Retired March 1, 1975.
Major General Woodard E. Davis Jr., is director of plans and policy, J-5, of the U.S. Readiness Command, with headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. In that assignment, he exercises staff responsibility for USREDCOM deployment planning, joint doctrine, and evaluation of joint training.
General Davis was born in Riderwood, Ala., in 1921. He graduated from Parish High School, Selma, Ala., in 1939; attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) and later the University of Maryland and the University of Florida.
He began his military career in December 1942 as an aviation cadet and received his commission in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a second lieutenant in 1943. During World War II from June 1944 to February 1945, he served in the European Theater of Operations on a combat tour of duty as bombardier and operations officer.
He completed pilot training in January 1946 and served as a flying instructor. In June 1946 he was transferred to Barksdale Field, La., where he served as flying instructor and flight commander at the pilot training school. In 1950 he attended the Air Tactical School at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., and remained there to become a supervisor of flying training at the Air Force Instrument Instructor School. In 1951 he went to the Air Proving Ground Command at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and participated in the F-86 Sabrejet operational suitability test and later was an F-86 squadron commander.
From January 1953 to February 1956, General Davis was with the Air Training Command headquarters at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations.
In February 1956 General Davis went to Germany where he became commander of the 36th Fighter Day Group. He was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in February 1960 as tactical air requirements officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Programs and Resources. During this period he attended the Air War College. He returned to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in December 1963 where he served as deputy for operations in the Tactical Air Warfare Center. General Davis served, from April 1965 to April 1967, as commander of the 3510th Flying Training Wing at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.
General Davis next went to the Republic of Vietnam and was commander of the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing at Cam Ranh Bay Air Base. He assumed command of the 835th Air Division at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., in May 1968. He returned to Germany in July 1969 as deputy chief of staff for operations for the 4th Allied Tactical Air Force, NATO. In February 1971 he became deputy chief of staff, operations and intelligence, for Allied Forces Central Europe with headquarters in the Netherlands.
In July 1972 General Davis became commander of the Nineteenth Air Force with headquarters at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. In July 1973 he went to Eglin Air Force Base for the third time and assumed command of the U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Warfare Center.
General Davis joined the U.S. Readiness Command with headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., as director of plans and policy, J-5, in January 1974.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with 16 oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart, and the Republic of Vietnam Medal of Honor, First Class. He has flown more than 7,300 hours of which more than 4,000 hours were in jet fighter aircraft including the F-80, F-84, F-86, F-100, F-105, F-4, and four Navy fighters. General Davis holds three aeronautical ratings - command pilot, navigator, and bombardier.
He was promoted to the grade of major general effective Aug. 1, 1971, with date of rank July 1, 1967.