Hamilton -- Maj Pierpont M Hamilton

  • By

 

Pierpont Hamilton attended Harvard University earning BA and MA degrees. He entered military service in August 1917, attending the Aviation Ordnance School at Cornell University and flying schools at Hazelhurst Field, N.Y., and Ellington Field. Texas. He got his commission and wings in May 1918 and served as a flying instructor at Ellington for six months. He was relieved from active duty in December 1918.

Until March 1942, when he returned to active duty as a major, General Hamilton engaged in international banking in France, among other business pursuits. He was assigned to the Intelligence Section at Headquarters Air Force in Washington, D.C., and in June went to London to help plan air assaults on continental Europe and North Africa. He returned to Washington in September to discuss the plan for the North African assault with the Commanding General of the Western Task Force, and he became Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence of the task force assault on French Morocco.

On November 8, 1942, Major Hamilton helped bring about a cessation of hostilities in French Morocco, for which he earned the Medal of Honor. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in December 1942, and assigned as Intelligence Officer at Headquarters Allied Forces, Constantine, Algiers. He later became Operations and Intelligence Staff Officer for Headquarters North African Tactical AF.

He returned to HQ AF in March 1943, and was promoted to colonel in October In January 1944, General Hamilton became AF Member of the Joint Postwar Committee under the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In November 1945, he was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of War for Air and the next month was relieved from active duty.

Recalled in February 1947, he worked chiefly in plans and policy for the War Department General Staff and HQ USAF. He was promoted to brigadier general in December 1948. He served two-and-a-half years as Special Assistant. to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, at HQ USAF, and in May 1951, became Special Assistant for Foreign Military Affairs to the Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Wiesbaden, Germany. Six months later Hamilton was named Senior USAF representative with the Military Facilities Negotiating Group at Paris.

He returned to HQ USAF and was relieved from active duty March 31, 1952. However, he continued to perform many special active duty tours and on June 20, 1955, was promoted to major general.

His citation for the Medal of Honor reads, in part: "...On Nov. 8, 1942, near Port Lyautey, French Morocco, Major Hamilton volunteered to accompany Col. Demas T. Craw on a dangerous mission to the French commander designed to bring about a cessation of hostilities. Driven away from the mouth of the Sebou River by heavy shelling from all sides, the landing boat was finally beached at Mehdia Plage despite continuous machine-gun fire from three low-flying hostile planes. Driven in a light truck toward French headquarters, this courageous mission encountered intermittent firing and as it neared Port Lyautey a heavy burst of machine-gun fire was delivered upon the truck from pointblank range, killing Colonel Craw instantly. Although captured immediately after this incident Major Hamilton completed the mission.

See the
full citation at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society website.