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


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WELL DONE!!!!!! twothumbup.gif Darrell you have presented a most interesting historical "read" on this most interesting Marine Corps officer. Thank you for sharing! Hopefully more may be revealed about his clandestine activities in China in the 30s. If you can find out where the reports he wrote are filed you can likely get them de-classified1 Great job! Semper Fi.....Bobgee

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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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quote name='bobgee' date='Dec 27 2008, 10:06 PM' post='248381']

WELL DONE!!!!!! twothumbup.gif Darrell you have presented a most interesting historical "read" on this most interesting Marine Corps officer. Thank you for sharing! Hopefully more may be revealed about his clandestine activities in China in the 30s. If you can find out where the reports he wrote are filed you can likely get them de-classified1 Great job! Semper Fi.....Bobgee

 

Glad to see your research on Hill is paying off. You have done a wonderful presentation of his military career and his artifacts. This post is one of truly hard work and patience, and obviously a labor of love.

 

As we discussed, I am now posting Hill’s FMAF Veteran’s Association Certificate to add to your post. The Victory Medal came with the certificate, but is most likely a later period reunion item as the “Aviation” bar should be of the Navy variety and he would not have qualified for the Ypres-Lys bar by virtue of his duty station being in the Azores.

 

Again, an incredible group and presentation!!

 

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"RETREAT HELL.....WE JUST GOT HERE"

 

LOOKING TO PURCHASE IDENTIFIED WW1 AVIATION GROUPINGS, INCLUDING MEDALS, UNIFORMS, STUDIO PHOTOS.

PURCHASE ANY AND ALL ID'ED WW1 NAVY CORPSMAN OR PHYSICIAN GROUPINGS; MEDALS &/or UNIFORMS.

WW1 USMC ID'ED OFFICER'S GROUPS, esp. MARINE AVIATORS -

ANY LARGE FORMAT 5X7 OR LARGER IMAGES OF MARINE OFFICERS & AERO PILOTS

 

 

Collecting/Preserving/Researching WW1 Marine Corps Items and WW1 Aviation Items

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"RETREAT HELL.....WE JUST GOT HERE"

 

LOOKING TO PURCHASE IDENTIFIED WW1 AVIATION GROUPINGS, INCLUDING MEDALS, UNIFORMS, STUDIO PHOTOS.

PURCHASE ANY AND ALL ID'ED WW1 NAVY CORPSMAN OR PHYSICIAN GROUPINGS; MEDALS &/or UNIFORMS.

WW1 USMC ID'ED OFFICER'S GROUPS, esp. MARINE AVIATORS -

ANY LARGE FORMAT 5X7 OR LARGER IMAGES OF MARINE OFFICERS & AERO PILOTS

 

 

Collecting/Preserving/Researching WW1 Marine Corps Items and WW1 Aviation Items

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"RETREAT HELL.....WE JUST GOT HERE"

 

LOOKING TO PURCHASE IDENTIFIED WW1 AVIATION GROUPINGS, INCLUDING MEDALS, UNIFORMS, STUDIO PHOTOS.

PURCHASE ANY AND ALL ID'ED WW1 NAVY CORPSMAN OR PHYSICIAN GROUPINGS; MEDALS &/or UNIFORMS.

WW1 USMC ID'ED OFFICER'S GROUPS, esp. MARINE AVIATORS -

ANY LARGE FORMAT 5X7 OR LARGER IMAGES OF MARINE OFFICERS & AERO PILOTS

 

 

Collecting/Preserving/Researching WW1 Marine Corps Items and WW1 Aviation Items

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All, a heart-felt thank you for your comments! Having never researched a "grouping" before has given me a greater depth of respect and admiration for those whom embark down this road. I'm 2 months into this work and it would seem, not half-way there in getting the whole picture of this Marines career. More to come, for sure.

 

Bob, I am hoping there will be some additional clues in his "whole" file. I have rec'd the attached, it does offer some clue as to his "covert?" work that summer, yet nothing has surfaced which validates travel back to China - unless of course he returned to meet Wharton's replacement? There is some question as to how he traveled that summer - the answer may be here, "Flying Boats and Spies: a fictional work which has its basis on what Pan Am was doing in the Pacific http://youngadultbookreviews.com/2008/05/1...y-jamie-dodson/

 

s/f Darrell

 

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The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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Dennis, THANK YOU for sharing this certificate with me and congrats on the find! Member # 12 - tells you just how early he was thru the "pipeline" Its a shame they could not correct his original Naval Aviator number too. Here is a photo of the second lot - no mention at all of his name. Just labeled "certificates" :blink:

 

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The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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Darrell.

Here are a pic of the ribbons of LTG Oliver P. Smith, USMC. Like BG Hill he was awarded the Haitian Distinguished Service Medal and the Netherlands Order of Orange-Nassau.

Unlike the post of the Haitian DSM Medal, this ribbon is the second style. The ribbon bar posted on the jacket is the first style ribbon as seen on BG Hill's uniform.


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This is a very nice, researched, documented and well described group. I echo the other comments about it. It doesn't get any better when you get the group from the family and the appropriate documents. Chris, I have lusted after your OP Smith tunic since you posted it here.

 

Kurt Barickman

My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

 

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Darrell.

Here are a pic of the ribbons of LTG Oliver P. Smith, USMC. Like BG Hill he was awarded the Haitian Distinguished Service Medal and the Netherlands Order of Orange-Nassau.

Unlike the post of the Haitian DSM Medal, this ribbon is the second style. The ribbon bar posted on the jacket is the first style ribbon as seen on BG Hill's uniform.

 

Chris, thank you for posting this very special photo. I believe General Smith & Hill were the only two Marines of the WW2 period to have received both these foreign awards? s/f Darrell


The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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  • 3 weeks later...

An update on this grouping - have recently acquired a box of additional ephemera which parallels his entire career. Will take sometime to chronologically sort out.. will start with the beginning of his post WW1 career. The General's wife began a scarpbook of sorts with there transfer to Alaska. There are a dozen or more clipping from the newspapers of the time, many of social reports rest of the Coal Commision activites. By read of the departing editorial the Hill's were quite engaged in the social activites community at that time.

 

And the drawings pasted in on the back cover of the scrapbook are quite interesting... one of them had developed interesting artist skills.

 

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The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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The following is an extrange of letters with Department of Interior Official - unfourtunately cannot scan report then Captain Hill submited (the 4 page enclosure... are carbons... and bound in such a fashion as it cannot be separated nor scanned) - it makes a good read, as there were serious concerns regarding the Navy's legal standing regarding control of these mines... very interesting period of Naval / Fleet history.

 

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The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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Congrats, Darrell! Nice additional find on Gen. Hill.

Semper Fi.......Bob

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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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Darrell,

 

Glad to see your dedication is reaping the rewards. Just a wonderful effort here!

 

Dennis

"RETREAT HELL.....WE JUST GOT HERE"

 

LOOKING TO PURCHASE IDENTIFIED WW1 AVIATION GROUPINGS, INCLUDING MEDALS, UNIFORMS, STUDIO PHOTOS.

PURCHASE ANY AND ALL ID'ED WW1 NAVY CORPSMAN OR PHYSICIAN GROUPINGS; MEDALS &/or UNIFORMS.

WW1 USMC ID'ED OFFICER'S GROUPS, esp. MARINE AVIATORS -

ANY LARGE FORMAT 5X7 OR LARGER IMAGES OF MARINE OFFICERS & AERO PILOTS

 

 

Collecting/Preserving/Researching WW1 Marine Corps Items and WW1 Aviation Items

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Darrell: That grouping just keeps getting better and better and more and more interesting! I am glad it is in good hands.

Always looking for items associated with the China Marines! Visit chinamarine.org

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dirk, re your PM today here are scans from FOIA request. I'm sure tere will be more info once I recieve his complete OQR - its only been a month, nonetheless I look forward to filling out these gaps... s/f Darrell

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The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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Darrell: Great stuff....does not match the muster roll exactly...which does show him CO of the Causal Company for almost his whole China cruise and briefly serving as the AQM. I think I am seeing the limits of the info in muster rolls. I also think his QM time and given the paper work you have he probably went to Tientsin in prep for the Sixth arrival, in May 27. Tangku would have been the quick entry port for Butler's men....and someone would have to had arranged transport to Tientsin and billeting once there for the men....I bet he had a hand in it. It will be really interesting to track him and to see what other info they have on his Gobi visit. I find there are still many little mysteries behind these guys while in China.

Always looking for items associated with the China Marines! Visit chinamarine.org

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Dirk, you are right about the muster rolls. In many ways they do not accurately reflect on any particular Marines activities. Have observed this in many instances... throughout the groupings posted here. I've yet to confirm the Legations direct involvement and or support of the Sixth, however, in conversation with son - have learned the Company's of the Legation were detached or deployed far more often that what was reflected in this record or the muster rolls... as well as the number of times they were over at the Standard Oil fields, were he connected with old aviator friends from WW1.

 

At this point I'm a bit overwhelmed with reading and understanding his Coal Field Commission work & paperwork. The Navy had extraordinary concerns over the lease, ownerships and legal rights to the mining operations. I need to wrap up this work before moving onto the Gobi exipdition... perhaps its a good thing I have not seen that box from St. Louis yet :(

 

s/f Darrell


The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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Darrell: When it is said and done I am certain the Legation Det supported the Sixth's arrival in Tangku, Tientsin. I've got in my notes somewhere an Army Officer's observations of the 6th arrival and he noted they moved quickly and efficiently from barge to barracks.....I am convinced they had Marine support prior to their landing. I just hope the Hill papers can confirm it for me. To give you a bit of the relationship between the two groups, I've also got a letter from a Marine in Tientsin who notes they strung telegraph wire between Butler's HQ and Peking...within a few months of arrival in Tientsin.

I eagerly await what you find.

Always looking for items associated with the China Marines! Visit chinamarine.org

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  • 2 months later...

Adding a few of my recent additions to this grouping – more to come latter this month. Presented here is a period photograph taken in 1919. It is posted here in greater detail http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...showtopic=40503 The photograph depicts the presentation of the colors from Commanding Officers of the 5th and 6th Regiments and of the First Marine Aeronautical Company. Lt Hill served as an aviator with this Company. which was the first organized Naval Aviation unit sent to France. At the time of this photograph Lt Hill was serving as aide to then Commandant Barnett. L-R Maj Gen Barnett, Col. Harold C. Snyder, Major Holcomb who would become Commandant during WW2, Maj. Littleton W. T. Waller, Jr who would go on to become a Maj.Gen. and Lt Hill who would go on to become a Maj.Gen.

 

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The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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