General Bennie L. Davis, USAF, Retired, passed away peacefully on September 23, 2012. A Native American, born on May 12, 1928 in McAlester, Oklahoma, Bennie graduated from the US Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He earned a Master of Science degree from George Washington University and also attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard School of Business.
A highly decorated command pilot with more than 9000 flying hours, Bennie flew more than 350 combat hours on 142 missions over Vietnam. Promoted to the rank of four star General 1 April 1979, pivotal assignments of his thirty-five year military career included command of the US Air Force Recruiting Service, Deputy Chief of Staff Manpower and Personnel, command of the Air Training Command at Randolph AFB, and Commander-in-Chief, Strategic Air Command.
Bennie retired from the Air Force in August of 1985 and moved to McLean, Virginia. Selected in 1989 for induction in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, he served as a Senior Fellow at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. before moving to Georgetown, Texas in 1999. Always physically active, Bennie, a member of Army's championship football teams of the late 1940's, remained an avid golfer throughout his adult life.
Bennie was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, and wife of 54 years, Patricia Grafe Davis. Survivors include his wife Yvonne, sons James (Judy) and Thomas (Karla), grandchildren Matthew Davis (Holly), Bess Davis, Taylor Clark (John), Abby Davis, Tori Davis, and a great-grandson, Max Davis. Interment will be November 2, 2012 at 11:00 am at Ft Sam Houston with full military honors. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Scott and White Hospiceor the Wounded Warriors Project.
Published in Express-News on Oct. 4, 2012