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Tuskegee Airmen leader Davis dies

TMMT

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Benjamin O. Davis Jr., the leader of the famed all-black Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and the first black general in the Air Force, has died.

Davis, who was 89 and suffered from Alzheimer's disease, died Thursday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.


Davis, a native of Washington, began his military career during the era of segregation and led a unit of airmen that was credited with a major role in bringing about the integration of the armed services in the years after the war.


He was a 1936 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and son of Benjamin O. Davis Sr., who rose to brigadier general in the Army.


In 1970, after he retired from the Air Force, Davis was put in charge of the federal sky marshal program designed to stop airliner hijackings. The following year, he was named an assistant secretary of transportation.


Davis left the Air Force as a lieutenant general with three stars and was the most senior black officer in the armed forces. President Clinton advanced Davis to a full general in 1998, awarding him a fourth star.


As commander of the 332nd Fighter Group, Davis and his pilots escorted bombers on 200 air combat missions over Europe during World War II.


Davis, whose wife, Agatha, died this year, leaves a sister.
 

DHPope93

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I had the pleasure of talking to him after a speech about 10 years ago. Added a great deal of perspective to my life as a (then) cadet and future officer.
 
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