William H. Hay

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William H. Hay
William H. Hay (Major General).jpg
William H. Hay as commander of the 28th Division in World War I.
Nickname(s)"Dad"
Born(1860-07-16)July 16, 1860
Drifton, Florida
DiedDecember 17, 1946(1946-12-17) (aged 86)
New York City, New York
Place of burial
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1886–1922
RankMajor General
Commands held3rd Squadron, 3rd Cavalry
15th Cavalry Regiment
184th Infantry Brigade, 92nd Division
28th Division
Intermediate Service Section, Army Services of Supply
Camp Custer, Michigan
1st Cavalry Brigade
Battles/warsSpanish–American War
World War I
AwardsArmy Distinguished Service Medal
Croix de Guerre
Legion of Honor (Commander)
Order of the Black Star (Commander)
Order of Leopold (Commander).
Spouse(s)Edith Carman (1864–1958)
ChildrenThomas Robson (1888–1974)
William Wren (1890–1978)
Edward Northrup (1891–1958)
Richard Carman (1893–1930).
Other workConstruction supervisor, Camp Smith, New York

William H. Hay (July 16, 1860 – December 17, 1946) was a United States Army officer who attained the rank of Major General as the commander of the 28th Infantry Division in World War I.

Early life[edit]

William Henry Hay was born in Drifton, Florida on July 16, 1860.[1][2] His father, Turner Hay, was an Army veteran of the Seminole Wars, and served in Harney's Dragoons. Turner Hay also served in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, and took part in the battles at Olustee and Natural Bridge.[3][4]

William Hay graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1886,[5] and was a classmate of John J. Pershing.[6] Hay was 22 years old when admitted to West Point, older than all his classmates by several years. As a result, his fellow cadets referred to him as "Dad," the nickname by which he continued to be known.[7]

Start of Career[edit]

Hay was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, and served in Texas at Fort Davis, Fort Clark, and the Post at San Antonio. He then attended the School of Application for Infantry and Cavalry at Fort Leavenworth, after which he served with the 10th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Custer, Montana.[8]

Spanish–American War[edit]

During the Spanish–American War Hay was a temporary Captain in the United States Volunteers and detailed to the Quartermaster service. He spent four years in Cuba as Collector of Customs at Matanzas and deputy to Tasker Bliss, who was the head of the Cuban Customs Service.[9] Hay was fluent in Spanish, both spoken and written, which enabled him to effectively reorganize and administer the wharves, warehouses, and offices under his jurisdiction.[10]

Post-Spanish–American War[edit]

After the war Hay reverted to his permanent rank of First Lieutenant. From 1902 to 1905 Hay served throughout the Department of the Missouri with the 10th Cavalry.[11] From 1905 to 1909 he was Professor of Military Science at Pennsylvania State University.[12] He then served with the 10th Cavalry at Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont.[13]

Hay was an expert marksman and was on the U.S. Cavalry National Rifle Team for several years, including a period as the team captain.[14]

In 1913 Hay graduated from the Army War College, afterwards remaining on the faculty.[15] In 1914 and 1915 he was chief of staff of the Army's Southern Department and its Cavalry Division.[16]

In the years immediately preceding World War I Hay served with the 4th Cavalry, briefly commanded 3rd Squadron, 3rd Cavalry, and was then assigned to the 15th Cavalry in the Philippines. In July 1916 Hay was promoted to Colonel as commander of the 15th Cavalry.[17]

World War I[edit]

At the start of World War I Hay was promoted to temporary Brigadier General as commander of the 184th Infantry Brigade, a subordinate command of the 92nd Division, an organization of African-American soldiers and white officers. He led the brigade during combat in France, including combat in the Saint-Dié-des-Vosges area and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

As was the case with the 93rd Division, the 92nd fought primarily in French sectors, since American and British senior commanders did not want these segregated units fighting in proximity to organizations composed of white soldiers. Despite his success at leading black troops in combat, Hay expressed a low opinion of African-American soldiers, and argued against allowing them to attend officer training or serve in leadership roles.[18][19][20][21] In contrast to this opinion, Hay also praised African-American soldiers on other occasions, once writing "I have been with colored troops for 25 years, and I have never seen better soldiers than the drafted men who composed this division (The 92nd)."[22]

On October 26, 1918 Hay was promoted to temporary Major General and assigned to command of the 28th Division after Charles H. Muir was elevated to command of IV Corps. He continued to command the division until the end of the war in November, and remained in command until Muir again assumed command and the division returned to the United States in April, 1919.[23] From April to June, 1919 Hay commanded the Intermediate Section of the Army's Services of Supply, afterwards returning to the United States.[24]

Post-World War I[edit]

From June, 1919 to July, 1920 Hay was commander of Camp Custer, Michigan.[25] In July, 1920 he reverted to his permanent rank of Colonel and was assigned as Inspector General of the American Forces in Germany, with headquarters at Koblenz.[26]

In May, 1921 he was assigned as chief of staff of the American Forces in Germany, where he remained until his 1922 promotion to permanent Brigadier General and command of the 1st Cavalry Brigade at Camp Harry J. Jones, near Douglas, Arizona.[27][28]

In 1922 his wife and he sustained injuries in an automobile accident, which led to his retirement from the military in 1924.[29][30]

After a year convalescing from his injuries, from 1926 to 1939 Hay was Superintendent of Camp Smith, the New York National Guard's training site.[31]

In 1930 his two-star rank was restored when Congress passed legislation allowing general officers from World War I to retire at the highest they had held.[32]

Death and burial[edit]

Hay retired in 1939 and resided in New York City. He died in Glen Cove, New York on December 17, 1946 and was buried at the United States Military Academy Cemetery, Section 8K, Site 123.[33]

Awards[edit]

Hay's awards included the Army Distinguished Service Medal, French French Croix de Guerre, Legion of Honor (Commander) and Order of the Black Star (Commander), and Belgian Order of Leopold (Commander).[34]

Family[edit]

In 1887, Hay married Edith Carman (1864–1958). They were the parents of four sons: Thomas Robson (1888–1974); William Wren (1890–1980); Edward Northup (1891–1958); and Richard Carman (1893–1930).[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yearbook of the Pennsylvania Society. New York, NY: The Pennsylvania Society. 1919. p. 187.
  2. ^ "U.S. Passport Applications for William H. Hay". U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925. Ancestry.com. May 22, 1920. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  3. ^ "William H. Hay 1886". West Point Association of Graduates Memorials. West Point Association of Graduates. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  4. ^ "U.S. Passport Applications for William H. Hay". U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925. Ancestry.com. May 22, 1920. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  5. ^ Davis, Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 166. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151
  6. ^ Cullum, George W.; Robinson, Wirt (1920). Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy, Supplement, Volume VI-A. Saginaw, MI: Seemann & Peters. pp. 423, 433.
  7. ^ "William H. Hay 1886". West Point Association of Graduates Memorials. West Point Association of Graduates. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  8. ^ "William H. Hay 1886". West Point Association of Graduates Memorials. West Point Association of Graduates. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  9. ^ Cullum, George W. (1910). Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy, Supplement, Volume 5. Saginaw, MI: Seeman and Peters. p. 391.
  10. ^ "William H. Hay 1886". West Point Association of Graduates Memorials. West Point Association of Graduates. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  11. ^ "William H. Hay 1886". West Point Association of Graduates Memorials. West Point Association of Graduates. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  12. ^ Annual Report of the Pennsylvania State University: From July 1, 1908 to June 30, 1909. Harrisburg, PA: C. A. Aughinbaugh. 1909. p. 3.
  13. ^ "William H. Hay 1886". West Point Association of Graduates Memorials. West Point Association of Graduates. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  14. ^ Cullum, George W.; Robinson, Wirt (1920). Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy, Supplement, Volume VI-A. Saginaw, MI: Seemann & Peters. pp. 423, 433.
  15. ^ U. S. Army Register. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1914. p. 192.
  16. ^ Cullum, George W.; Robinson, Wirt (1920). Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy, Supplement, Volume VI-A. Saginaw, MI: Seemann & Peters. pp. 423, 433.
  17. ^ "William H. Hay 1886". West Point Association of Graduates Memorials. West Point Association of Graduates. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  18. ^ Clinton, Catherine (2000). The Black Soldier: 1492 to the Present. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin. p. 55. ISBN 9780395677223.
  19. ^ Astor, Gerald (2001). The Right to Fight: A History of African Americans in the Military. South Boston, MA: Da Capo Press. p. 126. ISBN 9780306810312.
  20. ^ Pennsylvania in the World War, Volume 1. Pittsburgh, PA: State Publications Society. 1921. p. 279.
  21. ^ Hart, Albert Bushnell (1920). Harper's Pictorial Library of the World War, Volume 5. New York, NY: Harper & Brothers. p. 278.
  22. ^ Scott, Emmett Jay (1919). Scott's Official History of the American Negro in the World War. Chicago, IL: Homewood Press. p. 283.
  23. ^ Venzon, Anne Cipriano (2012). The United States in the First World War: An Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Routledge. p. 641. ISBN 0-8153-3353-6.
  24. ^ Order of Battle of United States Land Forces in the World War, Volume 1 (reprint) (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History United States Army. 1988. p. 52.
  25. ^ "Gen. Hay to Camp Custer". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. July 16, 1919. p. 2.
  26. ^ Whitehorne, Joseph W. A. (2015). The Inspectors General of the United States Army, 1903-1939. North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing. p. 278. ISBN 978-1507661369.
  27. ^ "American Soldiers in Germany Promote Harmonious Methods". News-Star. Monroe, LA. Associated Press. January 10, 1922.
  28. ^ Clay, Steven A. (2010). US Army Order of Battle 1919–1941, Volume 2 (PDF). Combat Studies Institute Press, US Army Combined Arms Center: Fort Leavenworth, KS. p. 597.
  29. ^ Official Army Register for 1924. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1925. pp. 703, 788.
  30. ^ "Fort Bliss News". El Paso Herald. El Paso, TX. April 2, 1923. p. 10.
  31. ^ "General Hay resigns Camp Smith Post" (PDF). New York National Guardsman. New York, NY: National Guard of the State of New York: 11. September 1, 1939.
  32. ^ Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1950. p. 402.
  33. ^ "Rites Tomorrow for Gen. Hay, 86". Harrisburg (PA) Evening News. December 19, 1946. p. 23.
  34. ^ "William H. Hay 1886". West Point Association of Graduates Memorials. West Point Association of Graduates. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  35. ^ "William H. Hay 1886". West Point Association of Graduates Memorials. West Point Association of Graduates. Retrieved February 9, 2015.

External links[edit]