Lt. Gen. Robert C. Richardson, Jr

Robert C. Richardson

Lt. Gen. Robert C. Richardson commanded the US Army, Pacific (Hawaiian Department) during the height of World War II in 1943 until his retirement in 1946. During that time he was also named military governor of Hawaii and Commanding General of US Army Forces in the Pacific Ocean Areas*.  This latter honor did not entail operational control, however.

Commissioned from the US Military Academy in 1904, Richardson also attended the University of Grenoble, France, as well as the Army War College. During World War I he was a liaison officer in the American Expeditionary Force. Afterward he was a military attaché with the US Embassy in Rome.

Prior to World War II, Richardson commanded the 1st Cavalry Division from 1940-1941. He then directed the War Department Bureau of Public Relations before becoming Commanding General of the 7th Army Corps. A dispute about having to serve under an Australian officer is believed to have cost him his command.

During his Hawaiian command, Gen. Richardson oversaw the construction of Richardson Hall in a scant 49 days. Also known as the "Pineapple Pentagon," it has remained the planning and operational support centers for soldiers of the US Army, Pacific since 1944. It was also during this command that another controversy arose. In 1944 Richardson traveled to Saipan to review Army troops and present awards. He did this without first consulting with Gen. Holland Smith, USMC, who had operational control there, and who became angry with Richardson. Richardson is said to have replied to Smith that "you cannot push the Army around the way you have been doing."

Among Gen. Richardson's many awards are the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, and the Officer Legion of Honor from France. He died on 2 March 1954.

*In 1943 became US Army Forces, Central Pacific Area. This command became US Army Forces, Middle Ocean Areas, in August 1944. This latter command became US Army Forces, Middle Pacific, in July 1945. 



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