Carl Davis was born in South Africa out of American parents. He was educated in England at Sherborne School, and Trinity College, Cambridge (Bachelor of Arts) and at McGill University, Montreal (Bachelor of Arts qualifying as a mining engineer). He became a British citizen in 1932. Obtaining his mining degree, he then took flying lessions in New Jersey while living with his sister.
Returning to the UK in 1935, he then lived in London and joined 601 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force at Hendon, being commissioned in August 1936
Davis was called to full-time service on 27 August 1939 and, on 27 November 1939, flew one of the six 601 Squadron Blenheims that attacked the German seaplane base at Borkum. On 11 July 1940, he shot down a Messerschmitt Bf 110, and he added two more Bf 110s on 11 August 1940 and three more Bf 110s on the 13th.
Davis downed five more aircraft before being killed in action when his Hawker Hurricane I was shot down in combat with a Messerschmitt Bf 109 over Tunbridge Wells at 09:30hrs. Davis crashed, inverted, with his aircraft burned out in the back garden of Canterbury Cottage at Matfield, Brenchley, near Tunbridge Wells.
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