Bill Davis was born and raised in the Mount Shasta, California area. Following his graduation in 1966 from California State University in Sacramento, he was commissioned a 2d Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps for 29 years before retiring in February 1995, when he became the Director of the MacArthur Memorial, Norfolk, Virginia where he served in that position until September 2013. He continues to serve as the Executive Director of the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation. A member of the Norfolk Rotary Club, Colonel Davis also serves on the Board of Directors of the Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers Historical Foundation; the Norfolk Historical Society, and is the Chairman of the Virginia World War II Heritage Alliance as well as the Veterans Affairs Commission for the City of Norfolk, Virginia.
His assignments in the Marine Corps included Platoon and Company commands in 2nd and 3rd Tank Battalions, including Command of B Company, 3d Tank Battalion in Vietnam. Subsequent assignments included Guard Company, Marine Barracks Alameda, California; Assistant Inspector/Instructor, 4th Tank Battalion, San Diego, California; Commander, 1st Tank Battalion in Camp Pendleton, California and Commander, Marine Barracks Japan. Staff assignments in the United States and Japan included tours as the Marine Corps Liaison Officer at the U.S. Army Armor Center, Fort Knox, Kentucky; Headquarters, United States Marine Corps; Exchange Officer with the Office of the Chief of Staff, Army; the G-3 Operations Officer for the 1st Marine Division; the G-3 Operations Officer for the III Marine Expeditionary Force: and as the Chief, Joint Training and Doctrine Division and Chief, Special Operations Division with the United States Atlantic Command in Norfolk, Virginia. His last assignment with the Marine Corps was as the Deputy Director of Marine Corps History and Museums.
He holds a BA degree in History from California State University in Sacramento, California and an MA degree in Political Science from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Bill is married to Janice Weber Davis and they have two grown children, William Cameron Davis of Charlottesville, Virginia, and Sheryl Davis Searing of Norfolk, Virginia and five grandchildren.
Military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legion of Merit Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medals with “V” device, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and numerous other awards.