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Donald Prentice Booth (December 21, 1902 – October 30, 1993) was a Lieutenant General in the United States Army. During World War II he was the US Army's youngest theater commander. After World War II he was known for his commands of the 28th Infantry Division, the 9th Infantry Division and the Fourth United States Army. In addition, he served as High Commissioner of the Ryukyu Islands from 1958 to 1961.

Donald Prentice Booth
Donald Prentice Booth.JPG
General Booth as High Commissioner of the Ryukyu Islands in 1961
Born(1902-12-21)December 21, 1902
Albany, New York
DiedOctober 30, 1993 (1993-10-31) (aged 90)
Santa Barbara, California
Allegiance United States
Service/branchEmblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service1926-1962
RankUS-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Commands heldPersian Gulf Command
28th Infantry Division
9th Infantry Division
Ryukyu Islands
Fourth United States Army
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal
Order of the Rising Sun, Second Class


Early lifeEdit

Donald Prentice Booth was the son of Colonel Alfred James Booth (1875–1937), a career Army officer and veteran of the Spanish–American War and World War I. Donald Booth attended Hawaii's Punahou School, and high schools in San Antonio, Texas, Albany, New York, and Patchogue, New York before graduating from Leavenworth High School in Leavenworth, Kansas in 1921.[1][2][3][4][5][6] He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1926 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Engineers.[7][8]

Early military careerEdit

After receiving his commission Booth pursued graduate studies in engineering at Cornell University.[9]

Booth graduated from the Army Engineer Officer Course in 1930.[10]

From 1935 to 1939 he was an instructor at the US Military Academy.[11]

Booth graduated from the Command and General Staff School in 1940. Later that year, he served with the 2nd Engineers at Fort Sam Houston, Texas and was then transferred to be Assistant to the District Engineer in Seattle from 1940–1942.[12]

World War IIEdit

From 1942 to 1944, Booth served as Director of Ports for the Persian Gulf Command, receiving promotion to Brigadier General in May 1944. The Persian Gulf Command was responsible for transporting supplies to the U.S.S.R. after it joined the Allied war effort.[13] Booth served as Chief of Staff from 1944 to 1945, and commanded the organization from early 1945 until the end of the war.[14][15][16][17][18][19]

Post World War IIEdit

Following World War II Booth served in positions of increasing visibility and responsibility, including a posting as Executive Assistant to the Undersecretary of War[20]

From 1953 to 1954 General Booth was commander of the 28th Infantry Division in Germany when this National Guard organization was activated to replace active duty units sent to Asia during the Korean War.[21]

Booth commanded the 9th Infantry Division, also in Germany, from May to November, 1954.[22][23]

From 1955 to 1958 Booth was the Army's Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel, G-1.[24][25]

General Booth served as US High Commissioner of the Ryukyu Islands from 1958 to 1961.[26][27]

From 1961 to 1962 Booth was commander of the Fourth United States Army.[28][29][30]

Awards and DecorationsEdit

Booth receives Order of the Rising Sun

General Booth's awards included multiple presentations of the Distinguished Service Medal. In 1961 he received the Order of the Rising Sun, Second Class to recognize his efforts as High Commissioner for the Ryukyu Islands.[31][32]

Retirement and DeathEdit

In retirement General Booth lived in Santa Barbara, California, where he died on October 30, 1993.[33][34][35] He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 3-HH, Row 2, Site 3.[36]

External ResourcesEdit


  1. ^ New York in the Spanish–American War 1898, published by New York Adjutant General, Volume 1, 1900, page 356
  2. ^ "Lieutenants in the Army", New York Times, April 25, 1901
  3. ^ Distinguished Service Medal citation, Alfred James Booth, Military Times Hall of Valor web site
  4. ^ 1914–1915 Catalogue published by Punahou School, 1915, page 66
  5. ^ The 1921 June Bug, Yearbook published by the Fiftieth Graduating Class, Leavenworth High School
  6. ^ American Men in Government: A Biographical Dictionary and Directory of Federal Officials, by Jerome M. Rosow, 1949, page 40
  7. ^ "Military Cadets Named, New York Times, June 6, 1922
  8. ^ Who's Who in Engineering, by John William Leonard, Winfield Scott Downs, and M.M. Lewis, Volume 6, 1948
  9. ^ Calendar, Cornell Daily Sun, published by Cornell University, Volume XLVIII, Issue 29, October 28, 1927, Page 5
  10. ^ Official US Army Register, published by US Army Adjutant General, 1949, page 54
  11. ^ Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy, by George Washington Cullum, updated by Charles Braden and Edward Singleton Holden, 1891, Volume 8, Part 2, page 672
  12. ^ Who's Who in the South and Southwest, Marquis Who's Who LLC, 1954, page 80
  13. ^ "Youths Win Place Among Generals One 28 Another 29 Among 63 Brigadiers -- 2 Stars for 21 Others", New York Times, June 9, 1944
  14. ^ "Gen. Connolly Replaced; Gen. Booth Takes Charge of Persian Gulf Command", New York Times, January 8, 1945
  15. ^ "Russian Medals for Americans", Chicago Tribune, March 13, 1947
  16. ^ The Papers of George Catlett Marshall: "The finest soldier," January 1, 1945 – January 7, 1947, by George Catlett Marshall, edited by Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens, 2003, page 780
  17. ^ "Persian Gulf Command Ends Red Supply Job", Chicago Tribune, June 2, 1945
  18. ^ "U.S. Persian Gulf Unit Quits", New York Times, June 2, 1945
  19. ^ "Britain Decorates More U.S. Officers; Gen. Wheeler Receives High Award -- Underground Work Wins Medals for Three", New York Times, July 24, 1948
  20. ^ "AFL Urges Merger With CIO To Fight Anti-Union Bills Cadets Can't Play Pro Football, War Secretary Rules", The Sun (Baltimore, Maryland), February 1, 1947
  21. ^ "12 Generals Promoted; President Advances Brigadiers to Temporary 2-Star Rank", New York Times, November 7, 1953
  22. ^ List of commanders, 9th Infantry Division Association web site
  23. ^ 9th Infantry Division: Old Reliables published by Turner Publishing Company, 2000, page 23
  24. ^ "End of Draft Again is Urged by Stevenson", Chicago Tribune, October 19, 1956
  25. ^ "Ex-Nazi Rocket Expert Honored by U.S. Army, Los Angeles Times, October 31, 1957
  26. ^ "Gen. Booth Gets Posts; Named High Commissioner of Ryukyus, Okinawa Leader, New York Times, February 27, 1958
  27. ^ "US Army's Wise Policies Win Friends In Okinawa", Hartford Courant, June 19, 1960
  28. ^ "Head of Fourth Army Named", New York Times, January 17, 1962
  29. ^ "Fourth Army Chief Arrives at Sill," Lawton Constitution (Oklahoma), April 12, 1961
  30. ^ "Gen. Booth to End Long Army Career," Lawton Constitution (Oklahoma), February 16, 1962
  31. ^ Official US Army Register, published by US Army Adjutant General, 1962, page 53
  32. ^ "2,500 Bid Farewell to Booth," Pacific Stars and Stripes, February 9, 1961
  33. ^ Register of Graduates and Former Cadets of the United States Military Academy, published by the West Point Alumni Association, 1973, page 388
  34. ^ California Death Index
  35. ^ Social Security Death Index
  36. ^ Nationwide Gravesite Locator, US Department of Veterans Affairs