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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World War I/World War I/St. Mihiel Campaign
From Month/Year
September / 1918
To Month/Year
September / 1918

Description
St. Mihiel, 12 - 16 September 1918. By September 1918, with both the Marne and the Amiens salients eliminated, there remained but one major threat to lateral rail communications behind the Allied lines-the old St. Mihiel salient near the Paris-Nancy line. Active preparations for its reduction began with the transfer of Headquarters First Army, effective 13 August, from La Ferté-sous-Jouarre in the Marne region to Neufchateau on the Meuse, immediately south of St. Mihiel. On 28 August the first echelon of headquarters moved closer to the front at Ligny-en-Barrois.

American unite from Flanders to Switzerland were shifted into the area near the salient. The fourteen American and four French divisions assigned to the First Army for the operation contained ample infantry and machinegun units for the attack. But because of the earlier priority given to shipment of infantry (at the insistence of the British and French) the First Army was short of artillery, tank, air and other support units essential to a well-balanced field army. The French made up this deficiency by loaning Pershing over half the artillery and nearly half the airplanes and tanks needed for the St. Mihiel operation.

Shortly before the offensive was to begin, Foch threatened once again to disrupt Pershing's long-held desire to carry out a major operation with an independent American force. On 30 August the Allied Commander in Chief proposed to exploit the recently gained successes on the Aisne-Marne and Amiens fronts by reducing the size of the St. Mihiel attack and dividing the American forces into three groups-one for the salient offensive and two for fronts to the east and west of the Argonne Forest. Pershing, however, remained adamant in his insistence that the First Army should not now be broken up, no matter where it might be sent into action. Fina1ly a compromise was reached. The St. Mihiel attack was subordinated to the much larger offensive to be launched on the Meuse-Argonne front in late September, but the First Army remained intact. Pershing agreed to limit his operations by employing only the minimum force needed to reduce the salient in three or four days. Simultaneously he was to prepare his troops for a major role in the Meuse-Argonne drive.

The St. Mihiel offensive began on 12 September with a threefold assault on the salient. The main attack was made against the south face by two American corps. On the right was the I Corps (from right to left the 82d, 90th, 5th, and 2d Divisions in line with the 78th in reserve) covering a front from Pont-à-Mousson on the Moselle westward to Limey; on the left, the IV Corps (from right to left the 89th, 42d, and 1st Divisions in line with the 3d in reserve) extending along a front from Limey westward to Marvoisin. A secondary thrust was carried out against the west face along the heights of the Meuse, from Mouilly north to Haudimont, by the V Corps (from right to left the 26th Division, the French 15th Colonial Division, and the 8th Brigade, 4th Division in line with the rest of the 4th in reserve). A holding attack against the apex, to keep the enemy in the salient, was made by the French II Colonial Corps (from right to left the French 39th Colonial Division, the French 26th Division, and the French 2d Cavalry Division in line). In First Army reserve were the American 35th, 80th, and 91st Divisions.

Tota1 Allied forces involved in the offensive numbered more than 650,000-some 550,000 American and 100,000 Allied (mostly French) troops. In support of the attack the First Army had over 3,000 guns, 400 French tanks, and 1,500 airplanes. Col. William Mitchell directed the heterogeneous air force, composed of British, French, Italian, Portuguese, and American units, in what proved to be the largest single air operation of the war. American squadrons flew 609 of the airplanes, which were mostly of French or British manufacture.

Defending the salient was German "Army Detachment C," consisting of eight divisions and a brigade in the line and about two divisions in reserve. The Germans, now desperately short of manpower, had begun a step-by-step withdrawal from the salient only the day before the offensive began. The attack went so well on 12 September that Pershing ordered a speedup in the offensive. By the morning of 13 September the 1st Division, advancing from the east, joined hands with the 26th Division, moving in from the west, and before evening all objectives in the salient had been captured. At this point Pershing halted further advances so that American units could be withdrawn for the coming offensive in the Meuse-Argonne sector.

This first major operation by an American Army under its own command took 16,000 prisoners at a cost of 7,000 casualties, eliminated the threat of an attack on the rear of Allied fortifications at Nancy and Verdun, greatly improved Allied lateral rail communications, and opened the way for a possible future offensive to seize Metz and the Briey iron fields.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
September / 1918
To Month/Year
September / 1918
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment

3rd Military Police Company, 3rd Infantry Division

3rd Infantry Division

972nd Military Police Company

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

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