Major General Leland Stanford Hobbs (February 4, 1892 – March 6, 1966) was a decorated senior United States Army officer who commanded the 30th Infantry Division in Western Europe during World War II.
Early life and military career
Hobbs was born on February 4, 1892 in Gloucester, Massachusetts and was raised in New Jersey. In 1911 he attended the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York. He graduated four years later in June 1915, as part of the West Point class of 1915, also known as "the class the stars fell on", graduating alongside Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar N. Bradley, James A. Van Fleet, Henry Aurand, Roscoe B. Woodruff, Stafford LeRoy Irwin, John W. Leonard, Charles W. Ryder, Vernon Prichard and Paul J. Mueller. Like Hobbs, all of these men would later become general officers.
He was subsequently commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry Branch of United States Army and was assigned to the 12th Infantry Regiment, then stationed at Nogales, Arizona. He saw there his first action in the skirmishes with the Mexican bandits during the Pancho Villa Expedition.
He then saw service in California and Maryland, until, after the American entry into World War I, he was ordered to the Western Front with the 11th Infantry Division. However, the Armistice with Germany on November 11, 1918 was signed before the division saw any action. The division was ordered back to the United States and then deactivated at Camp Meade, Maryland. Hobbs was then assigned to the USMA, where he served as an assistant instructor of tactics until 1924.
Between the wars
In the interwar era, Hobbs had various assignments and also attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas or Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
In 1935, Hobbs was appointed quartermaster in the Fourth Corps area and in 1937, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Third U.S. Army under the command of Lieutenant General Stanley D. Embick.
At the beginning of the 1940, Hobbs was transferred to the Washington, D.C., where he was appointed the executive officer of the 3rd Infantry Regiment. He served in this capacity for a brief time and after his promotion to the temporary rank of colonel, he was made the commander of the regiment.
World War II
With the United States entry into World War II, Hobbs served as chief of staff of the Trinidad Base Command at Fort Read. In July 1942, seven months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hobbs, by now a brigadier general, was appointed as Commanding General (CG) of the 30th Infantry Division, a National Guard formation. The division was stationed at Camp Blanding, Florida. Hobbs, who would command the division for the rest of the war, succeeded Major General William Hood Simpson, who was appointed commander of XII Corps. In September he was promoted to major general.
In November 1943, Hobbs was transferred, together with his division, to Camp Atterbury, Indiana, where it continued in training for its deploying within European Theater of Operations (ETO). The 30th Infantry Division arrived in England on February 22, 1944, and trained until June of that year. Major General Hobbs landed in Normandy, France on Omaha Beach with his division on June 11, five days after the initial D-Day landings. The 30th Division fought in the Battle of Normandy and secured the Vire-et-Taute Canal, crossed the Vire River, July 7, and, beginning on July 25 spearheaded the St. Lô break-through, Operation Cobra.
Hobbs led the 30th Infantry Division in the Battle of Normandy, Mortain counteroffensive, the Battle of the Bulge, the Battle of Aachen and for the rest of the war. He was succeeded by Major General Albert C. Smith in September 1945. Major General Hobbs was highly decorated for his leadership of the 30th Division during World War II (see his ribbon bar below).
Hobbs was then transferred back to the United States, where he was appointed commanding general of Fort Dix, New Jersey and acting commanding general of Second Service Command in February 1946. He served in this capacity until October 1946, when he was assigned to the 2nd Armored Division as its commanding general, succeeding his West Point classmate, Major General John W. Leonard.
In August 1947, he was transferred to Fort McPherson, Georgia, where he was appointed the Deputy Commanding General of the Third United States Army, under the command of Lieutenant General Alvan C. Gillem.
At the beginning of 1949, he was transferred to Japan, where he took command of IX Corps at Camp Sendai. Hobbs performed regular occupation duties with his unit until August 1950, when he was replaced by General Frank W. Milburn.
His last military assignment was as Deputy Commanding General of the First Army, stationed at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York, under the command of Lieutenant General Willis D. Crittenberger.He retired from the army in 1953 and became vice president of the Colonial Trust Bank in New York City.
Major General Leland Stanford Hobbs died on March 6, 1966, at the age of 74, at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia. His wife Lucy Davis Hobbs (1892-1980) was also buried there.
Major General Hobbs´s ribbon bar:
|Combat Infantryman Badge|
|1st Row||Army Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster||Silver Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters|
|2nd Row||Legion of Merit||Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters||Army Commendation Medal||Mexican Service Medal|
|3rd Row||World War I Victory Medal||American Defense Service Medal with Base Clasp||American Campaign Medal||European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with five service stars|
|4th Row||World War II Victory Medal||Army of Occupation Medal||National Defense Service Medal||Officer of the Legion of Honor (France)|
|5th Row||French Croix de guerre 1939-1945 with Palm||Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau||Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940-1945 with Palm||Soviet Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class|