Hittle, James Donald, BGen

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Last Rank
Brigadier General
Last Primary MOS
9910-Billet Designator-Unrestricted Officer
Last MOSGroup
Specific Billet MOS
Primary Unit
1958-1960, Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD)
Service Years
1937 - 1960

Brigadier General


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This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cpl David R. Evans (D.R.) to remember Marine BGen James Donald Hittle.

If you knew or served with this Marine and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Bear Lake

Date of Passing
Jun 15, 2002
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Brigadier General James Donald Hittle, who served as Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, in the Office of Legislative Affairs, in the early 1960s, died on June 15, 2002 in Arlington, Virginia.

General Hittle was born June 10, 1915, at Bear Lake, Michigan, and graduated from high school in East Lansing, Michigan, in 1933. In 1937 he graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree; and in 1952, while stationed with the Naval ROTC Unit at the University of Utah, he earned his Master?s degree in Oriental History and Geography. He was commissioned a Marine Second Lieutenant on July 28, 1937.

After completing Basic School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Lieutenant Hittle began a year of sea duty with the Marine Detachment on board the USS PORTLAND in June 1938. Following this he served at Quantico, Virginia, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with the 1st Marine Brigade. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in September 1940. In April 1941, he joined the Marine Detachment on board the USS WASHINGTON, and the following February was promoted to Captain.

Captain Hittle commanded the WASHINGTON?s Marine Detachment while the ship was taking part in Arctic operations under the British Home Fleet until July 1942. He was promoted to Major in August 1942, and entered the Division Officers? Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. On completing the course in October 1942, Major Hittle returned to Quantico to serve two years as an instructor at Marine Corps Schools. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in May 1944.

In November 1944, Lieutenant Colonel Hittle was assigned to the 3d Marine Division on Guam as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, Logistics. For outstanding service in this capacity on Iwo Jima, from February to September 1945, he was awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat ?V?. Sailing from Guam to Tientsin in December 1945, he commanded the 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, during the occupation of Northern China.

On his return to the United States in July 1946, Lieutenant Colonel Hittle was stationed at Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, as Secretary of the Academic Board. In June 1949, he was transferred to Salt Lake City where he served three years as Executive Officer of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps unit at the University of Utah. While there, he was promoted to Colonel in November 1951.

Assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps in June 1952, Colonel Hittle served as Legislative Assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, through January 1960. He served in this capacity under General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., General Randolph McC. Pate, and General David M. Shoup, respectively. He assumed his duties in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in February 1960.

General Hittle was placed on the retired list March 1, 1958, and was immediately recalled to active duty. He was advanced to Brigadier General on the retired list that same date, having been specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat.

The general?s medals and decorations include: the Legion of Merit with Combat ?V?; the Purple Heart; the Presidential Unit Citation, the American Defense Service Medal with Base clasp?; the European-Africian-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one bronze star; the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one bronze star, the World War II Victory Medal, the China Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

The author of numerous articles on the art of war and general staff development, he also wrote the book, ?The Military Staff?Its History and Development?, and edited and prepared a condensed version of Baron Henri Jomini?s text, ?Jomini and His Summary of the Art of War?.
Other Comments:
Brigadier General James Donald Hittle, USMC
Born in Bear Lake, Michigan June 10, 1915
Died June 15, 2002

Son of Harry F and Margaret Jane (McArthur) Hittle.
Married Edna Jane Smith December 9, 1939 (Deceased 1969)
Children: Harry McArthur, James Richard
Married: Patricia Ann Herring September 5, 1970

Second Lieutenant 1937
First Lieutenant 1940
Captain 1942
Major 1942
Lieutenant Colonel 1944
Colonel 1951
Brigadier General 1958

Student, The Basic School 1937-38
Served with USS. Portland 1938-.
Served with 1st Marine Brigade -41
Served with USS. Washington 1941-42
Instructor, USMC Schools 1942-44

Assistant Chief of Staff G-4 (Supply), 3rd Marine Division
1945 Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment
1946 Secretary of Academic Board, USMC Schools
1946-49 Executive Officer, Naval ROTC, University of Utah
1949-52 Legislative Assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps
1952-58 Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Legislative Affairs)
1958-60. Retired 1960

Director of National Security & Foreign Affairs, VFW 1960-67
Director, DISC Inc. 1960-67
Syndicated columnist, Copley News Service 1964-69
Military commentator, MBS 1964-69
Founder & Director, D.C. National Bank 1965-69
Special Counsel Senate Armed Services Committee 1968-69
Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower) 1969-71
Senior Vice President (Government Affairs) Pan Am World Airways 1971-73 Consultant to Administrator of VA 1973-77
Consultant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps 1979-81
Consultant to the Secretary of the Navy 1981-82
Counselor to the Secretary of the Navy 1982-87 The Military Staff, Its History and Development
by James Donald Hittle, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC

Written during the Second World War by then-Lieutenant Colonel J.D. Hittle, USMC, this work presents an American-spin on the history and evolution of what is commonly called "the General Staff" in Prussia/Germany, France, Great Britain, the United States, and Russia up to the end of the 1940s.

Hittle is also the author of Jomini and his Summary of the Art of War: A Condensed Version, in which he noted that Civil War generals went into battle with a sword in one hand and Jomini's Summary of the Art of War in the other.

J.D. Hittle joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1937. In May, 1941 he reported aboard the USS Washington at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The Washington was assigned to be part of British Home Fleet, based at Scapa Flow in the Orkneys. With the duty platoon from the Washington, he would put down mutiny on SS Ironclad when the Washington sailed as covering force for PO 17 and the SS Ironclad was in convoy.

Later he participated in operations in Guam and was G-4 for the 3rd Marine Division on Iwo Jima. As a Lieutenant Colonel, after the war, Hittle was temporarily assigned to the staff of the House Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments while it was drafting the legislation that would create the new Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In that position, Hittle's influence with committee members is credited with helping guarantee the independence of Marine Corps aviation in the face of Air Force pressure to be the sole air arm among other successes for the Navy and Marine Corps.

After his active Marine Corps service, Hittle was for eight years Director, National Security and Foreign Affairs for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Having written his first article on The Basic School, published in the June 1938 Marine Corps Gazette, he became a columnist for Navy Times during the 1960s and '70s, served as correspondent for the Mutual Broadcasting System, and was a columnist for Copley Newspapers. He served as director and founder of the D.C. National Bank and as a Senior Vice President of Pan American World Airways.

His decorations and medals include the Purple Heart, Legion of Merit with combat V for Valor, Murmansk Commemoration, North China Medal, Asiatic-Pacific, North American and Atlantic, EAMF, two awards City of Paris (Gold and Silver). J.D. Hittle died on June 15, 2002 and was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Edna Jane Hittle (1917-1969) is buried with him.

VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 04/01/1944 - 03/03/1960
DATE OF BIRTH: 06/10/1915
DATE OF DEATH: 06/15/2002
BURIED AT: SECTION 4 SITE 8 - Alrington National Cemetery
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  1945-1946, 2nd Bn, 7th Marine Regiment (2/7)

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2nd Bn, 7th Marine Regiment (2/7) Unit Page
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United States
 2nd Bn, 7th Marine Regiment (2/7) Details

2nd Bn, 7th Marine Regiment (2/7)
Second Battalion Seventh Marines is garrisoned on board the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at 29 Palms, CA. 2d Battalion, 7th Marines activated 01 January 1941 at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as the 2d battalion, 7th Marines and was assigned to the 1st Marine Brigade, Fleet Marine Force. It was reassigned during February 1941 to the 1st Marine Division, and relocated during April 1941 to Paris Island, South Carolina, and relocated during September 1941 to New River, North Carolina. The Battalion was attached during March 1942 to the 3rd Marine Brigade, and deployed during April 1942 to Samoa. It was detached during August 1942 from the 3rd Marine Brigade and reassigned to the 1st Marine Division. It participated in the following World War II campaigns: Guadalcanal; Eastern New Guinea; New Britain; Peleliu; and Okinawa. It participated in the occupation of North China, September 1945 - January 1947. The unit relocated during January 1947 to Camp Pendleton, and deactivated 26 February 1947.

The Battalion was reactivated 17 August 1950 at Camp Pendleton, California, and assigned to the 1st Marine Division. It deployed during September 1950 to the Republic of Korea and participated in the Korean War from September 1950 through July 1953, operating from Inchon-Seoul, Chosin Reservoir, East Central Front, and Western Front. It participated in the defense of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, July 1953 - March 1955, and relocated during March 1955 to Camp Pendleton.

It deployed during June 1965 to Camp Schwab, Okinawa, and participated in the War in Vietnam, July 1965 - October 1970, operating from Qui Nhon, Chu Lai, Dai Nang, Dai Loc and An Hoa.

The Battalion relocated during October 1970 to Camp Pendleton, and was reassigned to the 5th Marine Amphibious Brigade. Reassigned during April 1971 to the 1st Marine Division, it participated in the battalion rotation between the 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa and divisions stationed in the United States during the 1980s. It relocated during January 1990 to Twenty-nine Palms, California, and participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Southwest Asia, August 1990 - March 1991, and relocated during March 1991 to Twenty-nine Palms, California.

The battalion continued to participate in the rotation between 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa and divisions stationed in the United States from March 1991 - June 2005. From July 2005 - January 2006 and January 2007 - August 2007, the battalion was assigned to Regimental Combat Team 6 and participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom, operating around the Fallujah area. Upon returning to Twenty-Nine Palms, California the battalion started predeployment workup for another tour. In April 2008, the battalion deployed to Afghanistan to participate in Operation Enduring Freedom.

From April 2008 to November 2008 the Battalion deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 08 and was assigned to Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan, and later to the Special Purpose MAGTF - Afghanistan. Operating from locations in Northern Helmand and Eastern Farah Provinces, the Battalion engaged in heavy fighting with insurgent forces while conducting full-spectrum COIN with a focus on development of the Afghan National Police.

The Battalion deployed to Okinawa, Japan in support of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) from January to July of 2010.  During this deployment the Battalion participated in Operation Cobra Gold 2010 and Operation Balikatan 2010 in the countries of Thailand and Republic of the Philippines.  The Battalion again deployed to Okinawa, Japan in support of the 31st MEU from June to December of 2011.  During this deployment the Battalion participated in Talisman Saber 2011 and PHIBLEX 2011 in the countries of Australia and Republic of the Philippines.
Ground Unit
Parent Unit
7th Marine Regiment
Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: Apr 30, 2008
Memories For This Unit

Chain of Command
commanded the 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, during the occupation of Northern China

My Photos For This Unit
No Available Photos
31 Members Also There at Same Time
2nd Bn, 7th Marine Regiment (2/7)

Ditta, Louis, Col, (1941-1963) Colonel
Hill, Earl Ray, PFC, (1945-1948) Private 1st Class
Ruvolo, Peter, PFC, (1944-1946) 521 Private 1st Class
Sessa, Joseph, PFC, (1944-1946) 521 Private 1st Class
Owens, Thurman, BGen, (1943-1977) 3 0302 First Lieutenant
Mason, Quintin, 2ndLt, (1942-1945) OF 1542 Second Lieutenant
Bradshaw, Gordon Thomas, SSgt, (1941-1945) 6 0621 Staff Sergeant
Freeman, Robert, Cpl, (1942-1946) 3 Corporal
HILL, ORVAL, Cpl, (1942-1946) 3 0300 Corporal
Sheehan, Eugene J, Cpl, (1943-1946) OF 746 Corporal
Maurice, William, PFC, (1945-1946) OF 379 Private 1st Class
Poore, William, PFC, (1944-1946) 3 0311 Private 1st Class
Ruvolo, Peter, PFC, (1944-1946) 3 0311 Private 1st Class
Sessa, Joseph, PFC, (1944-1946) 3 0311 Private 1st Class
Smith, Darrell Otto, 2ndLt, (1944-1952) 3 0311 Private 1st Class
Mackechnie, Manuel S, Pvt, (1944-1945) 3 Private
Mendelsohn, David Charles, Sgt, (1946-1950) Private 1st Class
E Co

Addis, Gordon, SSgt, (1946-1953) Private
Ellis, William Albert, PFC, (1943-1945) 3 0311 Private 1st Class
Boxley, Otto Newberry, Pvt, (1944-1945) OF 745 Private
Imhoff, Harry Nichols, Pvt, (1944-1945) 3 0311 Private
Poore, William, PFC, (1944-1946) 3 0311 Private
Smith, Donald Nathaniel, Pvt, (1944-1945) 3 0311 Private
Carroll, Daniel, Maj, (1936-1958) Major
F Co

Conn, Willard, PFC, (1943-1945) Private 1st Class
Fisher, John Hall, PFC, (1943-1945) 3 0311 Private 1st Class
McCarthy, Lloyd Keith, Pvt, (1944-1945) OF 746 Private
G Co

Addis, Gordon, SSgt, (1946-1953) Private 1st Class
Fain, Charles Francis, Cpl, (1942-1945) OF 746 Corporal
Runde, Marty, Cpl, (1984-1988) 3 0311 Corporal
Vayda, Alexander Vincent, Cpl, (1941-1946) OF 653 Corporal
H&S Co

Wynne, Don, Cpl, (1941-1945) OF 521 Corporal
Battige, Melvin, Cpl, (1943-1946) 55 5500 Private 1st Class
Bednarz, Gene, PFC, (1943-1946) OF 776 Private 1st Class
Allen, Jasper Wayne, Pvt, (1944-1945) 3 0311 Private

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