Michael F. Davis was born on March 25, 1894, in New Richmond, Ohio. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and was commissioned a second lieutenant, Infantry, on June 12, 1915.
His first assignment was to border duty where he served at El Paso and San Antonio, Texas, until September 1916 when he transferred to San Diego, Calif., for flight training. He then received additional flying training at Columbus, N.M., and Kelly Field, Texas, successively from May to December 1917, when he sailed for London, England, in command of the 50th Aero Squadron. He served with the Royal Air Force from May until July 1918 when he joined the 3rd Aviation Instruction Center, American Expeditionary Forces, at Issoudin, France. The following October he was assigned to the School of Gunnery at St. Jean de Monts, France, until the next month when he assumed command of the 4th Pursuit Group, Toul, France.
He returned to the United States, and in January 1921 proceeded to Ross Field, Calif., to attend Army Balloon School. In March 1992 he transferred to the Presidio of San Francisco of San Francisco, Calif., for duty with the organized reserves at Headquarters Ninth Corps Area. He was named Executive Officer, 312th Observation Group, at the Presidio of San Francisco in March 1924, and the following July moved to Rockwell Field, Calif., for a brief tour of duty.
His next assignment was to the Balloon and Airship School, Scott Field, Ill., where he graduated in June 1925. He then served at Maxwell Field, Ala., until September 1925 when he was assigned to the Air Service Tactical School, Langley Field, Va. He graduated in June 1926 and was assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he graduated from the Command and General Staff School in June 1927. He then returned to Langley Field, Va., as an instructor at the Air Corps Tactical School.
In July 1929 he was placed in charge of the School Section, Training and Operations Division, Office of the Chief of the Air Corps, Washington, D.C., serving until July 1931 when he moved to Crissy Field, Calif., assuming command of the 91st Observation Squadron and also becoming Post Commander. He subsequently relinquished command of the 91st Observation Squadron and remained in command of Crissy Field until March 1933. At that time he was ordered to Fort Shafter, Hawaii, where he became Assistant to the Air Officer and Wing Operations, Training and Communications Officer, 18th Composite Wing.
In October 1935 he was named Assistant to the Executive, Office of the Chief of the Air Corps, Washington, D.C. From July 1936 to June 1937, he served as Acting Executive Officer, Office of the Chief of Air Corps, and then became the Executive. From February to September 1939, he was Executive, Training Group, in the Office of the Chief of Air Corps, and then was assigned to the Army Industrial College, Washington, D.C. He graduated in June 1940, when he proceeded to Hamilton Field, Calif., for duty as Base Executive and Commanding Officer of the 45th Air Base Group.
He assumed command of the 10th Pursuit Wing and became Base Commander, Hamilton Field, Calif., in January 1941. In July 1942 he became Commanding Officer, San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center, San Antonio, Texas. He subsequently was named to command the 509th Base Headquarters and Air Base Squadron, additionally. In February 1944 he was named Commanding General of the 78th Flying Training Wing, San Antonio, Texas.
He is rated a balloon pilot, combat observer, balloon observer and technical observer.
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
He was promoted to first lieutenant on July 1, 1916; to captain on May 15, 1917; to major (temporary) on June 17, 1918, and reverted to the rank of captain on March 15, 1920. He transferred to the Air Service on July 1, 1920, and was promoted to major on July 3, 1920; to lieutenant colonel (temporary) on March 12, 1935; to lieutenant colonel (permanent) on Oct. 1, 1936; to colonel (temporary) on March 1, 1940; to brigadier general (temporary) on January 17, 1944.
(Current as of March 4, 1944)