General Davis had a B.A. in Economics/English from the University of Massachusetts and a M.A. degree in International Affairs from George Washington University.
Davis served as a Brigadier General during the Vietnam War and commanded the 199th Light Infantry Brigade from May 1968 to July 1969. Davis' brigade operated in the Long Binh and Duc Hoa regions of Vietnam. While in Vietnam Davis was wounded in action (WIA).
Davis's principal awards and decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star Medal with V for Valor. His wartime service included three major campaigns in World War II in Europe, and four in the war in Vietnam.
Davis was a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation and advocated its use to reduce the stress of soldiers. He was also a founding member of the Board of Trustees at Maharishi International University (MIU) (now called Maharishi University of Management). At MIU, General Davis was also an International Resource Faculty member for the United States in Military Science.
In 1950, Davis wrote for a contest that was designed to "stimulate creative writing among [military] personnel during their off-duty time." He was among three winners of the Army-wide writing contest. One of the prizes for the honor was to be published in Collier's magazine.
Davis wrote books of fiction and historical nonfiction. Two of his early books were published with his military rank attached to his name: "Col. Franklin M. Davis Jr.":
- Kiss the Tiger, (A Quinn Leland Espionage Thriller) Pyramid Books, 1961
- The U.S. Army Engineers—Fighting Elite, Franklin Watts, 1967 OCLC 6582068
Davis' books published without rank are:
- The Naked and the Lost, Lion, 1954. Subject is the Korean War, 1950–1953
- Spearhead, Permabook, 1957. Subject 3rd Armored Division (Spearhead) during World War II.
- A Medal For Frankie, Pocket Books, 1959. 35 cents.
- Break Through, 1961
- Bamboo Camp #10, 1962
- Secret Hong Kong (A Quinn Leland Espionage Thriller), 1962
- Combat! The Counterattack, (Illustrated by Arnie Kohn), 1964
- Come As a Conqueror, (The United States Army's Occupation of Germany 1945–1949. Nonfiction), 1967
- Across the Rhine (Time Life, World War II Collector's Edition), 1980 ISBN 0-809-42543-2 OCLC 5893369
- Oregonian, August 5, 1969, page 4. Advertisement. Come as Conqueror.
- kingkong.demon.co.uk/. "New General Catalog of Old Books and Authors A Companion to On-line & Off-line Literature (2008 March)". Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- "Obituary Maj. Gen. Franklin Davis". Washington Post. 6 May 1981. Retrieved 20 Aug 2020.
- Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy. "Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS)". Retrieved 2008-03-09.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- The Waltham Museum, Inc. "The Waltham Museum's Hall-of-Fame March 10, 2005 (64 Members)". Archived from the original on July 19, 2010. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- Shelby L. Stanton (2003). Vietnam Order of Battle. Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-0071-9. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- REDCATCHER.org. "199TH LIGHT INFANTRY BRIGADE VIETNAM ORDER OF BATTLE". Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- Judith Stiehm (2002). The U.S. Army War College: Military Education in a Democracy. Temple University Press. ISBN 978-1-56639-960-9. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
-  Reading Eagle, Jan 16 1972
- Transcendental Mediation, A Revitalization of American Civil Religion, Michael Phelan  pp.8-9
- Institute of Science Technology and Public Policy
- Omaha World Herald, April 28, 1950. Three Majors Winners in Army Story Contest.
- Springfield Union, July 24, 1960, p. 56. Pocket Books.
- Page from August 6, 1968 of Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, has picture of General Davis with following caption: "Wounded-Brig. Gen. Franklin M. Davis Jr. of Waltham, Mass., bleeds from a gash over his right eye and other cuts on his face after being wounded by a Viet Cong rocket while on a river patrol today, 13 miles southeast of Saigon. Brig. Gen. Davis is commander of the U.S. 199th Light Infantry Brigade which operates south, southeast and west of Saigon.