Brigadier-General Abel Davis, the second highest ranking Jewish officer in the Illinois National Guard, and one of the highest ranking Jewish officers in the United States Army, resigned yesterday as commander of the 66th Infantry, concluding a military career dating back to the Spanish American War. General Davis, who is a prominent banker and active in Jewish philanthropic affairs, said he had “served in every rank in the National Guard from private to general in the last 33 years. Most of the units I commanded are now headed by men who saw service overseas and I concluded it was best to step aside and allow younger men an opportunity to rise in the ranks.”
General Davis’ service record is a series of steady promotions, punctuated by command of the 132nd infantry of the 33rd division in France. His World War record brought him the Distinguished Service Medal, the Service Cross and the Cross of the French Legion of Honor. In accepting General Davis’ resignation, Major-General Roy D. Keehn, commander of the 33rd division, said, “I know of no other officer in the Illinois National Guard whose service has been of greater value to state and nation.”
General Davis, who is 52, is now vice-president of the Chicago Title and Trust Company. In 1906 he aided in the organization of the Young Men’s Jewish Charities of Chicago. Six years later he became a director of the Chicago Jewish Charities. In 1919 he served as general chairman of the nonsectarian Joint Distribution Committee’s War Relief Drive. He was chairman of the 1926 and 1927 Chicago conferences of the United Jewish Campaign.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.