Davis was assigned to Neutrality Patrol in the North Atlantic after war broke out in Europe 1 September 1939. On 13 November she sailed from Boston for Galveston, Tex., from which she patrolled in the Gulf of Mexico and conducted training exercises until clearing for patrol duty on the west coast between 11 March 1940 and 26 April 1941. She returned to the Caribbean for patrol and escort duty.
Continuing to serve in the Caribbean, after the United States entered the war, Davis also sailed on escort and patrol off Recife, Brazil, occasionally voyaging to the southern ports of the United States to pick up men and cargo, or to join convoys. On 19 July 1942 she rescued 10 men from the torpedoed British sailing ship Glacier. She sailed from Recife 19 December 1943 for a … blockade runner Burgenland (7 January 1944) whom she transferred to the authorities at Recife upon arrival 9 January.
Davis arrived in New York 15 April 1944 escorting Franklin (CV 13), and sailed for England 14 May as a convoy escort, arriving at Plymouth 25 May. On 5 June she was underway from Milford Haven, Wales, to join a convoy en route to Baie de la Seine for the invasion of Normandy. Davis arrived 7 June and five days later while on patrol, repulsed an enemy torpedo boat attack. Returning to the Baie from Devonport, England, 21 June, with a support convoy, she was heavily damaged from an explosion on the port quarter, probably a mine, and after emergency repairs departed 2 days later for Portland England. She continued to Charleston, South Carolina, arriving 11 August for permanent repairs.
Davis returned to convoy escort duty 26 December 1944 and until 21 June 1945 made four voyages between New York and English ports. Arriving at Norfolk 10 July, she remained there until decommissioned 19 October 1945. She was sold 24 November 1947.
Davis received one battle star for World War II service.