Hays, George Price (MOH), LTG

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Lieutenant General
Last Service Branch
US
Last Primary MOS
00GC-Commanding General
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1952-1953, 00GC, US Forces Austria (USFA)
Service Years
1917 - 1953

US

Lieutenant General



Seven Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home Country
China
China
Year of Birth
1892
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Hays, George Price (MOH), LTG.

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Contact Info
Home Town
El Reno, OK
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Aug 07, 1978
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
SECTION 11 SITE 540-2

 Official Badges 

10th Mountain Division 2nd Infantry Division 34th Infantry Division 3rd Infantry Division




 Unofficial Badges 






 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

LTG George P. Hays

Medal of Honor Recipient

 George P. Hays was born in 1892 in China, where his parents were missionaries. He spent his youth in El Reno, Oklahoma, graduating from high school there and from Oklahoma A&M (Oklahoma State University now)with a B.S. degree. He earned a commission early in World War I and was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division. He remained with that division throughout the war, participating in the fighting at Chateau-Thiery,Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne.
In the second battle of the Marne, General Hays earned the Nation's highest tribute, the Congressional Medal of Honor. He personally carried vital messages between front line units and their supporting artillery. Seven horses were shot from under him.
Between World War I and II, General Hays attended various Army schools including the battery officers course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 1921-22; Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1932-34; and Army War College, 1939-40. Between these schools he served as Assistant PMS&T at Cornell 1922-26; with the 18th Field Artillery school troops at Fort Sill from 1926-30; the 24th Field Artillery, Fort Stotsenberg, Philippine Islands,from 1930-32; the 6th Field Artillery, Ft. Hoyle, Maryland, 1934-36 and as G-4,Sixth Corps Area, From 1936 to 1939.
General Hays organized and commanded the 99th field Artillery, Pack in 1940,remaining in command until 1941, when he went to the Operations Division of the War Department and then to GHQ as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3. He served in that capacity until he joined the 2nd Infantry Division in March 1942 as commanding general of artillery. While the division was in Northern Ireland training for the invasion of the continent, he was assigned in Italy as temporary artillery commander of the 34th Division in the assault on Cassino. He then returned to the 2nd Division artillery which landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day plus-one. He remained with the division through the reduction of Brest and the initial actions against the Siegfried Line, then was assigned to command the 10th Mountain Division, and lead it into action inItaly.
The 10th, the only U.S. mountain division, made up largely of trained mountaineers, skiers and woodsmen, was engaged in some of the heaviest fighting in the Apennines to clear the way for the 5th Army's advance.
With the end of World War II hostilities, the 10th had the task of occupying Trieste and the disputed Venesia-Giulia province. The division was inactivated November 30, 1945 at Camp Carson, Colorado.
General Hays then commanded the 4th Infantry Division until it too was inactivated at Camp Butner, North Carolina in March 1946. He then joined the Sixth Army as deputy commander at Ninth Service Command Headquarters. With the inactivation of the Service and the transfer of its functions to the Sixth Army, General Hays resumed duty as deputy commander of the Sixth Army.
In September, 1947, General Hays was appointed deputy military governor for Germany. Three months later, he became commanding general of the Office of Military Government for Germany with station at Berlin. He was designated Deputy High commissioner for Germany in December, 1949, and in April, 1952, became commander of the U.S. Forces in Austria, with station at Salzburg.
In addition to the Congressional Medal of Honor, General Hays has received the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star Medal. His foreign decorations include the British Companion of the Bath, the French Legion of Honor and Croix de Guerre with Palm, the Italian War Cross, and Montenagro's Prince Danilo Medal.
General and Mrs. Hays, the former Miss Glayds Stepto, of London, England, have two children, George J. Hays and Mrs. James H. King.
LTG George P. Hays died in 1978.
 

Medal of Honor citation
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, United States Army, 10th Field Artillery, 3d Division.
Place and date: Near Greves Farm, France, 14-July 15, 1918.
Entered service at: Okarche, Oklahoma.
Born: September 27, 1892, China.
General Orders No.34. War Department, 1919.

Citation: At the very outset of the unprecedented artillery bombardment by the enemy, his line of communication was destroyed beyond repair. Despite the hazard attached to the mission of runner, he immediately set out to establish contact with the neighboring post of command and further establish liaison with 2 French batteries, visiting their position so frequently that he was mainly responsible for the accurate fire therefrom. While thus engaged, 7 horses were shot under him and he was severely wounded. His activity under most severe fire was an important factor in checking the advance of the enemy.

 

   
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WWII - European Theater of Operations/Northern France Campaign (1944)/Battle for Brest
From Month/Year
August / 1944
To Month/Year
September / 1944

Description
The Battle for Brest (7 August 1944 – 19 September 1944) was one of the fiercest battles fought on the Western Front during World War II. Part of the Allied plan for the invasion of mainland Europe called for the capture of port facilities, in order to ensure the timely delivery of the enormous amount of war materiel required to supply the invading Allied forces. It was estimated that the 37 Allied divisions to be on the continent by September 1944 would need 26,000 tons of supplies each day. The main port the Allied forces hoped to seize and put into their service was Brest, in northwestern France.

Brest was surrounded and eventually stormed by the U.S. VIII Corps. The fight proved extremely difficult, as the German garrison was well entrenched and partially made up of elite Fallschirmjäger (paratroopers) forces.

Military Hospital Brest France Oct 1944
The German paratroopers lived up to their reputation, as the Allies had experienced previously in battles such as Monte Cassino. Whilst some less capable units surrendered quite easily, the Fallschirmjäger defended their ground under considerable odds, heavy shelling, air strikes and American assaults. The attackers had heavy losses for every small advance they made into the city.

As per their military doctrine, the Americans tried to use their superior artillery firepower and air superiority to overcome the defenders, instead of fighting them hand-to-hand. The Germans had stocked a considerable amount of ammunition for the defense of the city and had weapons of all calibers (from light flak to naval guns) dug in fortifications and in pillboxes. Elements of the specialised British 79th Armoured division came in to attack the heavily fortified Fort Montbarey. Flame throwing Churchill Crocodile tanks along with US infantry took three days to overcome the fort.

The fighting was intense, the troops moving house to house. The fortifications (both French and German built) proved very difficult to overcome, and heavy artillery barrages were fired by both sides.

Eventually the old city of Brest was razed to the ground during the battle, with only some old medieval stone-built fortifications left standing.

General Ramcke surrendered the city on 19 September 1944 to the Americans after rendering the port facilities useless. These would not be repaired in time to help the war effort as it was hoped. By this time, Paris had already been liberated by the Allied Armies, and Operation Market-Garden was already under way in the Netherlands.

The costly capture of Brest resulted in the decision to only surround the remaining German-occupied ports in France with the exception of those that could be captured from the march, instead of storming them in a set-piece battle. The exception was Le Havre, which was taken by the British 2nd Army on 12 September 1944. Some of these Breton ports surrendered only by 9 May 1945, one day after Victory in Europe Day.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
August / 1944
To Month/Year
September / 1944
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

644th Tank Destroyer Battalion

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  24 Also There at This Battle:
 
  • Austin, John, S/Sgt, (1943-1945)
  • Brown, James, 1LT, (1942-1945)
  • Haight, Lewis, Sgt, (1943-1946)
  • Lee, James, T/5, (1942-1945)
  • Neuwirth, Frank, 1st Sgt, (1942-1945)
  • Reed, Elis, Cpl, (1943-1946)
  • Van Noy, Barney, Sgt
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