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Davenport Johnson was born in Tyler, Texas, on March 28, 1890. Following graduation from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, he was appointed a second lieutenant of Infantry on June 12, 1912.

General Johnson was assigned to the 19th Infantry and first served at Fort Sheridan, Ill., until Feb. 15, 1913. He subsequently served at Fort Sill, Okla., to Feb. 24, 1913, then at various border Texas border points and on the expedition to Vera Cruz, Mexico, in the summer and fall of 1914. In February 1916 he was detailed in the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps at San Diego, Calif., as a student, completing the course in September 1916. He joined the Punitive Expedition into Mexico with the 1st Aero Squadron, and in January 1917 took a special flying course at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

In February 1917 General Johnson was ordered to France as a Military Observer with the French Army, and served as various schools in France until August 1917 when he was ordered to the United States Air Service Headquarters in Paris as an Instructor. In December he attended the French School of Fire at Cazoux, taking the aerial gunnery course.

From January 15 to March 9, 1918, General Johnson flew over enemy lines with the French Army on the Champagne front, and from March 9, 1918, with the American forces on this same front. With American forces he flew over the Toul front from April to Sept. 21, 1918, and over the Meuse-Argonne to Nov. 11, 1918. For his participation in the Meuse-Argonne offensive he was cited in the French Ordre de L'Escadre. He was awarded the Silver Star by the United States for gallantry in action Nov. 5, 1918, near Forest de Woevre, France, while on an inspection flight, and the French Croix de Guerre with bronze star. He also was cited by General Pershing for meritorious service.

While at the Toul Airdome, General Johnson organized the 2nd Pursuit Group and commanded it from March 1, 1919, to April 3, 1919, then returned to the United States where he commanded the 1st Pursuit Group at Selfridge Field, Mich., to Aug 28, 1919. He was Commanding Officer of Kelly Field, Texas, to May 1, 1920, and served as Operations Officer, 2nd Wing, to Sept. 1, 1920.

The general graduated from the Air Corps Field Officers School, Langley Field, Va., in 1921, then served as Instructor until July 1922 when he was transferred to Mitchel Field, N.Y., as Squadron Commander. In August 1925 he enrolled in the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., graduating in June 1926. He served on the faculty at the Air Corps Tactical School, Langley Field, Va., until July 1928, then attended the Army War College, Washington, D.C., graduating in June 1929. He was then assigned to the Office of the Chief of Air Corps, Washington, D.C.

On February 1930 General Johnson was placed in command of Fort Crockett, Texas. In July 1932 he was ordered to Washington, D.C. for service in the Military Intelligence Division of the General Staff. In July 1936 he was transferred to Hamilton Field, Calif., as Commanding Officer of the 7th Bombardment Group, and later Commanding Officer of Hamilton field. He was then assigned to Chanute Field, Ill., in March 1938, becoming Assistant Commandant of the Air Corps Technical School.

On Oct. 2, 1940, he was appointed Assistant to the Chief of Air Corps and assigned to duty in Washington, D.C. He was assigned to duty with the Caribbean Defense Command with headquarters at Quarry Heights, Panama Canal Zone, on Aug. 9, 1941.
In February 1943 he became Commanding General of the 2nd Air Force, Colorado Springs, Colo., and was then assigned as Commanding General of the 11th Air Force in the Alaskan Theater.

First lieutenant, July 1, 1916; captain, May 15, 1917; major (temporary), June 7, 1918; lieutenant colonel (temporary), Aug. 14, 1918. He reverted to his permanent rank of captain on Feb. 28, 1920, and was promoted to major on July 1, 1920; lieutenant colonel, Aug. 1, 1935; colonel (temporary), Aug. 26, 1936; brigadier general (temporary), Oct. 2, 1940; major general (temporary), Aug. 4, 1941.