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First Name: William

Last Name: Simpson

Birthplace: Weatherford, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Hood

Date of Birth: 18 May 1888

Date of Death: 15 August 1980

Rank: General

Years Served: 1909-1946
William Hood Simpson

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1909

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


William Hood Simpson
General, U.S. Army

William Hood Simpson was born on 18 May 1888 at Weatherford, TX. After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy in the Class of 1909, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry. Before the U.S. involvement in World War I, Simpson served in the U.S. and in the Philippines, including the Mexican Punitive Expedition in 1916.

He was promoted to Captain in May 1917 and served with the 33rd Division throughout World War I. During this time he received temporary promotions to Major and Lieutenant Colonel and became Divisional Chief-of-Staff.

During the inter-war years of 1919-41, Simpson filled staff appointments and attended military schools, both as student and as instructor. From 1932 to 1936, he served as the Professor of Military Science at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. In mid-1940, he was appointed to command the 9th Infantry at Fort Sam Houston, TX. Before the U.S. entry into World War II, he had commanded divisions and received promotion to temporary Major General, taking the 35th Division from Camp Robinson, AR, to a training site in California.

World War II

Further promotions followed and, as a Lieutenant General in May 1944, Simpson took his staff to Britain to organize the U.S. 9th Army. This formation was activated on 5 September at Brest, France, as part of Omar Bradley's 12th Army Group. Brest was liberated on 20 September.

The 9th Army joined the general advance and, after a month in the Ardennes, the 9th was moved further north. In November 1944 it broke through the Siegfried Line and advanced, in some of the heaviest fighting of the war, to the Roer River. At this point the advance stalled due to the threat posed by dams upstream.

After the Battle of the Bulge, the 9th Army remained with Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery's 21st Army Group for the final attack into Germany.

As part of Operation Plunder, the Rhine was crossed on 24 March 1945 north of the Ruhr industrial area. On 19 April the 9th Army made contact with Courtney Hodges' US 1st Army; providing complete encirclement of the Ruhr. On 4 April it had reverted to Bradley's 12th Army Group.

The Ninth was the first American Army across the Elbe, on 12 April 12.

Simpson returned to the U.S. in June 1945. He undertook a mission to China in July and subsequently commanded the U.S. Second Army at Memphis, TN.


Lieutenant General Simpson retired in November 1946.

On 19 July 1954, he was promoted to General on the retired list by special Act of Congress (Public Law 83-508).

[Eleven lieutenant generals (including Simpson) were promoted to 4-star rank on 19 July 1954. Seven promotions were granted to living retirees; four were awarded posthumously.]

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Silver Star Medal
Legion of Merit
Philippine Campaign Medal
Mexican Service Medal
World War I Victory Medal with 2 Battle Clasps
Army of Occupation of Germany Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 4 Bronze Stars
World War II Victory Medal
L├ęgion d'honneur (Knight) (France)
Croix de guerre 1939-1945 (France)
Order of the British Empire (Great Britain)

Death and Burial

General William Hood Simpson died on 15 August 1980. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 30, beside his wife, Ruth.

Honoree ID: 330   Created by: MHOH




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