Jump to content

Frank T. Hines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Frank Hines
Hines in 1924
United States Ambassador to Panama
In office
November 1, 1945 – February 20, 1948
PresidentHarry Truman
Preceded byAvra Warren
Succeeded byMonnett Davis
Administrator of Veterans Affairs
In office
July 21, 1930 – August 15, 1945
PresidentHerbert Hoover
Franklin Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byOmar Bradley
Director of the Veterans Bureau
In office
March 2, 1923 – July 21, 1930
PresidentWarren Harding
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Preceded byCharles Forbes
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Born(1879-04-11)April 11, 1879
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
DiedApril 3, 1960(1960-04-03) (aged 80)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
EducationUtah State University, Logan
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Organized Reserve Corps
Years of service1898–1920 (Army)
1920-1943 (Reserve)
Rank Brigadier General
Battles/warsSpanish–American War
World War I

Frank Thomas Hines (April 11, 1879 – April 3, 1960) was a United States military officer and head of the U.S. Veterans Bureau (later Veteran's Administration) from 1923 to 1945. Hines took over as head of the Veterans Bureau after a series of scandals discredited the agency. He was considered a "man of stern honesty." In response to the scandals, the field service was "centralized to establish strict controls and accountability."[1]

Early life[edit]

Hines was born in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, on April 11, 1879, the son of Frank L. Hines and Martha J. Hines.[2] He graduated from high school in Salt Lake City in 1896, and worked at the mines in Mercur. He studied engineering at the Utah State Agricultural College for two years before deciding on a military career.

Military career[edit]

Major General George W. Goethals and members of his staff, December 7, 1918. Front row, left to right: Mr. Gerard Swope, Major General George W. Goethals, Brigadier General Herbert Lord, Brigadier General William H. Rose. Back row, left to right: Edwin W. Fullam, Brigadier General Frank T. Hines, Brigadier General Robert E. Wood, Colonel F. B. Wells.

He joined the Utah Light Artillery in 1898 and served in the United States military during the Spanish–American War, becoming a second lieutenant. He was a captain by World War I, was promoted three times in 1918, and as a brigadier general served as chief of the Embarkation Service with responsibility for transporting more than 2 million soldiers to Europe in 18 months and shipping them home in 8 months.[3][4][2]

He retired from the army in 1920[2] and became president of the Baltic Steamship Company. After leaving active duty, Hines was appointed a brigadier general in the Organized Reserve Corps. He held this rank as an active reservist until reaching the mandatory retirement age of 64 in 1943, when he became a member of the inactive reserve.

Political career[edit]

Hines served as the administrator of the Veterans Bureau from his appointment by President Harding in 1923 to 1930,[2] then as the first administrator of its successor, the Veteran's Administration, from 1930 to 1945, when President Truman replaced him with Gen. Omar Bradley.[5]

He opposed the payment of the Veterans Bonus to World War I veterans. On April 26, 1932, during the hearings on Payment of Adjusted-Compensation Certificates before the House Committee on Ways and Means he testified: that the trust fund had already been nearly exhausted by the previous year's act increasing the loan restriction on adjusted compensation accounts to 50%; that full payment now would cost the Government $1,600,000,000; and that in any case the accounts represented the only assets many veterans possessed, leaving nothing to families if the veteran should die. "We should make every possible effort to see that they get employment. There is no question about that. But whether we would be doing the veterans a real service by cashing in these certificates, even if we were in a position to do it, would seem to me very doubtful."[6]

He then served as United States Ambassador to Panama[2] and negotiated an agreement for the United States to lease bases there, where troops had been stationed during the war. The Panama Assembly rejected the agreement by a unanimous vote. Hines resigned in 1947, effective March 1, 1948, to become an executive with Acacia Life Insurance Company.[7]

Personal life and family[edit]

Hines was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).[8]

On October 4, 1900, he married Nellie M. Vier. They had two children: Viera and Frank.[2]

Death and legacy[edit]

Until shortly before his death he served as a director of Acacia Life. Hines died of pneumonia on April 3, 1960, in Mount Alto Veterans Hospital in Washington, D.C.[3] He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.[9]

Awards and honors[edit]

General Hines was a recipient of the Army Distinguished Service Medal as well as the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.[10]

He also received the Spanish War Service Medal and the World War I Victory Medal. His foreign decorations included the Czechoslovak War Cross, British Order of the Bath (Companion), Belgian Order of Leopold II (Grand Officer), French Legion of Honour (Officer), and Japanese Order of the Sacred Treasure (Second Class).[2]

Army Distinguished Service Medal citation[edit]

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Brigadier General Frank T. Hines, United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility during World War I, as Chief of Embarkation in organizing and administering the Embarkation Service.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 144 (1918)

Navy Distinguished Service Medal Citation[edit]

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Brigadier General Frank T. Hines, United States Army, for distinguished service in the line of his profession as Chief of Embarkation Service, War Department, Washington, D.C. General Hines acted in direct liaison with the Navy Department, and in addition personally co-operated with the Commander of the Cruiser and Transport Force in furthering the transportation of troops, and his zeal and ability greatly contributed to the successful operation.

Authority: The Navy Book of Distinguished Service (Harry Roy Stringer, 1921)

Dates of rank[edit]

No pin insignia in 1898 Enlisted, Utah Light Artillery: 9 May 1898
No pin insignia in 1899 Second lieutenant, Utah Light Artillery: 23 March 1899
Mustered out of service: 16 August 1899
No pin insignia in 1901 Second lieutenant, United States Army: 1 July 1901
First lieutenant, United States Army: 17 December 1904
Captain, United States Army: 4 December 1908
Major, Temporary: 5 August 1917
Lieutenant colonel, National Army: 11 February 1918
Colonel, National Army: 22 March 1918
Brigadier general, National Army: 18 April 1918
Brigadier general, Regular Army: 7 January 1920
Resigned on 31 August 1920.
Brigadier general, Officers Reserve Corps: 7 September 1920
Brigadier general, Retired List: 31 May 1944[11]


  1. ^ Kammerer, Gladys. 1948. "The Veterans Administration in Transition" Public Administration Review. Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 103-109.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Davis 1998, p. 180.
  3. ^ a b New York Times: "Brig Gen. Hines, Ex-V.A. Head Dies," April 5, 1960, accessed March 12, 2012
  4. ^ New York Times: "Brig Gen. Hines, Ex-V.A. Head Dies," June 1, 1919, accessed March 12, 2012
  5. ^ New York Times: Frank T. Hines, "Transporting the American Army", June 8, 1945, accessed March 12, 2012
  6. ^ Hearings on Payment of Adjusted-Compensation Certificates before the House Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, Seventy-Second Congress, First Session p. 553 HathiTrust Digital Library
  7. ^ New York Times: "Envoy to Panama Quits; Truman Voices Regret", February 12, 1948, accessed March 12, 2012
  8. ^ Robert C. Freeman, "Latter-day Saints in the World Wars", Out of Obscurity: The LDS Church in the Twentieth Century (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), 111
  9. ^ "Burial detail: Hines, Frank T". ANC Explorer. Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  10. ^ "Valor awards for Frank T. Hines".
  11. ^ Official Register of Commissioned Officers of the United States Army. 1920. pg. 434.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Director of the Veterans Bureau
Position abolished
New office Administrator of Veterans Affairs
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by United States Ambassador to Panama
Succeeded by