Famous Firsts: Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr. & Daniel \”Chappie\” James Jr.

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Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr. (1880 – November 26, 1970) was a United States Army officer. He became the first African-American to rise to the rank of Brigadier General in the U.S. military in 1940. He was the father of Air Force General Benjamin O. Davis Jr.
 
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Daniel \”Chappie\” James Jr. (February 11, 1920 – February 25, 1978) was an American fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, who in 1975 became the first African American to reach the rank of four-star General in the armed forces.

He attended the famous Tuskegee Institute and instructed African American pilots during World War II. He flew combat missions during the Korean War and Vietnam War, and received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two Air Force Distinguished Service Medals, two Legion of Merits, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, Meritorious Service Medal and fourteen Air Medals
 
 

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