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First Name: John

Last Name: Davis

Birthplace: Hagon, NM, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: Albuquerque, NM
Middle Name: Kerry

Date of Birth: 14 March 1927

Rank: General

Years Served: 1945-1986
John Kerry Davis

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


John K. Davis
General, U.S. Marine Corps

John K. Davis was born on 14 March 1927, in Hagon, NM. He graduated from Albuquerque High School in 1945, and enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve, attaining the rank of Private First Class prior to being released to inactive duty. He earned a B.A. degree in Social Studies from the University of New Mexico (1950), and an Master's degree in Public Administration from George Washington University (1963). He was commissioned a U.S. Marine Corps Second Lieutenant in June 1950.

Beginning of Aviation Career

Upon completing The Basic School, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, VA, in March 1951, Davis was assigned as a Platoon Commander, 3rd Amphibious Tractor Battalion, Camp Pendleton, CA. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in June 1952, and the following October he began flight training at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL. He was promoted to Captain in December 1953, and designated a Naval Aviator in June 1954.

Davis served as a Training Officer with VMF(N)-542 at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, CA. He remained in that billet until December 1954, when he was transferred to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, serving in Korea and Japan, as the S-4 Officer, and later, as the S-1 Officer, Marine All-Weather Fighter Squadron 513, Marine Aircraft Group 12.

He returned to the U.S. in May 1956 as Operations Officer, Marine Air Control Squadron 4, Marine Wing Headquarters Group, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, at MCAS El Toro. He was later reassigned and served consecutively as the Aviation Safety Officer in VMA-121, MAG-15, and VMA-311.

Vietnam War

In July 1959, General Davis was transferred to the Naval Air Station Beeville, TX, as S-3 Officer, Training Squadron 26. He was promoted to Major in February 1961 and in July 1962 he attended the Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL. He completed the course in June 1963 and was ordered to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, serving concurrently as S-3 Officer, Marine Wing Headquarters Group 1, and as Officer-in-Charge, Tactical Air Control Center, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.

From September 1964 to August 1967, he served as a staff officer in the Air Branch, Joint Exercise Planning Division, Headquarters, Allied Forces, Northern Europe, Oslo, Norway. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in January 1966.

Davis returned to the U.S. in September 1967, and served consecutively as Executive Officer for Marine Aircraft Group 14, Commanding Officer of VMFA(AW)-224 and Commanding Officer again for VMAT(AW)-202. He attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, DC, from August 1968 to June 1969. He was then ordered to the Republic of Vietnam as the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Aviation Safety Officer, and later, as Executive Officer, Marine Aircraft Group 11.

Davis was promoted to Colonel in August 1970 and, a month later, returned to the U.S. as Executive Officer, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff (Air), Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington. He remained in that billet until June 1973, when he transferred to El Toro as Commanding Officer, Marine Aircraft Group 46/Marine Air Reserve Training Detachment.

Service as a General Officer

Davis became Assistant Wing Commander, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, MCAS El Toro, following his advancement to Brigadier General on 1 July 1975 and assigned duty as Commander, Marine Corps Air Bases, Western Area/Commanding General, Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, in June 1976. During this tour he was advanced to Major General on 17 February 1977 and assigned duty as Commanding General, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, MCAS El Toro. From 6 July to 8 August 1977, he was assigned additional duty as Commanding General, 1st Marine Amphibious Force, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

On 15 February 1978, he was assigned duty as the Commanding General, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan. He was assigned duty as the Director of Operations, J-3, Pacific Command, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii on 16 June 1979. Davis was assigned duty as the Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii on 30 June 1981, and was promoted to Lieutenant General on 1 July 1981.

Upon his promotion to General, Davis was assigned as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps on 1 July 1983 where he served until his retirement on 1 June 1986. During his term as Assistant Commandant, he served as President of the Marine Corps Association.

Aircraft Flown

General Davis has flown over 30 different aircraft including; the F3D, F9F, F-11F, A-6, F-4, F-104, A-4, AH-64, UH-1, CH-46, CH-53, FA-18, and the XV-15 (MV-22 Prototype). He flew 285 combat hours in Republic of Vietnam (160 at night) and 171 combat missions (100 at night).

Medals and Awards

Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with Combat Valor Device
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal w/ Strike/Flight Numeral "10"
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 Service Star
Vietnam Service Medal w/ 5 Service Stars
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
Order of National Security Merit, Gugseon Medal
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation
Vietnam Campaign Medal


Naval Aviator Badge

Honoree ID: 385   Created by: MHOH




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