Guide to the Franklin A. Hart Papers, RG 025

Listed by: Dieter C. Ullrich
Date: June 2003

Date Span:

0.6 cubic feet; 1500 items

Number of Boxes:
2 Letter Doc Boxes

Historical or Biographical Sketch:
Lieutenant General Franklin Augustus Hart, whose long and colorful military career dates back to service with the National Guard on the Mexican border in 1916. He served for more than 37 years as a Marine Corps officer and had served in both World Wars and on expeditionary duty in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Haiti.

He served in England with the staff of Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten when the United States entered World War 11 and was specially commended by the admiral for his part in the Dieppe operation of July, 1942.

Later, while commanding the 24th Marines Regimental Combat Team in the Pacific theater, he won the Navy Cross at Kwajalein and the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" at Saipan and Tinian. He then served as assistant commander of the 4th Marine Division at Iwo Jima winning the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" in that capacity. He was awarded the Navy Cross citation, for heroism at Roi-Namur on February 1 and 2, 1944.

The general was born on September 16 1894, at Cuthbert, Georgia, and was a resident of Eufalfa, Alabama. While attending Alabama Polytechnic Institute at Auburn he was A member of the varsity football, track and soccer teams. He graduated in 1915 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering and the following year served with the National Guard on the Mexican border during the Pancho Villa disturbances.

General Hart was commissioned a Marine second lieutenant on April 6, 1917 and during World War I he served on sea duty from August 1917, to September, 1918, as commander of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Vermont. He arrived in France a few weeks before the end of the war, and after commanding a company with the Machine Gun-Battalion, 5th Marine Brigade, he was assigned to duty with the U. S. Army. He returned to the United States in August 1919, and after serving briefly at Quantico, Virginia, he sailed for the Dominican Republic in October, 1919. There he was District Commander of the city of Santo Domingo (now Ciudad Trujillo).

Returning from the Dominican Republic in November, 1921,the general was stationed at Quantico and the Marine Barracks at Washington, D.C., before entering the Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia in October, 1923. He graduated in May, 1924, and for the next two years was an instructor in the Marine Corps Basic School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. He then served another tour of sea duty from June, 1926, to July 1928, commanding the Marine Detachments aboard the USS Seattle, the USS Milwaukee and the USS Rochester, He commanded the Milwaukee's detachment ashore in Nicaragua from February to June, 1927, and the Rochester's detachment in that country from February to July, 1928. He returned to the United States in August, 1928.

In August, 1930, after service at Norfolk, Virginis, and duty as an instructor in the Company Officers' Course at Quantico, General Hart began a four-year tour of duty in Haiti. There, he was a company and district commander with the Constabulary Detachment of the Garde d'Haiti until May, 1933, when he was named Assistant Chief of Staff of the Garde d' Haiti. He returned to the United States in August, 1934, and after completing the Senior Course in the Marine Corps Schools, at Quantico, he reported to Marine Corps Headquarters at Washington, in June, 1935. At Headquarters during the next three years, he served in the War Plans Section of the Division of Operations and Training, later becoming officer in charge Of that section.

The general entered the Army War College at Washington in August, 1938. He graduated in June, 1939, and was ordered to the Marine Corps Base at San Diego, California, where he was Chief of the Planning Section and a battalion commander with the 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division. He served in the latter capacity until May, 1941. The following month he reported to the American Embassy in London as Assistant Naval Attache. That September he was made a Special Naval Observer with ad- ditional duty as an instructor in amphibious warfare on the staff of Admiral Mountbatten, Chief of Combined Operations (British). He was promoted to colonel a week before the United States entered World War II, and in October, 1942 he returned to the United States for duty as Chief of the Future Plans Section on the Staff of the Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Fleet.

From Washington, General Hart was ordered to Camp Pendleton, California, where he took command of the 24th Marines in June, 1943. With that regiment which was part of the 4th Marine Division, he sailed for the Pacific theater in January, 1944. Upon his promotion to brigadier general in August, 1944, he became Assistant Commander of the 4th Marine Division. He served in that capacity until September 1945 when he returned to Washington for duty at Marine Corps Headquarters.

During the next year the general served successively at Headquarters as Director of Reserve, Director of Public Information and Director of Personnel. He was named Commanding General of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina, in October, 1946. Two months later he was promoted to major general. He remained at Parris Island until he was named Commanding General of the 2nd Marine Division and the Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in January, 1948.

In July, 1950, General Hart was named Commandant of the Marine Corps Schools at Quantico. He was promoted to lieutenant general the following February and in January, 1952.

In addition to the Navy Cross, the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star Medal, the general's medals and decorations include the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon with one bronze star; the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon; the Mexican Border Service Medal; the World War I Victory Medal with Atlantic Fleet Clasp and Maltese Cross; the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal with two bronze stars the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal; the American Defense Service Medal with Base clasp; the American Area Campaign Medal; the European-African-Middle Eastern Area Campaign Medal with one bronze star; the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal with three bronze stars- the World War 11 Victory Medal- the National Defense Service' Medal; the Haitian Order of HO'nor and Merit; the Haitian Distinguished Service Medal and the Haitian Brevet of Merit with Diploma.

His honors also include an LLD degree presented to him by his alma mater in June, 1953.

Biographical Timeline:
September 16, 1894-- Born at Cuthbert., Georgia. Moved with family to Eufaula, Alabama at very early age.
1915-- Graduated from the Alabama Polytechnic Institute
April 6. 1917-- Appointed a Second Lieutenant in USMC, four months later appointed to the rank of First Lieutenant.
October, 1917-- Promoted to the rank of Captain.
September., 1918--m Transferred from sea duty where had been Commanding Officer of Marine Detachment aboard the USS Vermont.
October, 1918-- Sailed for France as Commanding Officer, Company "B", Machine Battalion, Fifth Brigade, Camp Pontanagen, Brest, France.
July, 1919-- Returned to United States, assigned Marine Barracks, Quantico., Va.
September, 1919-- District Commander of Santo Domingo City Now Trujillo City), duty with Guardia Nacional Dominicana.
December, 1921-- Commanding Officer, 77th Machine Gun Company, Second Battalion, 5th Marines, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Va.
October, 1920-- Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. as Adjutant
October, 1923-- Student at Army Infantry School, Ft. Benning, Georgia.
May, 1924-- Marine Barracks, Philadephial Instructor, at Marine Corps Basic School.
June, 1926-- Command of Marine Detachment aboard USS Seattle.
January, 1927-- Command of Marine detachment aboard the USS Rochester.
February, 1927-- Command of Marine Detachment aboard USS Milwaukee During this duty he served ashore with a landing force in Nicaragua, negotiating the Surrender of rebel General Francisco Cabullo.
June, 1927-- Commander Marine detachment aboard USS Rochester. During latter part of touragian ashore in Nacaragua
August, 1928-- Marine Barracks, Norfolk. Marine barracks Quantico, as instructor at Company Officers Courses Marine Corps School.
August, 1930-- Company Commander and district commander with Constabulary Detachment, Garde d'Haiti, Gonaieves, Haiti,
Mays 1933-- Named Assistant Chief of Staff Garde d'Haitio headquarters, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
July, 1934-- Senior course, Marine Corps School at Quantico as a student. Promoted to the rank of Major.
June, 1935-- Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D. C., in War Plans Section, Division of Operations and Training.
July, 1936-- Appointed as Lt. Colonel
October., 1937-- Made Officer in Charge, War Plans Section
September, 1938-- Army War College, Washington, D. C.
June., 1939-- Chief of Planning Section, Marine Corps Base, San Diego, California.
July, 1940-- Commanding Officer., First Battalion, Eight Marines, 2nd Mar. Div.
June, 1941-- Member of a special planning staff and attached to the American Embassy in London as Assistant Naval Attache.
September, 1941-- Special Naval Observer and additional duty on staff of Chiefs Combined Operations (British) as instructor in amphibious warfare,
December, 1941-- Appointed to the rank of Colonel
July, 1942-- Participated in the Dieppe Operation, receiving special commendation by Lord Louis Mountbatten.
October, 1942-- Member of the Staff of the Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Fleet., Navy Department, Washington., D. C., as Chief of Future Plans Section.
June, 1943-- Command 24th Marine Regiment, Fourth Marine Division. During this time led the Regiment in the attack on Roi-Namur, Kwajalein Atoil, Marshall Islands. (Awarded the Navy Cross), Saipan and Tinian, Marianas Islands (Legion of Merit)
August 1944-- Appointed a Brigadier General-- Served as Assistant Division Commander of 4th Marine Divison, Includes Iwa Jima action (Bronze Star)
September, 1945-- Director, Division of Reserve, Headquarters Marine Corps., Washington, D. C.
January, 1946-- Director, Division of Public Information
June, 1946-- Represented the U. S. Marine Corps at His Majesty's Victory Celebration, London, England
July, 1946-- Director of Personnel
October, 1946-- Marine Corps Recruit Depoto Paris Island, as Commanding General of Post
December, 1946-- Appointed a Major General
January, 1948-- Commanding General, Marine Barracks, Second Marine Division, Commanding General, Marine Barracks, Camp Lejeune, N. C.
July., 1948-- Designated U. S. Naval and Marine Corps representative at Stretegical and Tactical Seminar at Benelux Council, Staff College, Camberley, England.
July, 1950-- Commandant Marine Corps Schools at Quantico., Virginia
February, 1951-- Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General
July., 1951-- Personally invited by George VI as guest of the British Govemnment to ceremony in St. Paul's Cathedral. Ganeral Eisenhower presented a memorial volume containing names of all American service personnel who lost their lives in the United Kingdom during World War II.
January, 1952-- Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific
July, 1954-- Retired from active duty with the Corps with rank of General.

Scope and Content:
Collection contains military papers such as correspondence, orders, appointments, citations, commendations, promotions, maps of stations, and documentation on Operation Flintlock, and the Pacific Theater during World War II and the Korean Conflict. Also contains personal papers such as biographical materials; correspondence with family, friends, and Auburn University about an honorary degree awarded to Hart in 1953; photographs; speeches and lectures; newspaper clippings.

Item list:
Box 1