Philip De Witt Ginder

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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
Died November 7, 1968(1968-11-07) (aged 63)
Danbury, Connecticut
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Army seal United States Army
Years of service 1927–1963
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Service number 0-16904
Commands held Fifth United States Army
45th Infantry Division
10th Mountain Division
Wars World War II
Korean War
Cold War
Awards Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Relations Jean Dalrymple (Wife)

Philip De Witt Ginder (September 19, 1905 - November 7, 1968) was an American career, highly decorated soldier who rose to the rank of Major General during the Korean War, while commanding 45th Infantry "Thunderbird" Division. He was also a recicipent of the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest military award that can be given to a member of the United States Army for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force.


He was born on September 19, 1905 in Plainfield, New Jersey as the son of Grant Ginder. Ginder attended the United States Military Academy and graduated in summer 1927.[1]

During World War II, Ginder was among the first ashore during the Normandy Landings on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Appointed to command the 357th Infantry Regiment, a unit of the 90th Infantry Division, Ginder developed a reputation for subpar performance, with observers and subordinates calling Ginder "obtuse" and "full of boasting and posturing." 357th veteran William E. DePuy called Ginder "as close to being incompetent as it is possible to be."[2] Ginder was ultimately relieved of command during combat and escorted to the division command post under armed guard.[3]

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.[4][5] It was for this action that he received the Distinguished Service Cross for actions on November 28, 1944, when he led his reserve company in an attack against the heavily defended town of Hürtgen, armed only with his pistol and a hand grenade, and led his troops through the town in bitter house-to-house fighting.[4][6]

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.[5]

From 1946 to 1949 Ginder attended the National War College.[5] He also served in the Far East on the staff of General Douglas MacArthur.[4]

Before retiring from the Army with the rank of Major General in 1963, Ginder commanded the 6th Infantry Regiment (United States), Berlin (1951-1952), the 45th Infantry Division (United States), Korea (1953), the 37th Infantry Division (United States), Fort Riley (1954), 10th Mountain Division (1954-1955) and Fifth United States Army (1955).[5] 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.[4] His service in Korea included nearly 18 months spent north of the 38th parallel.[4]

Ginder was married to Jean Dalrymple, the head of the City Center Drama and Light Opera Companies, whom he met in 1951 while she organized United States participation at the Berlin Arts Festival on behalf of the United States Department of State. The couple had an apartment at 150 West 55th Street and in Danbury, Connecticut.[4]

Ginder died at age 63 on November 7, 1968 in Trafalgar Hospital after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.[4]


Here is the ribbon bar of Major General Philip De Witt Ginder:[7][8]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Fourragère CG.png
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Combat Infantryman Badge
1st Row Distinguished Service Cross
2nd Row Army Distinguished Service Medal Silver Star Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters
3rd Row Purple Heart American Defense Service Medal American Campaign Medal European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four service stars and Arrowhead device
4th Row World War II Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal National Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster Korean Service Medal with two service stars
5th Row French Legion of Honour, Grade Officer French Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 with Palm Czechoslovakian Order of the White Lion, 2nd Class Czechoslovak War Cross 1939-1945
6th Row Philippine Legion of Honor Korean Order of Military Merit, 3rd Class Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class United Nations Korea Medal
Presidential Unit Citation Korean Presidential Unit Citation


  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ McManus, John C. (2004). The Americans at Normandy: The Summer of 1944--The American War from the Normandy Beaches to Falaise. New York, NY: Tom Doherty Associates LLC. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-765-31200-6. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Staff. "Gen. Philip Ginder Dead at 63; Division Leader in Korean War", The New York Times, November 8, 1968. Accessed January 13, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d GINDER, PHILIP DE WITT: Papers, 1927-1968, Eisenhower Presidential Center, dated July 12, 1973. Accessed January 13, 2009.
  6. ^ Full Text Citations For Award of The Distinguished Service Cross:U.S. Army Recipients - WWII letter G, Accessed January 13, 2009.
  7. ^ "Hall of Valor". Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "". Retrieved 9 October 2014. 

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