Retired June 30, 1963. Died Oct. 12, 1994.
John A. McDavid was born in Decatur, Ill, in 1916. He attended public schools and James Millikin University in Decatur, and the University of I1linois in Urbana before receiving an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy.
He graduated from West Point in 1939 and was commissioned in the Signal Corps, U.S. Army. His first assignment was with Company B, 51st Signal Battalion, at Fort Monmouth, N.J.
After assignments at Fort Sheridan, Ill., and Fort McPherson, Ala., he went to Hawaii in 1940 and for nearly a year commanded the 324th Signal Company and a training school for signal specialties.
In January 1942 he was named assistant signal officer, Hawaiian Air Force, and in February 1943, became head of the Signa1 and Communications Section of the Seventh Air Force (redesignated from the Hawaiian Air Force).
While with the Seventh Air Force he directed communications activities in the Caroline Islands, the Marshall Islands in the Mariannas and in the Ryukyu Islands.
General McDavild returned to the States in October 1945 for duty as director of operations, U.S. Air Force Communications Unit Training Center, Camp Pinedale, Calif. In 1946 he was named assistant air communications officer of the Joint Task Force for the atomic testing at Bikini (Operation Crossroads).
He returned from Bikini in September 1946 to Fifteenth Air Force headquarters at Colorado Springs, Colo., as assistant chief of staff for communications. Beginning in August 1947, he attended Air Command and Staff School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., for a year, and under a special Air Force educational program, attended graduate school at the University of Illinois. He received a master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Illinois in February 1950.
He was then assigned to Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., as commander of the training group operating the U.S. Air Force Electronics Training Center. In August 1953 he went to the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. After completing studies at Maxwell in July 1954, he was named director of communications-electronics, Headquarters Northeast Air Command, Pepperell Air Force Base, St. Johns, Newfoundland.
He was assigned as chief of communications and electronics for Strategic Air Command in May 1957.
General McDavid's decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and the Commendation Ribbon with cluster.
Participated in football at the U.S. Military Academy, 1936-38, receiving a major letter in 1938; in basketball, 1937-39, receiving major letters in 1938 and 1939; and track, 1937-39, receiving a major letter in 1939. He is an active golfer, beginning at the age of 12 when he began to caddie for his father.
General McDavid is an outdoor enthusiast having hunted for caribou, moose and. deer in Canada and the United States. He has fished extensively in Alaska and Canada, several times using SAC Aero Club aircraft to make the trips. In April 1958 he flew for the first time in the Aero Club and since that time has received his private pilot's license and logged more than 125 hours. As a woodworker he has his own shop where he makes cabinets and is presently constructing a stero hi-fi unit.
Senior member of the Institute of Radio Engineers, member of the Aimed Forces Communications, Electronics Association, member of the First Presbyterian Church, member of the Offutt Air Force Base Rifle Association and former president of the Newfoundland chapter of the Institute of Radio Engineers.
OPINIONS, TASTES AND EVALUATIONS
Likes all kinds of foods, especially fond of steak and seafoods, lobster and red snapper. Enjoys comfortable living. If constructing own home would want four bedrooms, three baths and two-car garage on one floor.
Favorite magazine is U.S. News and World Report, enjoys Life, Institute of Radio Engineers Proceedings and other technical publications. Enjoys light classics in the music field. Has traveled over much of the world and likes warmer c1imates.
Requires those under him to be able to receive information, do the job assigned and report back the job is accomplished.