Capt Alfonza W. Davis
September 23, 1919- October 29, 1944
Unit 332nd Fighter Group, 99th Fighter Squadron
Service # O-79894
Captain Alfonza W. Davis was born in Omaha, Nebraska on 23 September 1919. He graduated Valedictorian at Technical High in March 1937 and won the First Annual University Scholarship awarded by Alpha Eta chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi National Negro College Fraternity. He attended Omaha University (now University of Nebraska at Omaha).
Davis joined the Army Air Corps in 1942. From July 1942 to March 1943, he was an aviation cadet at Tuskegee Airfield, Alabama, specifically established to train the first black military aviators. Graduating at the top of his flight class, he became the first black military aviator from Omaha to receive his wings from Tuskegee Field. Captain Davis distinguished himself by receiving a medal for the highest rating in Moving Target Marksmanship in his class, and was chosen squadron leader.
Upon graduation, he was assigned to the 302d Fighter Squadron in Italy. Later he was attached to the Group Headquarters of the 332d Fighter Group as the Assistant Group Operations Officer. The group operated with the Fifteenth AF from May 1944 to April 1945, being engaged primarily in protecting bombers that struck such objectives as oil refineries, factories, airfields and marshalling yards in Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece. The group also made strafing attacks on airdromes, railroads, highways, bridges, river traffic, troop concentrations, radar facilities, power stations, and other targets.
His final assignment was with the 99th Pursuit Squadron as Squadron Commander. Flying a P-51 “Mustang,” his missions included reconnaissance and strategic flights, but mostly flew escorts for the large bomber squadrons stationed in Italy. During one of the missions, the P-51 “Mustang” fighter group he commanded destroyed 83 German aircraft. His final mission occurred 29 October 1944 while on a special high-reconnaissance mission to Munich, Germany. About 12 miles west of Salvatore Point, near the Gulf of Trieste, he was lost in overcast weather, never to be seen or heard from again. The War Department later issued a presumptive finding of death while missing in action on 30 October 1945.
Captain Davis’ awards and decorations included: Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Distinguished Unit Citation. He was also credited with one aerial victory in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations on 16 July 1944.
Alfonza W Davis is buried or memorialized at Tablets of the Missing at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Nettuno, Italy. This is an American Battle Monuments Commission location.