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First Name: James

Last Name: Davis

Birthplace: Wayne, NE, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Burr

Date of Birth: 14 November 1935

Rank: General

Years Served:
James Burr Davis

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1958


James Burr Davis

General, U.S. Air Force

James Burr Davis was born on 14 November 1935 in Wayne, NE, in 1935, where he attended Wayne City High School and Wayne State Teachers College. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Military Science from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.

Davis completed pilot training at Bartow AFB, FL, and Greenville AFB, MS. After receiving his pilot wings in 1959, he was assigned as a KC-97 Stratotanker pilot with the 4050th Air Refueling Wing at Westover AFB, MA. In December 1964, he was assigned to Headquarters 8th Air Force, also at Westover. In July 1966, he moved to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC, as an Action Officer in the Special Actions Branch. He transferred in June 1967 to George AFB, CA, for F-4 Phantom II replacement training.

In January 1968, he was assigned to the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Udon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, serving as a Combat Pilot and Assistant Operations Officer. By September 1968, he had flown 100 combat missions over North Vietnam. In October 1968, he was selected as Aide-de-Camp to the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Lindsey Air Station, West Germany. Three months later, when the Commander-in-Chief was assigned to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Belgium, Davis also moved and became Aide-de-Camp to the Chief of Staff there.

After graduating from the Armed Forces Staff College in June 1971, he transferred to the Air Force Military Personnel Center at Randolph AFB, TX. During this tour of duty, he served as Chief, Special Category Manning Section, then Deputy Chief and, later, Chief of the Rated Career Management Branch. In June 1976, he was a distinguished graduate at the Air War College and was assigned to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base, UT, first as Assistant Deputy Commander for Operations, then as Deputy Commander for Operations and, later, as Vice Commander. He also received a Master's degree in Public Administration from Auburn University in 1976.

From May 1979 to June 1980, he Commanded the 474th Tactical Fighter Wing, Nellis AFB, NV. Davis then transferred to Langley AFB, VA, and served as Tactical Air Command's Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel. In September 1982, he was assigned as Director of Personnel Programs in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Manpower and Personnel, Air Force Headquarters. He became Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Personnel, Air Force Headquarters, and Commander, Air Force Military Personnel Center, in September 1984.

He then served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Intelligence, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam AFB, HI, from August 1986 to August 1987, when he became Vice Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Air Forces. From January 1988 to July 1991, he was Commander of U.S. Forces Japan, and 5th Air Force, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Additionally, from 5 November 1990 until 18 February 1991, Lieutenant General Davis concurrently served as Commander, Pacific Air Forces.

On 24 July 1991 Davis was promoted to the four-star rank of General and assigned as Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (COFS SHAPE).

General Davis retired from the Air Force on 1 August 1993. During his service, he became a Command Pilot with over 4,500 flying hours, including 270 combat hours.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (3 Awards)
Distinguished Flying Cross (2 Awards)
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal (11 Awards)
Air Force Commendation Medal (3 Awards)
Presidential Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "Valor" Device (3 Awards)
National Defense Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with Silver Star
Air Force Overseas Ribbon - Short Tour
Air Force Overseas Ribbon - Long Tour
Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon (9 Awards)
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Air Force Training Ribbon
Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Command Pilot Badge

Foreign Medals and Awards

Order of National Security Merit, Gouges Medal - South Korea
Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure - Japan
Award of Knight Grand Cross with Sash - Thailand


General Davis was inducted into the Order of the Sword, which is the highest honor non-commissioned officers can bestow on a commander under which they served.

Honoree ID: 703   Created by: MHOH




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