Leland Hobbs

Major General Leland Stanford Hobbs (February 4, 1892 – March 6, 1966) was a decorated senior United States Army officer who commanded the 30th Infantry Division in Western Europe during World War II.

Leland Stanford Hobbs
Leland S. Hobbs.JPG
BornFebruary 4, 1892
Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States
DiedMarch 6, 1966 (aged 74)
Walter Reed Army Hospital, Washington, D.C., United States
Buried
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1915–1953
RankUS-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Service number0-3809
UnitUSA - Army Infantry Insignia.png Infantry Branch
Commands held3rd Battalion, 63rd Infantry Regiment
3rd Infantry Regiment
30th Infantry Division
III Corps
2nd Armored Division
IX Corps
Battles/warsPancho Villa Expedition
World War I
World War II
Occupation of Japan
AwardsArmy Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Silver Star (3)
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star (3)
Other workBanking executive

Early life and military careerEdit

Hobbs was born on February 4, 1892, in Gloucester, Massachusetts and was raised in New Jersey. In 1911 he attended the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York. He graduated four years later in June 1915, as part of the West Point class of 1915, also known as "the class the stars fell on", graduating alongside Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar N. Bradley, James A. Van Fleet, Henry Aurand, Roscoe B. Woodruff, Stafford LeRoy Irwin, John W. Leonard, Charles W. Ryder, Vernon Prichard and Paul J. Mueller.[1][2] Like Hobbs, all of these men would later become general officers.

He was subsequently commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry Branch of United States Army and was assigned to the 12th Infantry Regiment, then stationed at Nogales, Arizona. He saw there his first action in the skirmishes with the Mexican bandits during the Pancho Villa Expedition.[3]

He then saw service in California and Maryland, until, after the American entry into World War I, he was ordered to the Western Front with the 11th Infantry Division. However, the Armistice with Germany on November 11, 1918 was signed before the division saw any action. The division was ordered back to the United States and then deactivated at Camp Meade, Maryland. Hobbs briefly commanded the 3rd Battalion of the 63rd Infantry Regiment.[4] He was then assigned to the USMA, where he served as an assistant instructor of tactics until 1924.

Between the warsEdit

In the interwar era, Hobbs had various assignments and also attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas or Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

In 1935, Hobbs was appointed quartermaster in the Fourth Corps area and in 1937, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Third U.S. Army under the command of Lieutenant General Stanley D. Embick.[5]

At the beginning of the 1940, Hobbs was transferred to the Washington, D.C., where he was appointed the executive officer of the 3rd Infantry Regiment. He served in this capacity for a brief time and after his promotion to the temporary rank of colonel, he was made the commander of the regiment.[6][7]

World War IIEdit

The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and brought the United States officially into World War II. At the time, Hobbs was serving as chief of staff of the Trinidad Base Command at Fort Read, a post he held until May 1942. The following month he was promoted to Brigadier general and became the Assistant Division Commander (ADC) of the newly raised 80th Infantry Division, commanded by Major General Joseph D. Patch, the older brother of Alexander Patch.[8]

He was only there for a short time, however, as in September Hobbs was appointed as Commanding General (CG) of the 30th Infantry Division, a National Guard formation, then stationed at Camp Blanding, Florida. Hobbs would command the division for the rest of the war. His predecessor was Major General William Hood Simpson, who was appointed commander of XII Corps. In September he was promoted to major general.[9] In January 1943 Brigadier General William Kelly Harrison Jr. became his new ADC and he retained this position until the end of the war.

In November 1943, Hobbs was transferred, together with his division, to Camp Atterbury, Indiana, where it continued in training for its deploying within European Theater of Operations (ETO). The 30th Infantry Division arrived in England on February 22, 1944, and trained until June of that year. Major General Hobbs landed in Normandy, France on Omaha Beach with his division on June 11, five days after the initial D-Day landings. The 30th Division fought in the Battle of Normandy and secured the Vire-et-Taute Canal, crossed the Vire River, July 7, and, beginning on July 25 spearheaded the St. Lô break-through, Operation Cobra.

Hobbs led the 30th Infantry Division in the Battle of Normandy, Mortain counteroffensive, the Battle of the Bulge, the Battle of Aachen and for the rest of the war until the end of World War II in Europe in May 1945. In September 1945 he was succeeded in command of the 30th Division, which he had by now commanded for three years, by Major General Albert C. Smith. Major General Hobbs was highly decorated for his leadership of the 30th Division during World War II (see his ribbon bar below).[10][11]

PostwarEdit

After the war Hobbs was transferred back to the United States, where he was appointed commanding general of Fort Dix, New Jersey and acting commanding general of Second Service Command in February 1946. He served in this capacity until October 1946, when he was assigned to the 2nd Armored Division as its commanding general, succeeding his West Point classmate, Major General John W. Leonard.[12]

In August 1947, he was transferred to Fort McPherson, Georgia, where he was appointed the Deputy Commanding General of the Third United States Army, under the command of Lieutenant General Alvan C. Gillem.[13]

At the beginning of 1949, he was transferred to Japan, where he took command of IX Corps at Camp Sendai. Hobbs performed regular occupation duties with his unit until August 1950, when he was replaced by General Frank W. Milburn.

His last military assignment was as Deputy Commanding General of the First Army, stationed at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York, under the command of Lieutenant General Willis D. Crittenberger.[14] He retired from the army in 1953 and became vice president of the Colonial Trust Bank in New York City.

Major General Leland Stanford Hobbs died on March 6, 1966, at the age of 74, at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.[15] His wife Lucy Davis Hobbs (1892-1980) was also buried there.

DecorationsEdit

Major General Hobbs's ribbon bar:[16][17]

   
     
   
       
       
1st Row Army Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster Silver Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters
2nd Row Legion of Merit Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters Army Commendation Medal Mexican Service Medal
3rd Row World War I Victory Medal American Defense Service Medal with Base Clasp American Campaign Medal European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with five service stars
4th Row World War II Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal National Defense Service Medal Officer of the Legion of Honor (France)
5th Row French Croix de guerre 1939-1945 with Palm Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940-1945 with Palm Soviet Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ United States Military Academy. The Register of Graduates and Former Cadets of the United States Military Academy at West Point: 2004. Connecticut. Elm Press. 2004. pg. 2:60
  2. ^ "United States Military Academy, Class of 1915" (PDF). digital-library.usma.edu. 2010-07-04. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-03-17. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  3. ^ "General Hobbs is dead". 30th Division News, reprinted from New York Times. 1966-03-07. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  4. ^ Bellafaire, Judith (1998). The U.S. Army and World War II: Selected Papers from the Army's Commemorative Conferences. ISBN 9780160495892.
  5. ^ "Biography of Major-General Leland Stanford Hobbs (1892 - 1966), USA". generals.dk. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  6. ^ "Biography of Major-General Leland Stanford Hobbs (1892 - 1966), USA". generals.dk. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  7. ^ "General Hobbs is dead". 30th Division News, reprinted from New York Times. 1966-03-07. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  8. ^ "Biography of Major-General Leland Stanford Hobbs (1892 - 1966), USA". generals.dk. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  9. ^ "Biography of Major-General Leland Stanford Hobbs (1892 - 1966), USA". generals.dk. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  10. ^ "Valor awards for Leland S. Hobbs". militarytimes.com. 2010-07-04. Archived from the original on 2013-09-15. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  11. ^ "General Hobbs is dead". 30th Division News, reprinted from New York Times. 1966-03-07. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  12. ^ "Biography of Major-General Leland Stanford Hobbs (1892 - 1966), USA". generals.dk. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  13. ^ "Biography of Major-General Leland Stanford Hobbs (1892 - 1966), USA". generals.dk. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  14. ^ "General Hobbs is dead". 30th Division News, reprinted from New York Times. 1966-03-07. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  15. ^ "Hobbs, Leland S". ANC Explorer. Retrieved 2022-02-04.
  16. ^ "Valor awards for Leland S. Hobbs". militarytimes.com. 2010-07-04. Archived from the original on 2013-09-15. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  17. ^ "General Hobbs is dead". 30th Division News, reprinted from New York Times. 1966-03-07. Retrieved 2013-09-15.

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by Commanding General 30th Infantry Division
1942–1945
Succeeded by
Preceded by Commanding General III Corps
May–October 1946
Succeeded by
Post deactivated
Preceded by Commanding General 2nd Armored Division
1946–1947
Succeeded by
Preceded by Commanding General IX Corps
1949–1950
Succeeded by