Retired Army Lt. Gen. George P. Hays, 85, who won a Medal of Honor during World War I and commanded the 10th Mountain Division in Italy during World War II, died Sept. 7 at his Pinehurst, N.C., home. He had suffered from cancer.
Gen. Hays was a lieutenant with the 3rd Division during the second Battle of the Marne in 1918. During a heavy enemy bombardment, he helped maintain contact with neighboring American and French units.
According to his Medal of Honor citation, "while thus engaged, seven horses were shot under him and he was severely wounded."
During World War II, he was commanding general of the artillery of the 2nd Infantry Division landing at Omaha Beach in Normandy on D-day plus one.
He later commanded the 10th Mountain Division during heavy fighting in the Apennines, helping to clear the way for the U.S. 5th Army's advance in Italy.
In addition to the Meal of Honor and the Purple Heart, Gen. Hays received the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star and Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star. He also received British and French decorations. He retired from the Army in 1953.
Survivors include his wife, Gladys, of the home; a son, George J., of Baltimore; a daughter, Joan King, of Beaufort, S.C., and nine grandchildren.