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Maj.Gen. William P.T. Hill USMC - 5 decades of service


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#1 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:19 AM

The insignia grouping shown here came to me via auction late this summer. The auction listing was poorly described and written. Two other lots contained promotion documents, photos and ephemera (one of which I did not see at all). Of course, my primary interests were in acquiring the EGA emblems. Little did I know at the time, how much time I would spend doing research (which is still incomplete) on this Marine, his career is nothing short of amazing; a WW1 Marine aviator, geologist, explorer, surveyor, artilleryman, Colonel in the Garde d’ Haiti, The Corps Paymaster and first Quartermaster General of the Marine Corps and the first Quartermaster ever to command troops. Recipient of two foreign awards… this is his story:

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Major General William Pendleton Thompson Hill was born 22 February 1895, at Vinita, Oklahoma. His father, Davis Hill was of English, Scotch-Irish, and Cherokee Indian ancestry. Hill Sr. lead a long life with a career in banking the early telephone industry, gas & oil industry, served on the State Board of Education and in 1900 was the state delegate to the 1900 Democratic National Convention. Maj.Gen. W.T.P. Hill attended Kemper Military School, Boonville, Missouri, and graduated from Western Military Academy, Norman, Oklahoma. Maj. Gen. P.T. Hill entered the Marine Corps in 1917, following graduation from the University of Oklahoma. He reported for active duty in the Marine Corps as a second lieutenant on May 21, 1917 His varied and colorful career included foreign service in the Azores, Alaska, China, Mongolia and Haiti, as well as service during the two World Wars. He ended his career Quartermaster General of the Marine Corps from 1944 until 1955, died at the Bethesda Naval Hospital on 6 December 1965. He was 70 years old.

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#2 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:19 AM

An interesting leather case – appears to be period – similar to many seen around WW1. Perhaps it was used for Lt Hills goggles – gloves or such. It does have “U.S. Navy” printer on top cover.


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After completing Officer’s school at Parris Island, South Carolina, he attended flight school at the Naval Coastal Air Station, Cape May, New Jersey from October 1917 to June 1918. He was designated one of the first USMCR Naval Aviators #853 on 16 October 1917.

A card from his St Louis file, the earliest picture I have found to date.


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Five months prior to this date, when the United States entered the first World War on 6 April 1917, Marine aviation consisted of only 6 Marine officers designated naval aviators, 1 warrant officer, and 45 enlisted men. On April 27, 1917--The Marine Aeronautic Company, Advance Base Force, was organized at Marine Barracks, Philadelphia Navy Yard, by the transfer of personnel from the Marine Aviation Section at Pensacola, from other Marine Corps units, and from the Marine Corps Reserve Flying Corps. Captain A. A. Cunningham was in command.

Nice set of period original 2nd Lt coffin bars. Most likely these would be his commissioning set. The smaller set are hallmarked with BB&B “Bronze”


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Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 02:26 AM.


#3 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:20 AM

Sadly, single EGA’s only here. Both are of pre war 1904 design – will be looking for mates of course


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The following information about origins of what became the First Marine Aeronautic Company was found in The Inception Part 2, written by Thomas Habedank; General Day, in recalling the origin (and disposition) of the 18 officers of the 1st Marine Aeronautic Company mentioned by Austin, makes the following colorful contribution:

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“It was about July 4th 1917 at Quantico, the 1st Marine Officers Training School was convened, consisting of approximately 300 Second Lieutenants commissioned from civil life, of which General Hill was part of. Reports were: “Major Cunningham came down looking for pilot volunteers and got an almost unanimous response. Later 18 of us were picked—God knows how—and if Cunningham knew, he never divulged it. Upon graduation from the school at Quantico, these 18 reported to the 1st Aeronautic Detachment at League Island on 12 October. Six of them (including Petie Hill) were assigned to seaplanes, Cocky Evans, and the Azores: the remaining 12, long known to bawdy song and bawdier legend as the Dirty Dozen, were assigned to landplanes, which meant Jennies, Hazelhurst Field, and McIlvain. The point I am trying to make is that of the 18 officers mentioned, 12 were just graduated from Quantico and of the 12 at least 9 (and I think it was 10), were "temporaries"—in other words, in every true sense of the word, reservists. Pat Mulcahy and I were Regulars—and maybe Kipp—though I'm not sure, and the balance were Reserves. As a matter of fact, of the other 6 officers—Batts and Brock Davy—were Reserves (temporary or what have you).” October 14, 1917--The Marine Aeronautic Company at Philadelphia was divided into the First Aviation Squadron, composed of 24 officers and 237 men, and the First Marine Aeronautic Company, composed of 10 officers and 93 men. On the same day, the First Marine Aeronautic Company transferred to the Naval Air Station at Cape May, N.J., for training in seaplanes and flying boats.”

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Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 03:53 AM.


#4 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:20 AM

General Hill’s company was commanded by then-Captain Francis T. Evans. Of Historical note; he was the first Naval Aviator to perform a loop in a seaplane and during the tour in the Azores, the first Naval Aviator to ever conduct first night ocean patrol flight. On January 9, 1918, the company embarked at Philadelphia for duty in the Azores to begin antisubmarine operations. The unit's strength on deployment was 12 officers and 133 enlisted personnel, with equipment initially at 10 Curtiss R-6s and two N-9s. Later in the deployment, the company received six Curtiss HS-2Ls, which greatly enhanced its ability to carry out its basic mission.

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During 1918, the 1st Marine Aeronautical Company, a seaplane squadron assigned to anti-submarine patrol operated from its base at Punta Delgada on the island of San Miguel. It flew regular patrols to deny enemy submarines ready access to the convoy routes and any kind of base activity in the Azores. It was not the stuff of which great heroes are made, but the First Marine Aeronautic Company was the first American aviation unit to deploy with a specific mission. Nonetheless, Lt Hill was commended in a letter from the Company CO to the Commandant for frequent flights in inclement weather without "radio, pigeons or pistols”. In August of 1918 he received a temporary promotion to First Lieutenant.

Very unique hallmark – perhaps some might say rare. “G&Cie Paris” a French hallmark, seldom seen on a Marine tunic for sure. No doubt from one of his uniforms made during this his time on the Azores


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Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 02:36 AM.


#5 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:20 AM

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Lt. Hill and the Company returned to the United States in August of 1918 aboard the U.S.S. Arethusa for duty. He performed duties as an aviation instructor in Miami, Florida, and in October 1918 received his temporary promotion to Captain.

A set of false braid Captains pinback bars – no hallmarks or sterling marks


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A photo of one of the two lots which I did not win. The whereabouts of these lots is unknown


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Of historical note: General Christian F. Schilt, who was to become a pioneer of Marine aviation and winner of the Nation's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor for bravery, served as an enlisted member of Lt’s Hill Company at Ponta Delgada. Lt Hill’s First Marine Aeronautical Company, was the first organized American air unit of any service to go overseas during World War I.

Lt Hill’s honorable service / discharge pin from WW1


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Soon after the return of all aviators from France, Marine air began demobilizing. In February 1919, the 1st Marine Aviation Force was disbanded at Miami, and the following month witnessed the dissolution of General Hills First Marine Aeronautic Company. Marine Corps remaining personnel at Miami were transferred in the summer of 1919, to Parris Island and Quantico, and the Marine Flying Field at Miami was abandoned on 25 September. The following year, Marine aviation had but 67 pilots and suffered a still further reduction in 1921, when its pilot strength dropped to 43.

Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 05:06 AM.


#6 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:20 AM

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On April 24, 1919 Captain Hill reported for duty at Headquarters were he served as Aide to them Commandant Major General George Barnett; Captain Hill is shown here participating in a special colors presentation at Wars end, shown above with Commandant Barnett, Hill is on the far right of this photo. The other participants in this presentation remain unknown.

Nice period pinback – dress version of Aide De Camp for 2 star General


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With the draw down of Marine Aviators, Hill’s temporary promotion to Captain was revoked and he once again found himself a First Lieutenant in September 1919. In May 1920, Lt Hill was assigned member of the Naval Alaskan Coal Commission, where he served as Chief Geologist during a survey of Alaskan coalfields at Chickaloon for the US Navy. Hill received his permanent promotion to Captain in May 1921 with date of rank June 1920. In July 1922 Captain Hill presented the Navy Alaska Coal Commission report to the Secretary of the Navy. At which time he was ordered to duty with the Bureau of Mines and the Alaska Railroad Commission, were he was assigned to the staff of Colonel James G. Steese. The photo below shows President Harding (to the left) Col Steese (to the right) during visit to the coalfields of Chickaloon Alaska in the summer of 1923. It is unknown if Hill is somewhere in this party.

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Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 05:09 AM.


#7 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:21 AM

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For his outstanding services in this capacity with the Coal Commission, he received a Certificate of Commendation from the Secretary of War and Secretary of the Interior. And again in 1926 in form of letter of commendation from Colonel Steese who had become Vice Chair of the War Department.

Early 20’s screwback EGA – no hallmark – often said to be made by Ronson Metal Arts. Seldom seen variety


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Returning to the United States in October 1923, he attended the Company Officers Course (1924) at the Marine Base, Quantico, Virginia, and following graduation, Captan Hill served with the Tenth Regiment as a CO of Artillery Battery and subsequently Battalion Operations Officer. As Co of the Fifth Engineer Company at Quantico, he was appointed OIC of Construction for a new Officer’s Club on Quantico from July 1925 thru June 1926

A photo from his FOIA St Louis file, appears to be from mid 20’s


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Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 02:49 AM.


#8 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:21 AM

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In June 1926, he was ordered to China for duty with the Marine Legation Guard at the American Embassy, Peking, China. He was initially assigned as one of the Legations Commanding Officers. Of historical note, the Companys of the Legation were to be the last ever, equipped with the 3 inch USN Landing Guns. In January 1927 he was reassigned as the Legation’s Asst’ Quartermaster. However, his first experience in QM did not last long. In April of that year, he was reassigned as a Legation Company Commander and on his way to Tientsin and Tangku (the site of Marine Aviation who were protecting Standard Oil Co fields). In April 1927 as Chiang Kai-shek's forces had begun to seize control of Shanghai and disturbances at the oil fields were put down. It was here Captain Hill met his Marine Corps mentor, Col Holcomb whom was in command of the Marine Detachment, American Legation. Col. Holcomb would later have a profound impact upon Hill’s destiny in the Corps.

Very interesting….for sure! Period made Chinese made/hallmarked false braid Captain bars – sadly only a single came out of the leather case…


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Legation members were awarded the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal that year. For the remainder of 1927 he served continued as Company Commander and OIC of the Legation Band and Range. During this year, he first met Evans Carlson of “Carlson Raiders” fame, who had been transferred from Smedley Butler 4th Marines to serve as the Legation Adjutant.

Very interesting….for sure! Have never seen any set EGA’s like these, the eagles are mounted on pegs. A matched set, no hallmark evident, extremely light – very course screw post and thin as well. Nut is frozen on one. “Brig” has examined these as well. We both feel these are of “asian flair” – Chinese made?, will be posting may more pic’s in EGA discussion at later date.


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Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 05:13 AM.


#9 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:21 AM

Sadly, yet another single very early 20’s style pinback for service dress – a classic “feet off” design in brown. Anyone have a look a like to this one?


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In April 1928 Colonel Holcomb assigned Captain Hill to serve as the chief topographer of the Roy Chapman Andrews third Asiatic Expedition engaged in exploration in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, returning to the Legation in September 1928 he begin preparations for his report to HQMC. (more to come on this exploration)

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And in 1929 he published for the first time in the Marine Corps Gazette 'With Roy Chapman Andrews in Mongolia.' Captain W.P.T. Hill (AQM), USMC.

Nice example of the USMC QM insignia for Service Dress uniform.


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Complete set of buttons for the obsolete evening mess dress whites.


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Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 03:00 AM.


#10 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:21 AM

Upon returning to the States in November 1928, he initially served in the Quartermasters Department at in February 1929 was transferred to Marine Barracks Quantico for duty as Post Quartermaster. It was here Captain Hill resumed an old acquaintance with his aviation mentor General Roy Geiger. In a story from General Hill’s son (whom I have spoken with since acquiring this grouping) Geiger made numerous attempts to convince Hill to resume flying and join the East Coast Expeditionary Force that Geiger was in charge of at Quantico. However, after making flights, seeing the post war aircraft conditions and maintenance, Hill turned down his offers, but this would not be the last time Hill would fly again.

An interesting H&H hallmark example – what is typically accepted as “enlisted variety” (no applied continents) however equipped with the “thin” double screws… cannot remember seeing the enlisted variety configured like these. You guessed it….only a single - sigh


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Once again Captain Hill was transferred to Headquarters Marine Corps in July 1929, were he was assigned to the Federal Purchasing Board, served as a member of the Federal Specification Board, Officer in Charge of the Utilities Division of the Quartermaster Department and the Assistant Quartermaster Marine Corps. His record of “Chronological Service” at this point shows Captain Hill on “temporary duty” – 67 times at dozens of locations throughout the US for “duty on inspection” for Quartermaster inspections to include coal depots. This tour finally concluded in June of 1933.

Typical Gooney EGA authorized in 1926 with applied continents for service dress – interesting stabilizing pin location as well. The roller shown is something I’ve never seen before “The Victory” if anyone knows more about this device please let us know.


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Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 03:03 AM.


#11 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:21 AM

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Captain Hill returned to foreign duty in June 1933 with an assignment to the Garde d’ Haiti at Port au Prince Haiti, as Quartermaster and Paymaster Director of the Garde. And in July was appointed a Colonel in the Guarde

General Hill’s qualification bars as shown in photo above – as they came out of the leather case


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There he served under future Major General Clayton Barney who was then Commandant of the Garde d’ Haiti who latter achieved fame in WW2 for starting the “Navajo Talkers”. It was here Hill renewed an old friendship with another notable in the Garde, General Franklin A. Hart, with whom he had attended the Officer’s School at Parris Island in 1917. Hart was serving as Assistant Chief of Staff, Garde d'Haiti. General Hart was latter awarded the Navy Cross while commanding the 24th Marines in the assault and capture of Roi-Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll.

On a visit to Haiti in July 1934, President Roosevelt reaffirmed an August 1933 disengagement agreement made by President Hoover, the presumed author of the most recent Haitian constitution. After a formal transfer of authority to the Garde by then Lieutenant Colonel Vogel, the last contingent of Marines sailed aboard the USS Bridge for Norfolk arriving July 31, 1934.

Nice example of the USMC QM insignia for Dress Blue & Whites uniform.


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In another story shared with me from General Hill’s son; once the announcement was made to close the Garde d’ Haiti, the word came down announcing the USS Bridge had been dispatched to return the Marines and their families, they were given five days notice to shut down and transfer the Garde. While preparing to embark the ship, the Haitian’s were obviously responsible for the movement, transportation and storing aboard ship. Somewhere in this process of moving Captain’s Hill household goods, their trunks were opened and much of the family’s valuables were removed and replaced with stones, including the family silver Mrs Hill had acquired while in China. Mrs Hill found some satisfaction in sharing this tale at many a tea party.

Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 03:10 AM.


#12 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:21 AM

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For his service with the Garde d’ Haiti, he was awarded the Haitian Distinguished Service Medal, with Diploma. The one pictured here is from the collection of “4starchris” and seen in this thread: http://www.usmilitar...d...st&p=236738

A set of Major’s Oakleafs in “false braid” style from the case.


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Upon return to the United States in July 1934, Both Captain’s Hart and Hill were posted at Quantico. Captain Hill was assigned as Post Maintenance and Safety Officer. In September 1934 attended the Officers Senior Course at the Marine Corps Schools, graduating in May 1936. He was appointed to the rank of major in November 1934, and successfully completed the Senior Course in May 1935. General Hill’s son informed me the friendship between Hill and Hart lasted their respective lifetime, after retirement the couples would travel extensively throughout Europe.

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Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 03:13 AM.


#13 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:22 AM

In June 1936 Major Hill was called to the office of the Brigadier General Holcomb who was Commandant of the Marine Corps Schools, Quantico at this time (Holcomb would go on to become the next Commandant of the Marine Corps). He was given “special orders” for duty at Headquarters Marine Corps for a period of three weeks. On July 7, was he was “Detached for Duty” for “Special Duty with Asiatic Fleet” on orders signed by Major General Louis McCarty Little, assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. His grouping owned by Bobgee is posted here: http://www.usmilitar...d...9&hl=bobgee

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Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 03:14 AM.


#14 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:22 AM

The following information was provided by General Hill’s son regarding this period. The General never traveled in uniform and never spoke of what his duties were, other than to mention he had been to China.

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There is no mention in his “Record of Organized Service” of his duties with the Asiatic Fleet or his location during these months. He returned from Guam aboard the USS Henderson and reported to the GC, FMF, San Diego on 10 October for a period before returning to Quantico. From his son, he recalls having questioned his mother on several occasions on the subject of his travel and “in effect I get – it is none of your business, period. She may very well know what he did.”

An interesting historical note is found here: https://www.cia.gov/...ion_China_3.htm regarding then Captain William Worten. Worten and Hill had served together in China years earlier. More research needs to be done here http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif

Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 05:26 AM.


#15 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:22 AM

In November 1936. Major Hill returned to his duties as instructor in F-4 Marine Corps Schools, Quantico. In July he was detached for “special duty “. Major Hill was assigned as aerial observer to VMS-3 in St.Thomas for testing of various camouflage techniques. That fall Major Hill returned to Quantico as an instructor in the F-4 section. During this period Major Hill once again prepared five additional submissions to the Marine Corps Gazette on the subjects of “Engineering Applications of Aerial and Terrestrial Photogrammetry” in March 1939 and “A review of Camouflage Literature” in November 1939, pgs 22-26, 66-72; March 1940, pgs 40-4, November 1940, 70-80; 25 and March 1941, pgs 21,52-64.

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In July 1938 Major Hill assumed duties as Post Quartermaster, Marine Barracks Washington. With his permanent promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in June 1939 brought a new tour of duty as the Executive Officer, Depot of Supplies, Philadelphia and Member of the Marine Corps Equipment and Wage Boards. Lt.Col. Hill would serve in this capacity until April 1941.

General Hill’s Lieutenant Colonel Oakleafs in “false braid” style from the case.


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Of interest during this period comes an entry from the Register of Personal Papers, Commandant Holcomb (1879-1965) On 22 November. Holcomb to LtCol W. P. T Hill, Marine Corps Depot of Supplies, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Holcomb acknowledges Hill’s letter of 20 November about the auction of a portrait of Captain Samuel Nicholas. Holcomb had already planned to send Metcalf over to place a bid on it and pay for it out of Headquarters Post Exchange funds.

General Hills Dress epaulette from 30’s with Lt Col braided insignia and 1920’s period dress EGA’s


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Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 03:22 AM.


#16 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:22 AM

Commandant Holcomb was well aware of the issues involving inadequate field training facilities on the East Coast prior to WW2. All of the Corps facilities had to be expanded when the authorized strength of the Corps was increased at the outbreak of war in Europe. However, there was insufficient room at Quantico and San Diego to provide the facilities needed for training the enlarged Fleet Marine Force. The Commandant requested first that an additional base be acquired and developed on the east coast. The House Naval Affairs Committee approved this request on 15 February 1941. The first contracts, based on competitive bids, were awarded on 22 April 1941 and came to $14,575,000, but this was only the beginning of the cost of the program.

Once again, the Commandant in April 1941 called upon one of his old China hands to take on this project. LtCol. William P.T. Hill, was ordered by the 17th Commandant then Major General Thomas Holcomb to establish and assume command of the base, then known as Marine Barracks New River, N.C. An extensive survey was made of the Atlantic seaboard for a suitable site and resulted in the acquisition or large tracts of land for that purpose. Lt Col Hill with SSgt Angelo DiPaola, Technical Sgt Rocky Williams, Sgt Clark Rouse and Sgt Ray Lantz selected a 1600 acre peninsula known today as Montford Point. His orders were to design training and facilities for all amphibious and ground activities of the 1st Marine Division, Marine Base, New River was developed in three stages and with this assignment brought Hill his temporary promotion to Colonel In January 1942.

A single Colonel’s insignia from the leather case


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Hill’s original headquarters was located at Montford Point and in August of 1942 it was moved to Building #1 at Hadnot Point, where it remains today. In late 1941 Lt Col. Hill worked tirelessly with CWO H.G. Bozarth, SSgt J. Gibson and HM1 J.Gilpan a Corpsman, from a hunting lodge (as their CP) near the present day Tarawa Terrace, place to “establish an amphibious training base.” Their contractor selected for this initial phase was Blythe Brothers from Charlotte. Although the main base was renamed Camp Lejeune in honor of our 13th Commandant, this small initial sub-camp retains the modest title of Montford Point Camp. This assignment would later lead to Colonel Hill’s direct role in desegregation of the Corps. And during this assignment he also established the facilities for support of the training of the Dutch Marine Corps at the base, for which he was awarded “The Order of Orange-Nassau with Swords” (Commander). During World War II, the Order of Orange-Nassau was bestowed to both members of the Netherlands military and members of foreign services who had helped liberate the Netherlands from Nazi Germany occupation.

“The Order of Orange-Nassau with Swords” (Commander) photo shown, if anyone has one please post for us.


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To legalize the orders the restrictions on exercising command of troops, normally applying to officers assigned to quartermaster duty, Commandant Holcomb issued Marine Corps Order No. 132. Thus allowing Lt.Col Hill to become the Commanding Officer of what was then Marine Barracks, New River, North Carolina. On December 1942, then Marine Barracks, New River was officially renamed “Camp Lejune” And in May 1943 Colonel Hill transferred to Headquarters, USMC, Washington. For his performance at Camp Lejeune, he was awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

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Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 03:25 AM.


#17 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:22 AM

Returning to Quartermaster duties at HQMC in June 1943 he became a member of the Uniform Board and would travel back to Camp Lejune to monitor ongoing construction and travel to all Marine Corps bases on matters in connection with the Quartermasters Department.

A single Brig. General pinback star pulled from leather case


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Colonel Hill was then appointed Quartermaster of the Marine Corps on 1 February, 1944 and on this date his promotion to Brigadier General. The title “Quartermaster General of the Marine Corps” was adopted by and Act of Congress in March 1944.

General Hills Dress epaulette from 40’s with B. Gen. braided insignia and period dress Quartermaster insignia attached. Sadly the dress pinbacks EGA’s were missing.


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On April 1945 Hill was promoted to Major General. In May 1945 General Hill departed HQMC on temporary duty for the Pacific theater of operations and joined his old friend’s staff, Lieutenant General Roy Geiger’s staff for the campaign on Okinawa. He returned to duties as Quartermaster General of the Marine Corps in Philadelphia. In the years following, (his record of Chronological Service ended in May 1949) he made many trips back to Camp Lejune. His son has informed me this was his proudest moment of service, the establishment of Camp Lejune. In the following four years he was directly responsible for the consolidation and reorganization of the Quartermaster and Paymaster Departments into a Supply Department. He also served as the Budget Officer for the Marine Corps, all positions he held until his retirement in February 1955. Upon his retirement he was cited by the Secretary of the Navy for “Visualizing the necessity for adequate and modern facilities, he proposed and was responsible for the establishment of the supply centers at Barstow California and Albany Georgia”

Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 03:29 AM.


#18 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:22 AM

General Hills Adjutant / Inspector Department Insignia as found in leather case


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General Hills Aiguillette, worn as shown with epaulette


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worn as shown here

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While doing the research of General Hills five decades of service to the Corps, a significant numer of anecdotal stories were found about his 11 years of service as Quartermaster General, the following comes from “A DECADE OF INTEGRATION”

Within the Marine Corps, the last vestige of military segregation at the end of the Korean War lay in the Stewards' Branch. The black Marines assigned to stewards' duty were still recruited under Steward Duty Only enlistment contracts or were augmented by volunteers from general duty blacks. There was a strong feeling among many of the stewards that this volunteering was rigged and that men were assigned, presumably whenever the need arose, by manipulating their general classification test scores. Investigation showed there was at least some support for the truth of this rumor in local instances. For many young blacks, there was a stigma attached to being an officers' steward; some obviously felt their position was subject to ridicule, particularly by other blacks. They did not like the thought of being irrevocably confined to one specialty, a specialty that was itself limited to blacks.

In the spring of 1953, Major General W. P. T. Hill, called two men to Headquarters Marine Corps to listen to what they had to say Two senior black steward NCOs, Technical Sergeants James E. Johnson and Leo McDowell, had both made a number of suggestions to higher headquarters during the early 50s regarding the improvement of the quality of mess service and the quality of service life for stewards. He gave them a chance to act on their recommendations and appointed them members of a Steward Inspection and Demonstration Team, later joined by white Warrant
Officer Perry S. Brenton, which began to tour east and west coast officers' messes after developing a syllabus at Camp Lejeune. Among the recommendations forwarded to the Commandant by General Hill was one that emerged in a favorable climate in 1954--to eliminate Steward Duty Only enlistments. The Secretary of the Navy did this for both the Navy and the Marine Corps on 1 March 1954. And in 1971 the Marine Corps recognized his work with establishment of the The W.P.T. Hill Memorial Award named for the late Major General William P. T. Hill, Quartermaster General, The competition is Marine Corps-wide with trophies and certificates of achievement awarded in four categories. The Hill Award evaluation team, comprised of military personnel and industry professionals, who travel the world evaluating each mess hall team and selecting food service award winners. Management and food preparation receive the most weight in the evaluation, along with superior service to the customer and effective management according to governing directives.

Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 03:47 AM.


#19 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:22 AM

Hill_WPT.jpg


General Hill’s medals and decorations include: the Navy Distinguished Service Medal; Navy Commendation Medal; Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal; World War I Victory Medal with Aviation Clasp and one Bronze Star; American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one Bronze Star; World War II Victory Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Haitian Distinguished Service Medal and Diploma; and Commander in the Order of Orange Nassau with Swords (Netherlands award).

In closing this post, I would like to extend a "thank you" to "Bobgee" - "Dirk" - "Mark M" for their support and help in answering so many questions on the matter of researching background info on General Hill. There is much more information to be had and any additional info anyone can provide is appreciated - especially the whereabouts of the rest of his items

Semper Fi, Darrell

Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 27 December 2008 - 03:40 AM.


#20 Dirk

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 04:04 AM

Just an outstanding thread!....great find, but even better research...so well done! Now I know why you wanted to wait to post until you got the bulk of the research done. This thread should be pinned! I really like the Chinese made items and it would be interesting to know what the "chop" says on the Capt's bars. D again great job.....and I think from your words there is even more discoveries to be made about this Marine.

#21 Rustykamel

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 09:21 AM

Hi, This thread is very well researched. Gen. Hill was a most interesting Marine. I enjoyed reading about the early Marine aviation, and especially the anti-submarine duty flying out of the Azores. Those are terrific Marine collectibles that you have pictured.

Thanks for sharing, Jim

#22 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 09:39 AM

Darrell,

This is by far, your best post to date here. Excellent photos, format, layout, and information. What an incredible life this man lived...wow.

#23 Jeremiah

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 10:07 AM

Superb thread Darrell! I well remember your excitement when you won this lot and your astonishment when you realized what was in it. I'm glad to see that your research has been fruitful and that you've made good contact with Gen. Hill's son. Congrats and thank you for sharing this amazing find.

#24 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 11:04 AM

Great thread. I like the way you placed each item in the historical context of his career.

Kurt

#25 Brig

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 06:41 PM

nice to finally see the write-up and presentation. fantastic research, an interesting read and great showcasing of such a historic group


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