William Willis Eagles, 93, a retired Army major general who was a decorated combat veteran of World War II, died of pneumonia Feb. 19 at Suburban Hospital. He lived in Washington.
Gen. Eagles went to war in 1942 as assistant commander of the 3rd Infantry Division. The division took part in the American assault on North Africa, landing in Morocco and fighting in Tunisia. He and the division later landed in Sicily, and then at Salerno, Italy, the first successful Allied assault on mainland Europe.
In November 1943, he took command of the 45th Infantry Division, which he led on the battle line in southern Italy, before taking it ashore first at Anzio and then in southern France. He continued to lead the division until he was wounded in November 1944 near Strasburg.
After the war, Gen. Eagles' assignments included command of Fort Dix, N.J., head of the Ryukyus Command in the Far East, and service on the Army Personnel Board. He retired from active duty in 1953 as inspector general of the Army's European Command.
His decorations included two Distinguished Service Medals, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. He also was awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge for his work as an acting regimental commander in Italy with the 3rd Infantry Division.
Gen. Eagles was a native of Albion, Ind., and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1917. Before World War II, he held a variety of infantry assignments and graduated from the Infantry and the Command and General Staff schools. He also taught at Ripon College in Wisconsin, worked with the Civilian Conservation Corps, and served in the Philippines.
Gen. Eagles had lived in Washington since the early 1950s. In recent years, he had been active in division veterans organizations.
Survivors include his wife, the former Dorothy Van Slyck, a son, Edward P., and a daughter, Anne C. Eagles, all of Washington, and two sisters, Jane Eagles of Albion, and Evelyn Eagles Moore of Detroit.