Harry Davis


Harry Davis
Harry Davis
New York, NY, USA
Death date
Associated organizations
Watson Laboratories, US Air Force
Fields of study
IEEE Harry Diamond Memorial Award


Harry Davis was born on December 3, 1909, in New York. He was granted the B.S. in Electrical Engineering degree from The College of the City of New York in 1931 and in 1933 he was awarded the M.S. in Electrical Engineering degree from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn.

At the U. S. Army Research and Development Laboratories at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, he pioneered in radar techniques applicable to ground-controlled approach (GCA) and direction finding equipment for all-weather control of aircraft.

Mr. Davis became Chief of the Navigation Laboratory of the Watson Laboratories at Red Bank, New Jersey in 1945. Under his direction, the Laboratory undertook the final development and installation of a network of GCA stations on military and civilian airfields in the United States and abroad. His personal contributions to the VOR installations during the 1950's achieved order-of-magnitude increases in accuracy and prevented premature obsolescence of existing equipment. At the Watson Laboratories he also made major contributions to development of the Identification, Friend or Foe equipment for military aircraft.

In 1952, Mr. Davis became Technical Director at the Rome Air Development Center (RADC), the largest Government electronics laboratory. At RADC he had over-all responsibility for many important radar developments including highly-sensitive intelligence radars, as well as BMEWS, SAGE and NADGE.

In 1955, Mr. Davis took six months leave of absence to serve as a Visiting Professor at Columbia University, New York, where he taught graduate level electrical engineering.

He served as Special Assistant to the Director of Defense Research and Engineering in 1959 and was responsible for significant contributions to BMEWS, Nike-Zeus, SAGE and other related defensive systems.

In 1960, he accepted a position in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (R&D), where he now serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary, (Special Programs). Mr. Davis was responsible for major areas of Air Force research and development, including aircraft avionics, intelligence and reconnaissance and precision bombing and navigation systems.

Mr. Davis was the author of numerous articles in professional and scientific journals and has served on committees and panels and as a consultant to many Government Departments and Committees as well as professional societies. He holds a number of patents for navigation and radar developments. He has received numerous honors for his out standing contributions, including the Secretary of the Air Force's Exceptional Civilian Service Award and the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Mr. Davis lived in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife, Fay. He had a very green thumb and thoroughly enjoys the brief moments his active professional career allows him to spend in his garden and yard at home.