George W. Hamilton, USMC

America’s Greatest World War I Hero


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About the Book

In its list of the “Top 10 Badass Marines,” Leatherneck magazine declared that Major George W. Hamilton “never asked anyone to do anything he wasn’t prepared to do himself…and do better.” Indeed, the author of A History of the United States Marine Corps once called Hamilton “the most outstanding Marine Corps hero in World War I.” A leader of the first major American assault on June 6, 1918, and the last ranking officer in the American Expeditionary Forces to learn that the war was over, Hamilton remained in the thick of the fighting from start to finish. Although he earned the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, the Croix de Guerre, and two Medal of Honor recommendations for his service, Hamilton’s fame stalled when he died prematurely in 1922. With this first complete biography, Hamilton takes his rightful place among the first rank of American military heroes.

About the Author(s)

Mark Mortensen is a sales executive in the textile industry. His grandfather served under George W. Hamilton as a volunteer private sharpshooter.

Bibliographic Details

Mark Mortensen

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 314
Bibliographic Info: 34 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6321-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8617-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements      ix
Preface      1

1. Early Years      9
2. Central High      19
3. Off to College      23
4. Becoming a Marine      27
5. A Soldier of the Sea      37
6. America Enters the Great War      45
7. To France and a Time on Land      52
8. Belleau Wood: Château-Thierry Sector June 6–26—Paris Is Saved      74
9. Soissons: July 18–22—The Long March      92
10. Saint-Mihiel: September 1918—The World’s Most Awesome Bombardment      107
11. Blanc Mont: Champagne Sector October 1918—The Acts of a Former United States President      120
12. The Meuse River and Armistice: Heroes to the End      149
13. Assessment of the AEF      170
14. The March to Germany: Belgium, Luxembourg and Christmas Letters      174
15. Germany and Court Trials: Through Spring 1919      184
16. His “Boys” Come Home: 1919 Summer and Beyond      195
17. Days of Discontent: 1920      215
18. Time to Fly: 1921      224
19. Wings and Prayers: 1922      .      231
20. Funeral      239
21. Life Goes On      243

Epilogue      253
Appendix A      259
Appendix B      262
Notes      269
Bibliography      285
Index      291

Book Reviews & Awards

“the United States Marine Corps emerged from the First World War with a reputation as a badass fighting force—it was the Germans who first called them ‘Devil Dogs’…one of the best of these and one that most of us have never heard of is [Hamilton]…battle scenes are especially well written…an excellent biography…a must for every WWI and USMC history bookshelf”—