He transitioned from the Army to the United States Air Force when it was established as a separate branch in 1947. When war came again in Korea, he flew the North American F-86 Sabre, and was placed in command of the 334th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron. All told during the Korean War, he was credited with no fewer than eight enemy aircraft destroyed.
Sixty years ago today, he led a flight of Sabres near the border with Communist China. His superb airmanship, tenacity, and courage in battle cost him his life that day, but also resulted in him being decorated with our Nation's highest honor.
From Medal of Honor Citations for the Korean War:
Davis was highly decorated for his military exploits. He also received the second highest award for courage, the Distinguished Service Cross, in Korea. His Distinguished Service Cross citation for the action on November 27, 1951 follows:
The President of the United States of America, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Major George Andrew Davis, Jr. (AFSN: 0-671514/13035A), United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as Squadron Commander, 334th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, FIFTH Air Force, on 27 November 1951, during an engagement with enemy aircraft near Sinanju, Korea. While leading a group formation of thirty-two F-86 aircraft on a counter air mission, Major Davis observed six MIG-15 aircraft headed southward above the group. With exemplary leadership and superior airmanship, he maneuvered his forces into position for attack. Leading with great tactical skill and courage, Major Davis closed to 800 feet on a MIG-15 over Namsi. He fired on the enemy aircraft, which immediately began burning. A few seconds later, the enemy pilot bailed out of his aircraft. Continuing the attack on the enemy forces, Major Davis fired on the wingman of the enemy flight, which resulted in numerous strikes on the wing roots and the fuselage. As Major Davis broke off his relentless attack on this MIG-15, another MIG-15 came down on him. He immediately brought his aircraft into firing position upon the enemy and after a sustained barrage of fire, the enemy pilot bailed out. Although low on fuel, he rejoined his group and reorganized his forces to engage the approximate 80 enemy aircraft making the attack. Against overwhelming odds, Major Davis' group destroyed two other MIG-15 aircraft, probably destroyed one and damaged one other. Major Davis' aggressive leadership, his flying skill and devotion to duty contributed invaluable to the United Nations' cause and reflect great credit on himself, the Far East Air forces and the United States Air Force.
He also received three Silver Star medals (1 World War II, 2 Korea) and three Distinguished Flying Crosses (2 World War II, 1 Korea).