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First Name: Donald

Last Name: Davis

Birthplace: New Boston, MO, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Cooke

Date of Birth: 24 January 1921

Date of Death: 30 July 1998

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served:
Donald Cooke Davis

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1944

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Donald Cooke Davis
Admiral, U.S. Navy

Donald Cooke Davis was born on 24 January 1921 in New Boston, MO, the son of Randal N. and Alice Isabelle Cooke Davis.  He was a 1938 graduate of Brookfield High School.  Davis attended the University of Missouri-Columbia while awaiting his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. He was admitted to the Academy to graduate in the Class of 1944 but, due to World War II, he graduated on 9 June 1943 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering and was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.

During World War II, Davis served aboard the USS Nobile (CL-63) in the Pacific Theater, which participated in nine major campaigns. He qualified as a Naval Aviator in May 1946 and then served in several carrier-based fighter squadrons, including VF-51, the Navy's first operational jet squadron.

At the start of the Korean War, Davis' squadron, aboard the USS Leyte (CVS-32), was sent from the Mediterranean to Korea. Here he flew 51 combat missions and was awarded two Air Medals. In 1952, Davis was ordered to Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, NV. Here, he helped train Air Force F-86 pilots on lessons learned while flying missions in Korea. Following his assignment with the Air Force, Davis became Commanding Officer of Fighter Squadron Two Hundred Eleven (VF-211) in 1957 and made Western Pacific (WESTPAC) deployments aboard the USS Midway (CVA-41) and the USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31).

After his WESTPAC tours, Davis reported for duty in Washington, DC, where he served as Aide and Special Assistant to the Undersecretary of the Navy.

In 1960, Davis entered the Naval War College in Newport, RI. While at Newport, he completed the Senior Course in Naval Warfare.

In February of 1962, he became Commander of Carrier Air Group Five. While serving as Air Group Commander, he made a South American transit cruise aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation (CVA-14).

During the years 1964-66, Davis served as the Senior Navy Project Officer for the F-111 (TFX) aircraft in the Air Force Systems Command and was the first Navy pilot to fly the Navy's newest fighter. For his part in the F-111 project, Davis was awarded the Legion of Merit.

On 3 June 1966, Davis assumed command of the USS Montros (APA-212) which recently participated in numerous amphibious operations off the coast of Vietnam. He then commanded the USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) and Task Force 77 from 28 August 1967 to 30 September 1968.

In 1969-70, Rear Admiral Davis was Commander, Task Force 130, the Pacific Recovery Forces for the Manned Spacecraft Missions Apollo 11 and Apollo 13.

On 9 May 1978, Davis was promoted to the four-star rank of Admiral and assigned as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT).

Admiral Davis retired from the Navy on 1 August 1981.

Medals and Awards

Navy Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)
Legion of Merit
Air Medal (2 Awards)

In Retirement

Davis and his wife, the former Elaine Mcauvic, of Scranton, PA, moved to Coronado, CA, with their daughter, Aditha.

Death and Burial

Admiral Donald Cooke Davis died on 30 July 1998. He is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, San Diego County, CA, in Plot A-C, 0, C-810D.

Honoree ID: 493   Created by: MHOH




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