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General John Hodge Is Dead

Nov. 12, 1963 - General John R. Hodge (pictured in 1946), a leader of the Pacific fighting in World War II, died today in Walter Reed Army Hospital. He was 70 years old. General Hodge, who retired in 1953, had made his home at Fayetteville, N.C. He will be buried with honors tomorrow at 3 p.m. at Arlington National Cemetery. Frequently called “the Patton of the Pacific” during World War II, General Hodge handled some of the Army’s most difficult assignments against the Japanese. He was assistant commander of the 25th Division, which relieved the Marines on Guadalcanal and consolidated the American hold on that island. General Hodge preferred to go close to the front lines to keep in touch with the action. As a result, he was wounded during a Japanese counterattack around the Bougainville airfields in the Solomon Islands. While on Leyte, he used to fly in a small observation plane almost daily over the Japanese lines. Although the plane was hit several times by enemy fire, General Hodge was never wounded. He received the Air Medal after the war for having participated in these reconnaissance missions. He was also a veteran of World War I, where he participated as a second lieutenant in action at St. Mihiel and in the Meuse-Argonne drive. Following World War II, General Hodge was named head of the occupation forces in South Korea. He served there until it became a republic in 1948. In addition to the Air Medal, General Hodge held the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Service Medal with two clusters, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, and the Purple Heart.


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