Walter Wood Hess Jr.[1] (March 17, 1892 – April 10, 1972) was a United States Army brigadier general. He is most famous for his leadership as the commander of the artillery of the 36th Infantry Division.

Walter Wood Hess Jr.
Born(1892-03-17)March 17, 1892
Pennsylvania, US
DiedApril 10, 1972(1972-04-10) (aged 80)
Santa Clara County, California, US
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1915-1952
Rank Brigadier General
UnitCoast Artillery Corps
Commands heldArtillery Commander, 36th Infantry Division
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsLegion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star (2)

Early life edit

At West Point in 1915

Walter Wood Hess Jr. was born in March 1892 in Pennsylvania. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1911, and graduated 95th as part of the class the stars fell on in June 1915. He was one of 59 members of that graduating class who became generals, among them Dwight D. Eisenhower and Omar Bradley.

He served in France during World War I as an artillery officer, having been commissioned in the Coast Artillery Corps, commanding a battalion. He participated in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and Ypres - Lys Offensives.[2]

World War II edit

He was appointed an artillery officer of the 36th Infantry Division in November 1943. He succeeded Brigadier General Miles A. Cowles in this capacity. Hess participated with the 36th Division in the landing at Salerno, Battle of Monte Cassino, Battle of Anzio, Operation Dragoon and Colmar Pocket.

For his leadership of the 36th Infantry Division artillery, Hess was awarded the Legion of Merit[3] and other awards.

Postwar career edit

After inactivation of the 36th Infantry Division in December 1945, Hess was transferred to Fort Bragg in North Carolina, where he was appointed as Assistant Commanding General of the Field Artillery Replacement Training Center. Following year, Hess was appointed as Commanding General of that center and succeeded Major General Donald C. Cubbison.

Hess served in this capacity just for a short time, because he was transferred back to Europe in 1946 and appointed a Chief of U.S. Military Liaison Mission to Soviet Zone in Germany.[4]

He served there until year 1949, when he was ordered back to the United States and appointed as Executive Officer of the Minnesota Military District. His last command was as Commandant of Fort Carson in Colorado from 1950 to 1952, when he retired.

Brigadier general Walter W. Hess Jr. died on April 10, 1972, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery together with his wife Ada E. Hess.

Decorations edit

Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster
Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
  Army Commendation Medal
World War I Victory Medal with three Battle Clasps
  American Defense Service Medal
  American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with six Service Stars
  World War II Victory Medal
  Army of Occupation Medal
  National Defense Service Medal

References edit

  1. ^ "Biography of Brigadier General Walter Wood Hess, Jr. (1892 - 1972)". July 4, 2010. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  2. ^ "36th Division in World War II". July 4, 2010. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  3. ^ "Biography of Brigadier General Walter Wood Hess, Jr. (1892 - 1972)". July 4, 2010. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  4. ^ "Valor awards for Walter Wood Hess, Jr". July 4, 2010. Retrieved February 3, 2013.