Fuller, Horace Hayes (1886-1966)

Horace Fuller took command of 41 Division just days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was relieved of command at his own request in June 1944, during the Biak campaign, when MacArthur's patience with the protracted battle began to run out:

The dignity of man stands for something. I'll take no more insulting messages.

As was often the case, Fuller's relief was controversial. A stubborn chain-smoker, he had a reputation for efficiency and was well-regarded by fellow officers, and was apparently slated to become commander of I Corps upon creation of 8 Army. His 41 Division had performed well at Hollandia, but Fuller had his doubts about the Biak operation, which seemed vindicated by the difficulty his troops encountered from 28 May 1944 onwards. His reconnaissance at Biak was inadequate, but he was under pressure to seize the airfields as quickly as possible: MacArthur was desperate to avoid having his theater overshadowed by the Central Pacific offensive under Nimitz and was determined to open a clear path to the Philippines by autumn of 1944. However, fellow officer Joseph Swing later commented that:

Horace Fuller was a great friend of mine.... He just didn't have it, if you know what I mean. It is hard to teach people how to be leaders. You got it or you haven't got it.

Other officers under Krueger believed that Fuller was too old for a division command.

Service record


Major general      Commandant, Command and General Staff School

Commander, 41 Division

President, U.S. Army Forces Far East Board

Deputy chief of staff, Southeast Asia Command

Commander, Infantry Replacement Training Center, Fort McClellan, Alabama



References (accessed 2008-1-12)
Pettibone (2006)
Taaffe (1998)

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