General Leroy P. Hunt



Retired Marine General Leroy P. Hunt, 75, died 8 February 1968, in San Francisco, California, apparently of a heart attack.

General Hunt retired in 1951after having served as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Forces, Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, from July 1949 until 1 July 1951. Prior to that assignment, he saw duty as Commanding General of the Second Marine Division in the occupation of the Japanese homeland and for three months in 1946 was Commanding General of the I Corps, U.S. Army, in Japan.

For outstanding service in the former capacity, General Hunt was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. For outstanding services as Corps Commander as well as Division Commander, he was awarded an Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of second Legion of Merit.

His citation for the latter reads in part, "As Commanding General, Second Marine Division, and for a period, I Army Corps, General Hunt displayed a comprehensive grasp of command and staff functions, was well as resourceful leadership in brilliantly solving the manifold problems incident to the administration with a minimum of personnel, of an occupied area containing tremendous amounts of war material."

LeRoy Philip Hunt was born 17 March 1892, in Newark, New Jersey. Shortly thereafter his parents moved to Berkeley, California, where he attended public schools and the University of California.

He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps on 16 March 1917, and joined the Marine Barracks, Norfolk, Virginia, as a student at the Marine Officers' School. He was promoted to first lieutenant and to captain in 1917.

He sailed for France in August 1917, and as a member of the Fifth Marine Regiment participated in the Verdun Defense Sector, and in the Aisne-Marne Defensive (Chateau Thierry) in June 1918, where he was gassed in action. He took part in the Aisne-Marne Offensive (Soissons) where he was wounded in action, the St. Mihiel Offensive, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive (Champagne) and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive (Argonne Forest). He was a member of the Army of Occupation in Germany and sailed for home on 25 July 1919. He was promoted to major that same month.

For repeated acts of heroism in action near St. Etienne, France, in October 1918, Major Hunt was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. His citation reads in part, "Major Hunt (then a captain), constantly exposed himself to the enemy fire while leading his men confidence to completely route superior enemy forces concentrating for a counter-attack." He also received the Navy Cross, the Croix de Guerre with two Gilt Stars and Palm and was cited in the General Orders of the War Department, General Orders of the Second Division, AEF, and by the Commander in Chief, AEF. He was entitled to wear the French Fourragere.

Upon his return to the United States, he was assigned recruiting duty at Portland, Oregon, and then to the staff of Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, and later to the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia, again becoming a member of the Fifth Marine Regiment. In June 1924, the major went to sea as Commanding Officer of the Marine Detachment, in the USS Maryland.

Following sea duty, he was attached to the Marine Corps Base, San Diego, and for a short time acted as a Commanding Officer of the Western Mail Guard Detachment.

Duty overseas with the Third Marine Brigade in Shanghai, China, as a Battalion Commander was followed by duty at the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia, where the major was successively Post Adjutant and a student at the Field Officers' Course, Marine Corps Schools, and graduated in June 1930.

Foreign shore duty with the Nicaragua National Guard Detachment as Commanding Officer, Northern Area and Intelligence and Operations Officer was his next assignment.

Upon his return to the United States, Major Hunt was successively assigned to the Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois; Headquarters Marine Corps; and the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia, where he rejoined the Fifth Marine Regiment.

In June 1935, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and that same year went on temporary duty to Alaska with the Matanuska Colonization project and was commended for his work by Harry Hopkins then head of the Work Projects Administration.

A tour of duty as Registrar of the Marine Corps Institute in Washington, D.C., and Executive Officer and Commanding Officer, Marine Barracks in Washington, was followed with an assignment as a student at the Senior Course, Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island.

After graduation in May 1939, he became Force Marine Officer in the USS California, where he remained until ordered to the Second Marine Division in February 1941, and saw duty as Commanding Officer of Special and Service Troops. He was promoted to colonel in January 1940.

For a short period in June 1941, he was on temporary duty in Iceland, and from then until September 1942, he was a member of the First Marine Division, first as Chief of Staff, and later, Commanding Officer of the Fifth Marine Regiment. In the latter capacity, he led the Regiment in the seizure and defense of Guadalcanal.

He was next ordered to the Second Marine Division as Assistant Division Commander and participated in operations involving the mopping-up of Saipan and Tinian and the capture of Okinawa. Appointed Division Commander, he led the Division in the occupation of the Japanese homeland. For a period he was Commanding General, I Army Corps. He was promoted to brigadier general in June 1943 to rank from September 1942, and to major general in February 1944.

In February 1946, the general returned to the United States and assumed duties as Commanding General, Troop Training Unit, Training Command, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet. In January 1947, he became Commanding General, Department of Pacific, San Francisco, and in July, two years later, became Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, at Norfolk, Virginia. He was promoted to lieutenant general on 1 July 1949, and to four-star general upon retirement from the Marine Corps on 1 July 1951.

In addition to the Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, his decorations and medals includes: the Silver Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, France 1918; Bronze Star Medal, Japan, 1945; Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, France, 1918; Presidential Unit Citation, Guadalcanal, 1942; Victory Medal with Aisne, St. Mihiel, Aisne-Marne, Meuse-Argonne and the Defensive Sector Clasps, France, 1918; Army of Occupation of Germany Service Medal; Yangtze Service Medal, China, 1927; Expeditionary Medal, China, 1927-28; Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, 1930; American Defense Service Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal; French Croix de Guerre with two Gilt Stars and one Palm, France, 1918; Nicaraguan Medal of Distinction and Diploma; and the French Fourragere.

Marine Corps University