor of Military Science and Tactics. During the summer months of 1930 to 1933, Davis escorted pilgrimages of World War I Gold Star Mothers and Widows to the burial places of their loved ones in Europe.

In August 1937, Davis returned to Wilberforce University as Professor of Military Science and Tactics. Davis was assigned to the 369th Regiment, New York National Guard, during the summer of 1938, and took command of the regiment a short time later. Davis was promoted to Brigadier General on October 25, 1940, becoming the first African-American general in the United States Army.

druga svetovna vojna

Davis became Commanding General of 4th Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, in January 1941. About six months later, he was assigned to Washington, D.C. as an assistant in the Office of the Inspector General. While serving in the Office of the Inspector General, Davis also served on the Advisory Committee on Negro Troop Policies. From 1941 to 1944, Davis conducted inspection tours of African-American soldiers in the United States Army. From September to November 1942 and again from July to November 1944, Davis made inspection tours of African-American soldiers stationed in Europe.

On November 10, 1944, Davis was reassigned to work under Lieutenant General John C. H. Lee as Special Assistant to the Commanding General, Communications Zone, European Theater of Operations. He served with the General Inspectorate Section, European Theater of Operation (later the Office of the Inspector General on Europe) from January through May 1945. While serving in the European Theater of Operations, Davis was influential in the proposed policy of integration using replacement units.

Kasnejša kariera

After serving in the European Theater of Operations for more than a year, Davis returned to Washington, D.C. as Assistant to the Inspector General. In 1947 he was assigned as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. In this capacity, he was sent to Liberia in July 1947 as a representative of the United States for the African country’s centennial celebration. On July 20, 1948, after fifty years of military service, Davis retired in a public ceremony with President Harry S. Truman presiding.

From July 1953 through June 1961, he served as a member of the American Battle Monuments Commission. Davis died on November 26, 1970, at Great Lakes Naval Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1997, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 32 cent stamp honoring Davis.

Osebno življenje

Davis married Elnora Dickerson in 1902—the two had known each other as neighbors for many years. Their first child was born in 1905: daughter Olive Davis. A son was born in 1912: Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. In early 1916 a second daughter was born, but Davis’s wife died a few days later from complications of childbirth. The daughter was named for her: Elnora Davis. Without a mother for the children, Davis relied upon the grandparents in Washington, D.C., for childcare while he was serving a tour of duty in the Philippines. In 1919 Davis married Sarah “Sadie” Overton, an English teacher at Wilberforce University. They were married 47 years, the partnership ending at Sadie’s death on October 25, 1966.

Davis’s son became the first black general officer of the United States Air Force in October 1954.

Dates of rank:
First Lieutenant, USV – July 13, 1898
Private – June 18, 1899
Corporal –
Sergeant Major – 1900
Second Lieutenant, USA – August 1901 (date of rank February 2)
First Lieutenant, USA – March 30, 1905
Captain, USA – December 24, 1915
Major, National Army – August 5, 1917
Lieutenant Colonel, National Army – May 1, 1918
Captain, USA (reverted to peacetime rank) – December 24, 1915
Lieutenant Colonel, USA – July 1, 1920
Colonel, USA – February 18, 1930
Brigadier General, USA – October 25, 1940

Decorations and Honors

General Davis’ U.S. military decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) and Bronze Star. His DSM medal, awarded by General Order 10, dated February 22, 1945, stated that 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 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, Davis was awarded an Honorary Degree of LL.D. from Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia. His foreign awards and honors include of the Croix de Guerre with Palm from France and the Grade of Commander of the Order of the Star of Africa from Liberia.


General Benjamin O. Davis

Nacionalni arhivski katalog 30.05.2017 15:07 (в ответ на Donna Hummel)

I think you may be referring to Benjamin Oliver Davis, 1912-2002 and not Benjamin Omar Davis.

You may want to log in to the National Archives Catalog https://catalog.archives.gov/login  (or register for an account if you don't have one) and add a comment in the authority record for Benjamin Oliver Davis https://catalog.archives.gov/id/10570829 mentioning the location of his papers.  This information would be very useful to other researchers.

Re: General Benjamin Omar Davis

No, the Father was Omar, the Gen who wrote the letters I researched.  Oliver was his Son. 

Re: General Benjamin Omar Davis

I must check the dates. 1912-2002 would certainly be the time period for the Son. The letter was about a black troop who was shot and killed. Jenkins.  It was Gen Davis who wrote a 244 page letter that is at the Carlisle way barracks, not Nara, CP. This happens but the bottom line is finding the letter. Oliver, Omar, if your correct on the middle name, I stand corrected.


Benjamin O. Davis: The First Black General in the U.S. Army

Few families have exerted as much impact on black American history as Benjamin O. Davis and his son, Benjamin Jr. Their lives and careers were strikingly parallel. Both father and son fought a ceaseless, uncompromising battle for equality in the U.S. military by doing what all good officers are expected to do: set the example for their men.

Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr. was born to Louis and Henrietta Davis, a middle-class family in Washington, D.C., on May 28, 1880. Early in life he wanted to be a cavalry officer, but he faced strong opposition. Between 1865 and 1940, there were never more than three black officers at one time in the entire Army. For 39 years Davis would be one of them.

In 1898 Davis enlisted in the U.S. Army and tried to enter the Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. His application was rejected—President William McKinley’s staff explained that it was “not politically feasible” at that time. Undaunted, Davis worked his way up through the ranks, obtaining a second lieutenant’s commission in two years and a first lieutenant’s in six— a remarkable achievement for any enlisted soldier, black or white. After service in the Philippines, Davis returned to the United States, and in October 1902 he married Elnora Dickerson. She would bear him three children: Olive, Benjamin Jr. and Elnora.

Davis presented military authorities with a dilemma. Although he deserved advancement, prevailing segregation required that he not outrank white officers on the same base or command white soldiers. The Army’s solution was to devise a “shuttle system,” moving Davis to one “safe” quasi-military assignment after another. His first such posting was to Wilberforce, a black university in Ohio, where he served as a professor of military science and tactics. In a subsequent assignment to the Mexican border, he received an efficiency report that described him as “ordinary,” “too fat” and “lacks initiative and enthusiasm.” A review board negated that report and promoted him to captain. He returned to Wilberforce.

In 1916 Davis’ wife died. During World War I, he was shipped to the Philippines, where he courted a family friend, Sadie Overton, by mail for two years. In 1919 she traveled to Manila, and the two were married. Disappointed at being denied the opportunity to lead troops in combat, Davis was also incensed to read an article in the Army and Navy Journal alleging that blacks were not promoted because they were “deficient in moral fiber, rendering them unfit as officers and leaders of men.” In 1920 Davis was moved again to a professorship at the Tuskegee Institute as a lieutenant colonel. In November 1929, he was the only black officer in the U.S. military. Promoted to full colonel, he continued a humdrum career marked by frequent transfers throughout the 1930s. Then in 1940 he was given the unprecedented rank—for a black American—of brigadier general. Some said the promotion was politically motivated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wish to woo the black vote. Mogoče. But it was equally true that Davis had superb qualifications and the promotion was overdue.

Davis retired in 1948 after 50 years of Army service, but he remained active in the civil rights movement. Sadie died in 1966, and Benjamin followed her on Thanksgiving Day 1970. By then, his dreams were being upheld by his son.

Born on December 18, 1912, Benjamin O. Davis Jr. was encouraged to read and achieve high grades in school. “My father disciplined me,” he later recalled. “When mother Sadie prescribed a whipping, my father took off his belt and administered it.”

In 1929 the elder Davis began a campaign to gain his son admittance to West Point. While enrolled at the University of Chicago in 1931, the younger Davis received an appointment to the academy but failed the examinations. Given a second chance in 1932, he succeeded.

Three blacks had gone through the full curriculum at West Point since Henry O. Flipper graduated in 1877, but Davis still faced a difficult, lonely time at the academy, since, he recalled, “no white boy could be asked to room wtih me.” One day Davis overheard someone ask, “What are we going to do about the nigger?” The solution was “silencing”—the cadets vowed never to speak to him, except on military business. In spite of that isolation, designed to force an unwelcome cadet into resigning, Davis persevered. At the same time, he applied to the U.S. Army Air Corps, only to be rejected. In 1936 Davis emerged from his ordeal 35th in a class of 276, West Point’s fourth black graduate and its first since 1889.

After graduation, Davis happily married Agatha Scott and unhappily accepted an assignment to the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Ga. Shortly thereafter, he was sent to Tuskegee, to serve as his father’s aide as a captain. His fortunes changed, however, when he was assigned to pilot training at Moten Field, Ala., which would later be renamed Tuskegee Army Air Field. Overruling the protests of Army Air Forces General Henry H. “Hap” Arnold that blacks would create “an impossible social situation,” the Army had initiated an experimental black flying program. Davis knew that he and every other black trainee would have to prove themselves if the concept were to take root in the military, and they conducted themselves accordingly.

One of the first Tuskegee Airmen to earn his pilot wings, Davis was given command of the 99th Fighter Squadron, and in May 1942 he advanced two ranks to lieutenant colonel. In April 1943, the 99th left for North Africa, where its pilots would fly Curtiss P-40s against veteran German airmen in superior Messerschmitt Me-109G and Focke Wulf Fw-190A fighters. Game as the black pilots were to take on the Luftwaffe in the air, for months the 99th was almost exclusively engaged in ground-attack missions, while the squadron was passed from one fighter group to another. On July 2, 1st Lt. Charles B. Hall drew first blood for the squadron in the air when he downed an Fw-190 over Tunisia.

In September 1943, Davis returned to the United States to take command of the all-black 332nd Fighter Group being formed at Selfridge Field, Mich. There, he was shown a letter from Colonel William Momyer, commander of one of the 99th Squadron’s least hospitable hosts, the 33rd Fighter Group, saying that the 99th had “demonstrated insufficient air discipline…its formations had disintegrated under fire.” Momyer concluded, “The Negro type has not the proper reflexes to make a first class fighter pilot,” and that the 99th and all succeeding black squadrons should be assigned to noncombat areas.

Davis defended the 99th’s performance, arguing that poor pilot training and the lack of sufficient combat flying had indeed caused the squadron to falter initially, but that his group was now performing on a level with white fliers. The Momyer report was dismissed.

Soon thereafter, Davis obtained more tangible evidence to hold up to the critics. On January 27, 1944, the 99th Fighter Squadron was credited with downing eight Fw-190s, and Captain Charles Hall downed two more the next day. It was a turning point for the entire Tuskegee program— proof that the experiment was working.

Davis found Selfridge Field rife with racial turbulence. One ugly incident almost led to murder. In direct violation of Army Regulations 210-10, black officers were not allowed in the officers’ club. On New Years’ Day 1944, three black officers tried to gain entrance but were refused by three senior white officers. One, Colonel Charles Gayle, announced, “I will court-martial for inciting to riot the first [black] man who steps into the officers’ club!”

Furious, the three black officers resolved to get rid of Gayle. They planned to follow him into the air, then, positioning one man at each wing and one over his cockpit, they would force him to crash into the ground. Fortunately, once Gayle was airborne the officers were unable to find him and, after reconsideration, discarded their plot. One of the conspirators, Daniel “Chappie” James Jr., would later become the U.S. Air Force’s first black four-star general.

Meanwhile, the 332nd Group shipped out to Italy in 1944, escorting bombers of the Fifteenth Air Force. Colonel Davis habitually led his squadrons, racking up 35 combat missions and earning the Silver Star. As the group’s squadrons—the 100th, 301st and 302nd, later joined by the 99th—gained experience and confidence, they scored 39 victories in July 1944. Davis regarded such achievements as of secondary importance, however, and kept strict control over which of his men could go after individual enemy fighters, to prevent them from being distracted from their primary mission of protecting the bombers. In late June 1944, the 332nd was fully equipped with first-class North American P-51 Mustang fighters, and soon gained fame as the “Red Tails” because of its adopted group marking. In September 1944, the 332nd Fighter Group was honored at an awards ceremony in which Brig. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Sr. watched as Maj. Gen. Nathan Twining, commander of the Fifteenth Air Force, pinned the Distinguished Flying Cross on Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Jr.

By the time Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945, the 332nd Group had been credited with 116 victories and the extraordinary achievement of not losing a single bomber to enemy fighters. In June Colonel Davis returned to the States to command the 477th Composite Group. He then spent 10 months at the prestigious War College as its only black officer.

Davis was serving with the Directorate of Operations in the Pentagon when the Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950. Racial discrimination had officially been prohibited in the recently independent U.S. Air Force, and in 1953 Davis commanded the 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing in Korea. The next year he was promoted to brigadier general and assigned to Far Eastern Air Force headquarters in Japan, as director of operations and training. In 1955 he became vice commander of the Thirteenth Air Force, rising to the rank of major general.

Davis reached the pinnacle of his military career in 1965. Now a lieutenant general, he served as chief of staff for the United Nations Military Command in Korea. He retired from the service in January 1970 and, like his father, continued to champion civil rights until his death on July 4, 2002, at age 89.

As soldiers, citizens and freedom fighters, Benjamin Davis Sr. and Jr. are unique in American history. The father was the U.S. Army’s first black general, setting a precedent that his son, the U.S. Air Force’s first black general, would live up to and surpass.

Originally published in the August 2006 issue of Vojaška zgodovina. Če se želite naročiti, kliknite tukaj.


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