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Smith, Holland M

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General, USMC (1882-1967)

General Holland M. Smith, USMC (Retired), (1882-1967)

Holland McTyeire Smith was born on 20 April 1882 in Seale, Alabama. Appointed from that same state, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in April 1906. Completing the School of Application at Annapolis, Maryland, he received orders to the First Marine Brigade, serving in the Philippines. In 1908, he was promoted to First Lieutenant and served at various Marine Barracks until September 1912 when he returned to the Philippines with the First Marine Brigade. In 1914, he commanded the Marine Detachment on board USS Galveston. In the fall of 1915, he transferred to the Marine Barracks at New Orleans, Louisiana. In June 1916, he was promoted to Captain and departed for temporary duty in the Dominican Republic Campaign with the Fourth Marine Regiment. During World War I, he served as Adjutant of the Fifth Marine Brigade in France and with the First Army during the occupation of Germany. In June 1920, he was promoted to Major. Graduating from the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island, he served at various east-coast duty stations until reporting to Washington, D.C. at the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in the War and Plans Section. In this position, he was the first Marine to serve on a Joint Army-Navy Planning Committee.

In the spring of 1923, Smith became the Fleet Marine Officer first onboard USS Wyoming, then transferred to USS Arkansas. In February 1924, he joined the Marine Brigade in Haiti, serving as the Chief of Staff and Officer in Charge of Operations and Training. In August 1925, he became the Chief of Staff of the First Marine Brigade at Quantico, Virginia. Two years later, he was assigned as the Post Quartermaster at the Marine Barracks at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In July 1930, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In April 1931, he became the Aide to the Commander and Force Marine Office of the Battle Force, U.S. Fleet on board USS California. After this tour, he commanded the Marine Barracks at the Washington, D.C. In May 1934, he was promoted to Colonel. A year later, he became the Chief of Staff to the Department of the Pacific, serving two years before being assigned as the Director of the Division of Operations and Training at Headquarters, Marine Corps, later also serving as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. In August 1939, he was promoted to Brigadier General and assumed command of the First Marine Brigade. In June 1941, he helped create Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet, which provided initial training for the First Marines and the Ninth Army Division in amphibious warfare. In October 1941, he was promoted to Major General.

In August 1942, he commanded the Amphibious Corps, Pacific Fleet, training the Second and Third Marines, and the Seventh Army Division for amphibious operations in the Aleutian Islands. The Amphibious Corps was redesignated V Amphibious Corps a year later and relocated to Pearl Harbor. In November 1943, he helped plan the invasion of Tarawa and Gilbert Islands. In February 1944, he was promoted to Lieutenant General and participated in the invasion of Kwajalein. That summer, he began preparing for the invasions of Saipan, Guam and Tinian. At this time, he was designated Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, and subsequently commanded Task Force 56, planning the Marines for the Battle for Iwo Jima during February-March 1945. In July, he returned to the U.S. and led the Marine Training and Replacement Command, Camp Pendleton, California. On 15 May 1946, he retired and was promoted to General on the retired list that August. Holland M. Smith died on 12 January 1967 and is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California.

The U.S. Marine Corps Base, Camp H.M. Smith, the Headquarters of Marine Corps Pacific, located on Oahu, Hawaii, is named in honor of General Holland M. Smith.

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