Major General William P. T. Hill



Major General William Pendleton Thompson Hill, 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.

General Hill entered the Marine Corps in 1917, following graduation from the University of Oklahoma. 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.

Born 22 February 1895, at Vinita, Oklahoma, he attended Kemper Military School, Boonville, Missouri, and graduated from Western Military Academy, Norman, Oklahoma. He reported for active duty in the Marine Corps as a second lieutenant on 12 June 1917.

After serving at the Parris Island, South Carolina, Marine Barracks, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he attended flight school at the Naval Coastal Air Station, Cape May, New Jersey. He was designated a Naval Aviator on 16 October 1917, and assigned to the Marine Aeronautic Detachment in the Azores. He returned to the United States in August of the following year for duty as an aviation instructor in Miami, Florida.

In May 1920, General Hill became a member of the Naval Alaskan Coal Commission, where he served as a geologist and member during a survey of Alaskan coal fields. For his outstanding services in this capacity, he received a Commendation from the Secretary of War and Secretary of the Interior.

Returning to the United States in 1923, he attended the Company Officers Course at the Marine Base, Quantico, Virginia, and following graduation, served with the Tenth Regiment and Fifth Engineer Company at Quantico.

In 1926, he was ordered to China for duty as a company commander in the Marine Legation Guard at the American Embassy, Peking, China. During this period, he also served as a member of the Roy Chapman Andrews Asiatic Expedition engaged in exploration in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia.

From 1929 until 1933, General Hill was assigned Quartermaster duties at Marine Corps Headquarters, Washington, D.C., serving as a member of the Federal Specification Board and Officer in Charge of the Utilities Division of the Quartermaster Department.

He 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. His next tour of duty was at the Marine Barracks, Quantico, where he attended the Senior Course at the Marine Corps Schools, remaining at the schools as an instructor after graduation.

From April 1941 to May 1943, he was liaison officer during the construction of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. For a brief period in 1941, he also was Camp Commander and Post Quartermaster at Camp Lejeune. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious service in the World War II construction of Camp Lejeune.

General Hill returned to Marine Corps Headquarters again in June 1943 for duty in the Quartermaster Department as Executive Officer and Officer in Charge of the Supply Division. He was appointed Quartermaster General of the Marine Corps on 1 February 1944, and served in this capacity until his retirement 31 January 1955.

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

Marine Corps University