Segments in this Video

Benjamin Davis: Introduction (02:03)

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Davis was born in Washington D.C. in 1912 and attended West Point. When blacks were finally allowed to fly, Davis became their commander. After WWII, he fought against segregation in the military.

Davis' Early Years (04:00)

Davis was raised by his grandparents and other family members. He attended segregated and integrated schools, entered West Point in 1932, and was assigned to infantry school at Fort Benning, Georgia where he befriended William Westmoreland.

Tuskegee Airmen (03:22)

Davis served as an aide-de-camp for his father at Fort Riley. Roosevelt formed a black flying school and the first Tuskegee Airmen started flight training in 1941. The 99th Pursuit Squadron flew P-40 Warhawks.

Proof of Performance (02:36)

The 99th Pursuit Squadron was assigned to the 33rd Pursuit Group in North Africa; the commander wanted the squadron removed from combat. Davis successfully defended his command. Hear the 99th's fight song.

WWII Air Support (02:37)

In 1943, Capt. Charles Hall downed a Nazi plane. The 332nd Fighter Group used Bell P-39 Airacobras during close air support missions. In 1944, the 332nd began escorting bombers in Germany.

Fighting Segregation (03:41)

The 332nd helped fight discrimination in the military; Davis led his men with tight discipline. In 1945, Davis became commander of the 477th Composite Group. Segregation made accomplishing military missions difficult; the Air Force integrates in 1949.

Successive Commands (04:03)

Davis attended the Air War College in 1949. Other accomplishments include: Chief of the Air Defense Branch of Air Force Operations; command of the 51St Fighter Interceptor Wing; Director of Operations for the Far East Air Force; Vice Commander of the 13th Air Force and Commander of Air Task Force 13 Provisional; Director of Operations for U.S. Air Forces in Europe; Director of Manpower and Organization at the Pentagon;Chief of Staff of the UN Command and U.S. Forces Korea; Commander of the 13th Air Force in the Philippines; and Deputy Commander of U.S. Strike Command. Davis retired in 1970; see him receive his fourth star.

Credits: Legends of Air Power: Benjamin Davis (00:22)

Credits: Legends of Air Power: Benjamin Davis

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Legends of Air Power: Benjamin Davis

Part of the Series : Legends of Air Power
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Description

General Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr. – Commander of the famed Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. Under his leadership the men of the 99th Fighter Squadron and the 332nd Fighter Group became renowned for never losing a bomber they escorted, a feat unmatched during the war. The son of a black Army officer, who was given the silent treatment during his four years at West Point, General Davis became the first black Air Force General and saw his dream of an integrated Air Force come true. General Davis, the commander of the Tuskegee Airmen, is a true Legend of Airpower.

Length: 23 minutes

Item#: BVL129000

ISBN: 978-1-64023-367-6

Copyright date: ©1999

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

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Not available to Home Video customers.


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