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Philip De Witt Ginder (September 19, 1905 - November 7, 1968) was a career soldier in the United States Army. A highly decorated combat veteran, he rose to the rank of major general during the Korean War, while commanding 45th Infantry "Thunderbird" Division. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, the United States' second-highest military award.

Philip De Witt Ginder
Phillip DeWitt Ginder.jpg
Ginder as a Colonel at the end of the World War II.
Born(1905-09-19)September 19, 1905
Plainfield, New Jersey
DiedNovember 7, 1968(1968-11-07) (aged 63)
New York City, New York
Buried (41°23′55″N 73°58′00″W / 41.39861°N 73.96671°W / 41.39861; -73.96671Coordinates: 41°23′55″N 73°58′00″W / 41.39861°N 73.96671°W / 41.39861; -73.96671)
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army seal United States Army
Years of service1927–1959
RankUS-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Service number0-16904
Commands heldFifth United States Army
45th Infantry Division
10th Mountain Division
WarsWorld War II
Korean War
Cold War
AwardsDistinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
RelationsJean Dalrymple (Wife)


Early lifeEdit

He was born on September 19, 1905 in Plainfield, New Jersey, the son of Grant D. and Emma Edith (Troxell) Ginder.[1][2] He was raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Scranton Central High School in 1923.[3] In high school, Ginder was the senior class president, manager of the football team, and president of the school's athletic association.[4] Ginder attended the United States Military Academy, and graduated in 1927.[5]

Start of careerEdit

Ginder was commissioned in the infantry branch. He completed the infantry officer qualification course in 1933, and his early career included postings to: Fort Wadsworth, New York; Manila, Philippine Islands; Fort Benning, Georgia; Fort Missoula, Montana; and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

World War IIEdit

During World War II, Ginder was the assistant chief of staff for personnel (G-1) for the Fourth United States Army. Appointed to command the 357th Infantry Regiment, a unit of the 90th Infantry Division, he was among the first ashore during the Normandy Landings on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Ginder developed a reputation for subpar performance in combat, with observers and subordinates calling him "obtuse" and "full of boast and posturing."[6] 357th veteran William E. DePuy called Ginder "as close to being incompetent as it is possible to be."[6] Ginder was ultimately relieved of command during combat and escorted to the division command post under armed guard.[7]

He was later appointed commander of the 121st Infantry Regiment, an 8th Infantry Division unit. He was in command of the regiment when it captured the German town of Hürtgen as part of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.[8][9] It was for this action that he received the Distinguished Service Cross for actions on November 28, 1944, when he personally led his reserve company through the town in bitter house-to-house fighting while armed only with his pistol and a hand grenade.[8][10]

He was appointed the commanding officer of the 9th Infantry Regiment in the spring of the 1945. Ginder commanded the regiment until the end of the war, taking part in liberating the western part of Czechoslovakia, and ending the war in the town of Rokycany near Pilsen.[9]

Post-World War IIEdit

From 1946 to 1949, Ginder attended the National War College and served on the Far East on the staff of General Douglas MacArthur.[9][8]

Korean WarEdit

Ginder commanded the 6th Infantry Regiment, Berlin (1951-1952), the 45th Infantry Division, Korea (1953), the 37th Infantry Division, Fort Riley (1954), 10th Mountain Division (1954-1955) and Fifth United States Army (1955).[9] He went to Korea as a colonel, and advanced to major general in less than two years, making him the youngest American general to command a combat division in Korea.[8] His service in Korea included nearly 18 months spent north of the 38th parallel.[8]

Post-Korean WarEdit

After the Korean War, Ginder commanded Fort Polk, Fort Riley, Camp McCoy, the Fifth United States Army, and served in the office of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army as special assistant for Reserve and National Guard Forces.[2] His final posting was to Governor's Island as deputy commander of First United States Army.[2] He retired a major general in 1959.[11]

Post-military careerEdit

After his retirement from the Army, Ginder was president of the Brazilian-American Export Company, and joined the boards of directors of several other companies.[2]

Death and burialEdit

Ginder died at New York City's Trafalgar Hospital on November 7, 1968, after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.[8] He was buried at West Point Cemetery, Section V, Row A, Site 41.[12]


Ginder's first wife was Martha Calvert, whom he married in 1933, and with whom he had two daughters, Jean and Louise.[13] They divorced in 1945.[14] Ginder was next married to Jean Dalrymple, the head of the City Center Drama and Light Opera Companies, whom he met in 1951 while she was organizing United States participation at the Berlin Arts Festival on behalf of the United States Department of State.[2]



  1. ^ US House of Representatives (1956). Hearing Record: Department of the Army Appropriations for 1957. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. p. 1188.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Memorial, Philip D. Ginder 1927".
  3. ^ "West Scranton Youth Accepted at West Point". Scranton Republican. Scranton, PA. July 6, 1923. p. 6 – via maint: extra punctuation (link)
  4. ^ "West Scranton Youth Accepted at West Point", p. 6.
  5. ^ 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. 2:49
  6. ^ a b The Americans at Normandy, p. 98.
  7. ^ Meyer, Harold J. (1990). Hanging Sam: A Military Biography of General Samuel T. Williams from Pancho Villa. Denton, TX: University of North Texas Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-929398-12-9.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Staff. "Gen. Philip Ginder Dead at 63; Division Leader in Korean War", The New York Times, November 8, 1968. Accessed January 13, 2009.
  9. ^ a b c d GINDER, PHILIP DE WITT: Papers, 1927-1968, Eisenhower Presidential Center, dated July 12, 1973. Accessed January 13, 2009.
  10. ^ Full Text Citations For Award of The Distinguished Service Cross:U.S. Army Recipients - WWII letter G Archived 2009-01-07 at the Wayback Machine, Accessed January 13, 2009.
  11. ^ "Gen. Ginder Plans Army Retirement". The Courier-News. Bridgewater, NJ. May 14, 1959. p. 39 – via maint: extra punctuation (link)
  12. ^ National Cemetery Administration (November 7, 1968). "Nationwide Gravesite Locator". Washington, DC: US Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  13. ^ Who Was Who in American History, the Military. Chicago, IL: Marquis Who's Who, Inc. 1975. p. 205.
  14. ^ Who Was Who in American History, the Military, p. 205.
  15. ^ "Hall of Valor". Retrieved 9 October 2014.



  • "Memorial, Philip D. Ginder 1927". West Point, NY: West Point Association of Graduates. November 7, 1968. Retrieved January 1, 2018.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)


External linksEdit