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First Name: LeRoy

Last Name: Hunt

Birthplace: Newark, NJ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Philip

Date of Birth: 17 March 1892

Date of Death: 08 February 1968

Rank: General

Years Served: 1917 - 1951
LeRoy Philip Hunt

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


LeRoy Philip Hunt
General, U.S. Marine Corps
(Tombstone General)

LeRoy Philip Hunt was born on 17 March 1892 in Newark, NJ. Shortly thereafter his parents moved to Berkeley, CA, where he attended public schools and the University of California.

He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps on 16 March 1917, and joined the Marine Barracks, Norfolk, VA, as a student at the Marine Officers' School. He was promoted to First Lieutenant and to Captain in 1917.

He sailed for France in August 1917, and as a member of the Fifth Marine Regiment participated in the Verdun Defense Sector, and in the Aisne-Marne Defensive (Chateau Thierry) in June 1918, where he was gassed in action. He took part in the Aisne-Marne Offensive (Soissons) where he was wounded in action; the St. Mihiel Offensive; the Meuse-Argonne Offensive (Champagne); and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive (Argonne Forest). He was a member of the Army of Occupation in Germany and sailed for home on 25 July 1919. He was promoted to Major that same month.

For repeated acts of heroism in action near St. Etienne, France, in October 1918, Hunt was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. His citation reads in part, "Major Hunt (then a captain), constantly exposed himself to the enemy fire while leading his men confidence to completely route superior enemy forces concentrating for a counter-attack." He also received the Navy Cross, the Croix de Guerre with two Gilt Stars and Palm and was cited in the General Orders of the War Department, General Orders of the Second Division, AEF, and by the Commander in Chief, AEF. He was entitled to wear the French Fourragère.

Upon his return to the U.S., he was assigned recruiting duty at Portland, OR, and then to the staff of Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, VA, and later to the Marine Barracks, Quantico, again becoming a member of the Fifth Marine Regiment. In June 1924, the Major Hunt went to sea as Commanding Officer of the Marine Detachment, in the USS Maryland.

Following sea duty, he was attached to the Marine Corps Base, San Diego, and for a short time acted as a Commanding Officer of the Western Mail Guard Detachment.

Duty overseas with the Third Marine Brigade in Shanghai, China, as a Battalion Commander was followed by duty at the Marine Barracks, Quantico, where Major Hunt was successively Post Adjutant and a student at the Field Officers' Course, Marine Corps Schools, and graduated in June 1930.

Foreign shore duty with the Nicaragua National Guard Detachment as Commanding Officer, Northern Area and Intelligence and Operations Officer was his next assignment.

Upon his return to the U.S., Major Hunt was successively assigned to the Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, IL; Headquarters Marine Corps; and the Marine Barracks, Quantico, where he rejoined the Fifth Marine Regiment.

In June 1935, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and that same year went on temporary duty to Alaska with the Matanuska Colonization project and was commended for his work by Harry Hopkins, then Head of the Work Projects Administration.

A tour of duty as Registrar of the Marine Corps Institute in Washington, DC, and Executive Officer and Commanding Officer, Marine Barracks in Washington, was followed with an assignment as a student at the Senior Course, Naval War College, Newport, RI.

After graduation in May 1939, he became Force Marine Officer in the USS California, where he remained until ordered to the Second Marine Division in February 1941, and saw duty as Commanding Officer of Special and Service Troops. He was promoted to Colonel in January 1940.

For a short period in June 1941, he was on temporary duty in Iceland, and from then until September 1942, he was a member of the First Marine Division, first as Chief of Staff, and later, Commanding Officer of the Fifth Marine Regiment. In the latter capacity, he led the Regiment in the seizure and defense of Guadalcanal.

He was next ordered to the Second Marine Division as Assistant Division Commander and participated in operations involving the mopping-up of Saipan and Tinian and the capture of Okinawa. Appointed Division Commander, he led the Division in the occupation of the Japanese homeland. For a time he was Commanding General, I Army Corps. He was promoted to Brigadier General in June 1943 to rank from September 1942, and to Major general in February 1944.

In February 1946, Hunt returned to the U.S. and assumed duties as Commanding General, Troop Training Unit, Training Command, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet. He saw duty as Commanding General of the Second Marine Division in the occupation of the Japanese homeland and for three months in 1946 was Commanding General of the I Corps, U.S. Army, in Japan. In January 1947, he became Commanding General, Department of Pacific, San Francisco.

On 1 July 1949, Hunt was promoted to Lieutenant General and became Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, at Norfolk. He remained in that command until 1 July 1951.

Lieutenant General LeRoy Philip Hunt retired from the Marine Corps on 1 July 1951 and, upon retirement, was promoted to four-star general. He thus became the fifth Marine to become a "Tombstone General." *

* The Act of Congress of 4 March 1925, allowed officers in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard to be promoted one grade upon retirement if they had been specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat. Combat citation promotions were colloquially known as "tombstone promotions" because they conferred the prestige of the higher rank, but not the additional retirement pay, so their only practical benefit was to allow recipients to engrave a loftier title on their business cards and tombstones. The Act of Congress of 23 February 1942, enabled tombstone promotions to three- and four-star grades. Tombstone promotions were subsequently restricted to citations issued before 1 January 1947, and finally eliminated altogether effective 1 November 1959.

Any general who actually served in a grade while on active duty receives precedence on the retirement list over any tombstone general holding the same retired grade. "Tombstone generals" rank among each other according to the dates of their highest active duty grade.

Medals and Awards

Navy Cross
Distinguished Service Cross
Silver Star Medal w/ 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
Legion of Merit w/ 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart w/ 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Navy Presidential Unit Citation w/ 1 Service Star
Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal
World War I Victory Medal w/ Aisne, St. Mihiel, Aisne-Marne, Meuse-Argonne, & the Defensive Sector Clasps
Army of Occupation of Germany Medal
Nicaraguan Campaign Medal (1933)
Yangtze Service Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 3 Service Stars
World War II Victory Medal
Navy Occupation Service Medal
Croix de guerre (WWI) w/ 2 Gilt Stars & Palm
Nicaraguan Medal of Distinction and Diploma
French Fourragère

Death and Burial

General Leroy Philip Hunt died on 8 February 1968, in San Francisco, CA, of a heart attack. He is buried at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, San Mateo County, CA, in
Plot 2C, 3A.

Honoree ID: 398   Created by: MHOH




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