|Born||20 Apr 1882|
|Died||12 Jan 1967|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseHolland McTyeire Smith was born in Seale, Alabama, United States. He graduated from Auburn University in 1901 and then received a law degree from the University of Alabama in 1903. He joined the United States Marine Corps as a second lieutenant on 20 Mar 1905. From Apr 1906 to Sep 1908 he served in the Philippines, then the next year was spent at Annapolis, Maryland, before shipping off to Panama. He continued his type of mobile military life throughout his early career. During WW1, he first served in France as the commander of the 8th Machine Gun Company, 5th Marines, then served in various staff roles. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre with palm by the French government. During the inter-war years he served in numerous posts within the United States and on the high seas.
ww2dbaseIn WW2, Smith's 1st Marine Brigade trained for amphibious landing at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba under his command. In Jun 1941, his reputation for landing effectiveness brought him the transfer to the Amphibious Force as its commander; this newly formed force included the 1st Marine Division (which included his former men of the 1st Marine Brigade), the 1st Army Division, and the 9th Army Division. In Aug 1942, after being transferred to San Diego, he took command of the Amphibious Corps of the Pacific Fleet. He trained the 7th Army Division in southern California before they shipped off to fight in the Aleutian Islands. As his unit was renamed the V Amphibious Corps, he was heavily involved in the planning for the Gilberts campaign. In Aug 1944 he was appointed Commanding General of the Fleet Marine Force of the Pacific while he retained the leadership role of the V Amphibious Corps. He played a critical role in the Battle of Iwo Jima as well. He returned to the United States in Jul 1945 to head up the Marine Training and Replacement Command at Camp Pendleton, California.
ww2dbaseSmith retired from the military at the rank of lieutenant general on 15 May 1946; he was subsequently promoted to full general status while on the retired list. He passed away at the United States Naval Hospital in San Diego, California, in 1967. He now rests in peace at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.
Last Major Revision: Feb 2006
Holland Smith Timeline
|20 Apr 1882||Holland Smith was born.|
|11 Jan 1940||The Fleet Landing Exercise No. 6 began in the Caribbean Sea, participated by US Navy and US Marine Corps personnel. The Marine participants were the 1st Marine Brigade and the 1st Marine Aircraft Group under the command of Brigadier General Holland M. Smith, taking part.|
|13 Jun 1941||US Marine Corps Major General Holland M. Smith relinquished command of the 1st Marine Division to become the commanding general of the I Corps (Provisional) attached to the US Navy Atlantic Fleet. The mixed Marine-Army corps was consisted of the 1st Marine Division and the 1st Infantry Division.|
|24 Aug 1942||The US Army assumed command of the Amphibious Corps of the Atlantic Fleet, which was previously under the command of the US Marine Corps. The previous commanding officer, USMC Major General Holland Smith, was named the chief of the Amphibious Training Staff of the Fleet Marine Force and was relocated to Quantico, Virginia, United States.|
|1 Oct 1942||The United States Marine Corps disbanded the Amphibious Training Staff, Fleet Marine Force in San Diego, California, United States; its personnel were reassigned to the headquarters of the Amphibious Corps, Pacific Fleet. On the same day, Major General Holland Smith relieved Major General Clayton Vogel as the commanding officer of the Amphibious Corps, Pacific Fleet with the title of Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, San Diego area. Vogel was transferred to the newly established I Marine Amphibious Corps as its commanding officer.|
|12 Jan 1967||Holland Smith passed away.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945