William M. Hoge

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William M. Hoge
William Hoge.jpg
BornJanuary 13, 1894
Boonville, Missouri, United States
DiedOctober 29, 1979 (aged 85)
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, United States
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1916–1955
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg General
UnitUnited States Army Corps of Engineers logo.svg Engineer Branch
Commands held4th Armored Division
IX Corps
Fourth Army
Seventh Army
United States Army Europe
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
Korean War
AwardsDistinguished Service Cross
Army Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Silver Star (2)
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star
Purple Heart
Air Medal
Other workChairman of the Board, Interlake Iron Corporation

General William Morris Hoge (January 13, 1894 – October 29, 1979) was a United States Army officer who fought in World War I, World War II and the Korean War, with a military career spanning nearly forty years.


Early life and military career[edit]

William M. Hoge grew up in Lexington, Missouri, where his father, William McGuffey Hoge, served as principal and superintendent at Wentworth Military Academy. After graduating from Wentworth in 1912, he received an appointment to the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York. He graduated in 1916, then was commissioned into the Engineer Branch of the United States Army and commanded a company of the 7th Engineer Regiment at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas from 1917 to 1918.

During World War I, Hoge received the Distinguished Service Cross personally from General John J. Pershing, Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) on the Western Front, for heroic action under fire as a battalion commander during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

Between the wars[edit]

During the interwar years, he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff School.

World War II[edit]

Hoge directed one of the great engineering feats of World War II, the construction of the 1,519-mile (2,450 km) ALCAN Highway in nine months. Later, in Europe, he commanded the Provisional Engineer Special Brigade Group in the assault on Omaha Beach. He then directed Combat Command B of the 9th Armored Division, in its heroic actions in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge, and in its celebrated capture of the Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine River at Remagen. By war's end, Hoge was the Commanding General of the 4th Armored Division.

Post World War II[edit]

During the Korean War, at the request of General Matthew Bunker Ridgway, the U.S. Eighth Army commander, Hoge commanded the IX Corps. Hoge achieved his senior command in the army as C-in-C of United States Army Europe. Hoge was promoted to major general in May 1945, lieutenant general in June 1951 and full general on October 23, 1953.

He retired from active duty in January 1955 to his hometown of Lexington, Missouri, then turned to the private sector as Chairman of the Board of Interlake Steel. Hoge moved to his son's farm in Kansas in October 1975 and he died suddenly on October 29, 1979 at Munson Army Hospital, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

In popular culture[edit]

In the 1969 film The Bridge at Remagen, the character of Brigadier General Shinner (played by E. G. Marshall) was based on Hoge.

Awards and decorations[edit]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
1st Row Distinguished Service Cross Army Distinguished Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters
2nd Row Silver Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters Legion of Merit Bronze Star Medal Air Medal
3rd Row Army Commendation Medal Purple Heart Mexican Border Service Medal World War I Victory Medal with three Battle Clasps
4th Row Army of Occupation of Germany Medal American Defense Service Medal American Campaign Medal European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with silver service star and Arrowhead device
5th Row Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal World War II Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal National Defense Service Medal
6th Row Korean Service Medal with four service stars Honorary Companion of the Order of the Bath (United Kingdom) Distinguished Service Order (United Kingdom) Officer of the Legion of Honour (France)
7th Row Commander of the Order of the Crown (Belgium) Commander of the Military Order of Italy Commander of the Order of Military Merit (Brazil) Czechoslovak War Cross 1939-1945
8th Row Order of Kutuzov, 1st Class (Soviet Union) Korean Order of Military Merit, 1st Class French Croix de guerre 1939–1945 with Palm United Nations Korea Medal

Hoge Barracks, the transient housing operation at Fort Leavenworth, is named in his honor.


External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Hugh Joseph Gaffey
Commanding General 4th Armored Division
March 1945 – June 1945
Succeeded by
Bruce C. Clarke
Preceded by
Oliver P. Smith
Commanding General IX Corps
Succeeded by
Willard G. Wyman
Preceded by
Jonathan Wainwright
Commanding General Fourth Army
Succeeded by
LeRoy Lutes
Preceded by
Charles L. Bolte
Commanding General Seventh Army
April 1953 – September 1953
Succeeded by
Anthony McAuliffe
Preceded by
Charles L. Bolte
Commanding General United States Army Europe
Succeeded by
Anthony McAuliffe