b. 03/08/1898 Tuxedo Park, New York. d. 04/03/1982 California.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 08/11/1942 Fort Lyautey, Morocco.
Hamilton was born in Tuxedo Park, New York on August 3, 1898, to William Pierson Hamilton (great-grandson of Alexander Hamilton) and Juliet Pierpont Morgan (daughter of John Pierpont Morgan). His siblings included Helen Morgan Hamilton, Laurens Morgan Hamilton, Alexander Morgan Hamilton, and Elizabeth Hamilton. He attended the Groton School and Harvard University, where he eventually attained both his bachelor's (1920) and master's degree (1946).
On August 7, 1917, after the United States joined World War I, he left Harvard, where he was a sophomore, to enlist as an aviation cadet, and was assigned to ground training at the School of Military Aeronautics at Cornell University. Upon his graduation on October 13, 1917, he was transferred to the Aeronautical General Supply Depot and Concentration Barracks at Hazelhurst Field, Garden City, New York, and assigned to the foreign service detachment to complete his flight training overseas. Illness prevented him from sailing with his detachment, and he was reassigned to flight training at Ellington Field, Texas, on February 6, 1918.
Hamilton married Marie Louise Blair, daughter of C. Ledyard Blair, on September 11, 1919. They had three children before divorcing: Philip, David and Ian. He married Rebecca Stickney on January 3, 1930. The second marriage also ended in divorce, with no children. His third and final marriage was on August 20, 1946 to Norah Goldsmith Soutter.
In the interwar years, he engaged in international banking, lived in France for several years and became fluent in French. In World War II, Hamilton applied for reappointment to the Army and was commissioned a major, Air Corps, on March 2, 1942. In December 1942 Hamilton became Intelligence and Air Officer for the North African Theater Advanced Headquarters at Algiers and was promoted to lieutenant colonel. The following month he was appointed Operations and Intelligence Staff Officer for the Northwest African Tactical Air Force. He returned to the United States in March 1943, was promoted to colonel on October 26, and after various assignments at AAF Headquarters in Washington and with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was released from active duty in March 1946.
Following his military retirement in 1959, Hamilton held a number of civilian business positions, including an association with Electronic Products Corporation of Santa Barbara, California and as an executive with the Santa Barbara Bank & Trust until 1979, when his health deteriorated.
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Major (Air Corps) Pierpont Morgan Hamilton, United States Army Air Forces, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty while serving as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Western Task Force, in North Africa during the landings of Operation Torch. On 8 November 1942, near Port Lyautey, French Morocco, Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton volunteered to accompany Colonel Demas Craw on a dangerous mission to the French commander, designed to bring about a cessation of hostilities. Driven away from the mouth of the Sebou River by heavy shelling from all sides, the landing boat was finally beached at Mehdia Plage despite continuous machinegun fire from three low-flying hostile planes. Driven in a light truck toward French headquarters, this courageous mission encountered intermittent firing, and as it neared Port Lyautey a heavy burst of machinegun fire was delivered upon the truck from pointblank range, killing Colonel Craw instantly. Although captured immediately, after this incident, Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton completed the mission.
BURIAL LOCATION: SANTA BARBARA CEMETERY, SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA.
Old Mausoleum, North Wall, Crypt 59