William Hood Simpson
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Historical records matching General William Hood Simpson
About William Hood Simpson
General William Hood Simpson (May 18, 1888 – August 15, 1980) was a distinguished U.S. Army officer who commanded the U.S. Ninth Army in northern Europe, during World War II, among other roles.
William Simpson was born May 18, 1888, at Weatherford, Texas. After graduating from the United States Military Academy in 1909, he was commissioned into the infantry. Before US involvement in World War I, Simpson served in the US and in the Philippines, including the Mexican Punitive Expedition, in 1916.
He was promoted to Captain in May 1917 and served with the 33rd Division throughout World War I, receiving temporary promotions to Major and Lieutenant Colonel and becoming divisional Chief-of-Staff.
In the inter-war years, 1919–1941, Simpson filled staff appointments and attended military schools, both as student and as instructor. From 1932 to 1936, he served as the Professor of Military Science at Pomona College in Claremont, California. In mid-1940, he was appointed to command the 9th Infantry at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Before US entry into World War II, he had commanded divisions and received promotion to temporary Major-General, taking 35th Division from Camp Robinson, Arkansas, to a training site in California.
Further promotions followed and in May, 1944, as a Lieutenant General, Simpson took his staff to Britain to organise the US 9th Army. This formation was activated as part of Omar Bradley's 12th Army Group, on September 5 at Brest, France. Brest was liberated on September 20.
The 9th Army joined the general advance and, after a month in the Ardennes the 9th was moved further north. In November, 1944 it broke through the Siegfried Line and advanced, in some of the heaviest fighting of the war, to the Roer River. At this point the advance stalled, due to the threat posed by dams upstream.
After the Battle of the Bulge, the 9th Army remained with Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery's 21st Army Group for the final attack into Germany.
As part of Operation Plunder, the Rhine was crossed on March 24, 1945, north of the Ruhr industrial area and on April 19 the 9th Army made contact with Courtney Hodges' US 1st Army, making complete encirclement of the Ruhr. On 4 April, it had reverted to Bradley's 12th Army Group.
The Ninth was the first American Army across the Elbe, on April 12.
Simpson returned to the US in June, 1945. He undertook a mission to China in July and subsequently commanded the U.S. Second Army at Memphis, Tennessee. He retired in November 1946 and, on July 19, 1954 he was promoted to General on the retired list by special Act of Congress (Public Law 83-508).
General William H Simpson died on August 15, 1980, and is buried alongside his wife in Arlington National Cemetery.