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Hamblin was commissioned a second lieutenant upon completion of the ROTC program in 1943.
He served with the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment in Europe in World War II and with the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, N.C., from 1948 to 1957. He completed 105 parachute jumps during his career.
Hamblin was an infantry company commander in Korea in 1952.
He served as an adviser to the Republic of Vietnam Joint General Staff in Saigon in 1964. For his service, he was the first member of the U.S. Armed Forces awarded the Republic of Vietnam Army Distinguished Service medal, second class.
In 1965, he was adviser to the II Vietnam Army corps. He was wounded during a Viet Cong attack on the military installation at Pleiku in February 1965.
After 28 years of service, he retired in 1971. He was a training and safety consultant to automotive and heavy vehicle fleets and was formerly a member of the board of directors of the Georgia Motor Truck Association and the Georgia Safety Council.
Colonel Hamblin was born on May 23, 1922, in Millsboro, Delaware, where he grew up. His parents were Joshua and Flossie Hamblin. Colonel Hamblin and his wife, Sylvia, have been residents of Dunwoody, Georgia, since June 1972.
Paul graduated from the University of Delaware in 1943 and in September of that same year he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant.
He served his country with great distinction as a member of the U.S. Army for the next 28 years. Of particular note was his success in establishing standards par excellence in the area of military-civilian relationships.
His service included tours as an infantry officer during World War II in Europe, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War.
Colonel Hamblin was a highly decorated officer. His military decorations include the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit (2d Award), the Bronze Star with "V" Device (2d Award), the Joint Services Commendation Medal, The Army Commendation Medal, The Air Medal, The Purple Heart with 4 Clusters, The Combat Infantryman's Badge, The Aircraft Crewman's Badge, The Master Parachutist's Badge, The Presidential Unit Citation and 7 Overseas bars, The American Campaign Medal, The European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, The World War II Victory Medal, The Army of Occupation Medal (Germany), National Defense Service Medal, The Korean Service Medal, The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 20 years Device and The United Nations Service Medal.
His decorations from foreign governments include The Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Badge, The Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation Badge, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and The Republic of Vietnam Army Distinguished Service Medal.
In a letter accompanying this latter award, General Nguyen wrote, “this medal is the highest, medal after the National Order of RVNAF and Colonel Hamblin is the sole and first American to receive the Distinguished Honor."
Survivors include loving wife, Sylvia Dutton Hamblin; son, Paul W. Hamblin II and his wife, Kitty, of Hudson; a grandson, Paul W. Hamblin III; and a brother, John Lee Hamblin, and his wife, Josephine, of Georgetown, Delaware.
Interment was on February 11, 2009, at 9 a.m. in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.