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First Name: William

Last Name: Hipps

Birthplace: Lumber City, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: G.

Date of Birth: 08 June 1912

Date of Death: 04 April 2007

Rank: Brigadier General

Years Served:
William G. Hipps

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


William G. Hipps
Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force

William G. Hipps was born on 8 June 1912 in Lumber City, PA. He spoke fondly of his years on the farm where he was reared. He was a good student and loved sports, especially baseball and football. After graduation from Curwensville High School, his aunt, Ethel Hipps, an Army Nurse stationed in Washington, DC, took him to the Nation's Capital.

Military Career

He served in the U.S. Army Reserves and studied at Millard Prep School to prepare for the entrance exams for the U.S. Military Academy. As a member of the USMA Class of 1937, he enjoyed the rigorous lifestyle of a Cadet, finding time for varsity sports, lettering with a "Major Army A" for varsity football. After graduation in 1937, he entered flight school, earned his pilot's wings, and was assigned to the Army Air Corps.

World War II

In 1941, he commanded the 16th Bombardment Squadron at Hunter Field in Savannah, GA. As hostilities with Japan grew imminent, he and 1,000 members of the 27th Bomb Group were assigned to the Philippines. They arrived shortly before Pearl Harbor and the carefully timed simultaneous Japanese attack on the Philippines. He was assigned to Douglas MacArthur's staff, escaping the Philippines shortly before the Japanese takeover. In early 1942, he planned and led a surprise raid from Australia back to the Philippines to disrupt the Japanese advance in the South Pacific. The raid was successful. It took place almost simultaneously with Lieutenant Colonel Doolittle's raid on Tokyo and caused much concern among the Japanese General Staff regarding the strength, capability and timing of America's impending response.

After combat assignments in Java and New Guinea, Hipps was ordered back to the U.S. in December 1942 to join General George Marshall's General Staff to plan and oversee execution of Air Operations in the Pacific.

At his request, he was reassigned to combat operations in the Pacific in 1944 as the Pacific Theater Air Executive Officer. He participated in invasion of the Philippines and fulfilled a deep passion to locate and help liberate the Prisoners of War brutally held by the Japanese in the Philippines. These prisoners included many of his fellow West Point alumni and members of his original command, captured by the Japanese on Bataan and Corregidor.

As head of operations for the air warfare for the Pacific Theater, he proceeded through the ensuing Pacific campaign in the Philippines, China, Okinawa and Japan. Upon the unconditional surrender of the Imperial Japanese forces, he set in motion "Operation Blacklist" to quickly airlift American forces into Tokyo for the rapid takeover of Japan. Precise execution of this plan allowed American forces to rapidly take control of the Japanese governmental and military infrastructure. The speed and effectiveness of putting U.S. forces in visible presence on the Tokyo plain, quelled plans by radical forces within the Imperial Japanese home defense forces to execute a coup d'├ętat attempting to negate the Emperor's surrender.

Hipps returned from Japan to Washington, DC, in 1946. In the summer of 1946, he married Juanita Redmond, a Lt. Colonel and head of the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps (Honoree Record ID 2636). They had met earlier seeking shelter during a Japanese air raid in the Philippines in late 1941. Juanita was the author of "I Served on Bataan"(New York: J.B. Lippincott Company), a best-selling book in 1943 that was the basis for the motion picture "So Proudly We Hail."

Post-World War II

In 1949, while Hipps was assigned as a Professor at the Air War College in Montgomery, AL, his and Juanita's son, William Jr., was born.

After the war, he served in a variety of critical positions including: Plans Officer for Development and Deployment of the Strategic Air Command; Executive Officer to the Secretary of the Air Force during the Korean War; Commander of 313th Air Division in Okinawa (Japan); Deputy Inspector General of the Air Force; Director of Logistics for the Tactical Air Command; and Director of Operations for the Air Force Logistics Command during the intense ramp-up of the Vietnam War. Brigadier General Hipps retired in 1967 after 32 years of service.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)
Legions of Merit (5 Awards)
Bronze Star Medal (2 Awards)
Purple Heart
Air Medal
Commendation Medal (3 Awards)

In Retirement

After his Air Force career, Hipps worked for Philco Ford for 10 years. He finally retired for good in 1977, settling in St. Petersburg, FL, to "improve his golf game." He remained an avid sportsman until the end. On his 91st birthday he will be remembered for shooting a 90 on the golf course.

On 25 February 1979, his wife, Juanita Redmond Hipps, died after 32 years of marriage. Juanita is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. After her death, Hipps occupied himself working on a national memorial recognizing the men and women who were incarcerated in the Japanese POW camps in the Philippines. This memorial was dedicated in 1984 at the site of the infamous Cabanatuan prison camp. Another memorial championed by Hipps, is in place at West Point dedicated to the 179 graduates of the Academy who died in the Philippine Campaign. This is the largest loss of West Point graduates in any single military campaign.

Late in 1979, Bill Hipps was lucky to meet Jean Lineawever who became the second love of his life. They were married in St. Petersburg, FL, on 17 May 1980.

At the time of his death, he and Jean were approaching their anniversary of 27 happy and devoted years of marriage. During their years together, they traveled extensively: returning to Asia, visiting his brother Bob in France and exploring new adventures around the world. He often commented that "I'd never have lived this long without Jeanie." Those who knew him would attest that he may well have been correct. Until the increasing burdens of Alzheimer's disease overtook him two years before his death, Bill Hipps lived an exceptionally active life.

Death and Burial

Brigadier General William G. Hipps died on 4 April 2007 at the Veterans Home Care Unit in Orlando, FL. He was 94 and died of causes relating to old military disabilities and a battle with Alzheimer's. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Hipps was survived by his loving family: wife, Jean J. Hipps of Melbourne, FL; son, William Hipps Jr.; daughter-in-law, Susan; and two grown grandchildren, William III and Abigail, all of San Francisco, CA; and his God-son, Andrew Ulmer, of Walterboro, SC; his brothers, Dick Peterman of Luthersberg and Tom Peterman of Spartanburg, SC; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his mother, Martha H. Peterman; brother, Bob Peterman; and sisters, Jane Polkinghorn, Doris Ammerman and Ruth Vazalis.

Honoree ID: 2637   Created by: MHOH




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