Why I have opened the window!

Amerykah has turned a corner and we should all turn with it. I have thoughts ideas and suggestions but I also have patience and desire for us to be whole and one. I have been speaking a lot lately of the human condition and the generations of Black Americans. i will entertain any and all conversation as long as we can be respectful and grown up. Let the healing begin......

Friday, February 06, 2009

Black History Month

Brigadier General Benjamin Oliver Davis, Sr. (July 1, 1877 – November 26, 1970) was an American general and the father of Benjamin O. Davis Jr. He was the first African-American general in the U.S. Army.

Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., was born in Washington, D.C., on July 1, 1877. His biographer Marvin Fletcher (author of America's First Black General, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., 1880-1970) has presented evidence of his birth records indicating that he was born in May 1880 and later lied about his age so that he could enlist in the army without the permission of his parents. It is the earlier date that appears on his grave at Arlington National Cemetery, however.) He was a student at Howard University when—as a result of the start of the War with Spain—he entered the military service on July 13, 1898 as a temporary first lieutenant of the 8th United States Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered out on March 6, 1899, and on June 18, 1899, he enlisted as a private in Troop I, U.S. 9th Cavalry Regiment (one of the original Buffalo Soldier regiments), of the Regular Army. He then served as corporal and squadron sergeant major, and on February 2, 1901, he was commissioned a second lieutenant of Cavalry in the Regular Army.

He was promoted to first lieutenant on March 30, 1905; to captain on December 24, 1915; to major (temporary) on August 5, 1917; and to lieutenant colonel (temporary) on May 1, 1918. He reverted to his permanent rank of captain on October 14, 1919, and was promoted to lieutenant colonel on July 1, 1920; to colonel on February 18, 1930; to brigadier general (temporary) on October 25, 1940. He was retired on July 31, 1941, and recalled to active duty with the rank of brigadier general the following day.

His first service as a commissioned officer of the Regular Army was in the Philippine Islands with the 9th Cavalry on the Island of Samar. In August 1901, he was assigned to duty with the 2d Squadron, 10th Cavalry, and returned from the Philippines with that organization for service as Adjutant at Fort Washakie, Wyoming. In September 1905, he was made Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Wilberforce University, Ohio, remaining there until September 1909, when, after a brief tour of duty at Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont, he was detailed as Military Attache to Monrovia, Liberia, until January 1912.

He then was assigned to duty with the 9th Cavalry at Fort D.A. Russell (predecessor of Fort Francis E. Warren), Wyoming, and at Douglas, Arizona. He remained with his regiment on border patrol duty until February 1915, when he again was assigned to duty as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Wilberforce University, Ohio. He remained there until the summer of 1917, when he went to the Philippines for duty as Supply Officer of the 9th Cavalry at Camp Stotsenburg. He returned to the United States in July 1920, and was assigned to duty as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, where he served until July 1924, when he became Instructor of the 372d Infantry, Ohio National Guard, stationed at Cleveland, Ohio.

In July 1929 he returned to Wilberforce University as Professor Military Science and Tactics serving until late 1930 when he was detailed on special duty with the U.S. Department of State in connection with affairs relating to the Republic of Liberia.
In late 1931 he was assigned again to serve as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Tuskegee, Alabama, where he remained until August 1937 when he was transferred to Wilberforce University.

During the summers of 1930 to 1933, he was placed on detached service for duty with the Pilgrimage of War Mothers and Widows, making frequent trips to Europe on behalf of that organization. For his work on this assignment he received letters of commendation from the Secretary of War and from the Quartermaster General.

In August 1937 he was transferred from Tuskegee Institute to Wilberforce University. After a year at that institution, he was assigned as instructor and Commanding Officer of the 369th Infantry, New York National Guard. This organization was later changed to the 369th Coast Artillery (Anti-aircraft) Regiment. In January 1941 he was ordered to Fort Riley, Kansas, for duty as a brigade commander with the 2d Cavalry Division. The following June, he was assigned to Washington, D.C., for duty as Assistant to the Inspector General.
He was assigned to the European Theater of Operations in September 1942 on special duty as Advisor on Negro Problems and upon completion of this special duty he returned to the United States and resumed his duties in the Inspector General's Department.

In November 1944, he became Special Assistant to the Commanding General, Communications Zone, European Theater of Operations, stationed in Paris, France, and in November 1945 was granted a period of detached service for the purposes of recuperation and rehabilitation. In January 1946 he again became Special Assistant to The Inspector General, Washington, D.C. He retired on 14 July 1948, as the senior Brigadier General on the 184 member Permanent list, and after having served fifty years. General Davis died on November 26, 1970. His remains are interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. His son, General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., (U.S. Air Force, Retired), is the fourth African American graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and the nation's second African American general officer.

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