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DAVIS, GEORGE ANDREW, JR.

DAVIS, GEORGE ANDREW, JR. (1920–1952). George A. Davis, Jr., Medal of Honor recipient, was born in Dublin, Texas, on December 1, 1920, to Pearl and George Davis, Sr. He attended Morton High School at Morton and Harding College at Searcy, Arkansas. He joined the United States Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet at Lubbock on March 21, 1942. He completed flight training with Class 43-B and was commissioned second lieutenant at Lake Charles, Louisiana. After further training as a fighter pilot he was assigned to the 342nd Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group, Fifth Fighter Command, in the Southwest Pacific. Around New Guinea he flew some of the first P-47 aircraft in the Pacific Theater. While in the Pacific during World War II Davis became an "ace" with seven victories and was awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross with one oak leaf cluster, and the Air Medal with seven clusters. He returned to the United States in 1945. During the Korean War, while leading a flight of four F-86 jet fighters near the Manchurian border, his element leader ran out of oxygen and with his wing man was forced to return to base. Major Davis and the other remaining F-86 continued the mission. The pilots sighted approximately twelve MIG-15 aircraft about to attack friendly fighter-bombers conducting low-level ground operations. Davis dove at the MIG formation and shot down two planes. While he was attacking a third, under continuous fire from enemy fighters, his aircraft received a direct hit, went out of control, and crashed into a mountain thirty miles south of the Yalu River. His bold attack permitted the friendly aircraft to complete their mission. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty," Davis received the Medal of Honor posthumously. He had also been awarded the nation's second highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross, a ninth cluster to the Air Medal, a third cluster to the DFC, a second Silver Star, and the Korean WLCHI Medal. On his sixtieth combat mission in Korea, his final mission, he scored his thirteenth and fourteenth aerial victories and became America's leading jet ace at the time. Mrs. Doris Forgason Davis received the Medal of Honor at Reese Air Force Base from air force chief of staff Gen. Nathan F. Twining. Also present were the three Davis children, Davis's parents, and Senator Lyndon B. Johnson. Davis's body was never recovered. A veteran's memorial was dedicated to him in the City of Lubbock Cemetery on November 16, 1990, and a Medal of Honor headstone was placed there by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Austin American, June 11, 1952. Dallas Morning News, May 15, 1954. Committee on Veterans' Affairs, United States Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863–1973 (Washington: GPO, 1973). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Art Leatherwood

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Art Leatherwood, "DAVIS, GEORGE ANDREW, JR.," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fda78), accessed April 18, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.