A Moment In History 2014

 
 

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"A People without knowledge of their Past History, origin and culture is like a Tree without Roots...."  Marcus Garvey

                                                                                                                                                             

Military

Remembering, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

The military history of African Americans spans from the arrival of the first black slaves during the colonial history of the United States to the present day. There has been no war fought by or within the United States in which African Americans did not participate, including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, the World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as other minor conflicts.

Today, we celebrate Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr. (December 18, 1912 July 4, 2002) who was an American United States Air Force general and commander of the World War II Tuskegee Airmen. He was the first African-American general in the United States Air Force. On December 9, 1998, he was advanced to four-star general by President Clinton. During World War II, Davis was commander of the 99th and the 332nd Fighter Group, which escorted bombers on air combat missions over Europe. Davis himself flew sixty missions in P-39, Curtiss P-40, P-47 and P-51 Mustang fighters. Davis followed in his father's footsteps in breaking racial barriers, as Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. was the first African-American general in the United States Army.

At the time of Davis's retirement, he held the rank of lieutenant general, but on December 9, 1998 President Bill Clinton awarded him a fourth star, raising him to the rank of full general. His Military decorations included the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, and the Philippine Legion of Honor.

In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.
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