William George Haan
Major General, United States Army
was born at Crown Point, Indiana, October 4, 1863, he graduated from West
Point in 1889, and was commissioned in the Artillery. Promoted to First
Lieutenant, August 1896. In 1898-1901 he served as Captain of Volunteers,
in both Cuba and the Philippines, fighting Spanish and insurrectionists.
He was promoted regular Captain, February 1901, and mustered out of Volunteer
service the next month.
In 1903-06 he was a member of the General Staff, and in the former year undertook a mission to Panama for Theodore Roosevelt. He was Acting Chief of Staff of the Pacific Division during the Army's relief work following the San Francisco earthquake in 1906.
Over the next several years he held various coastal defense positions, advancing to Major, April, 1907, and Lieutenant Colonel, Coast Artillery, December 1911, and, after another tour on the General Staff in 1912-14, Colonel, Coast Artillery, July 1916.
Four months after the US entry into WWI, in April 1917, he was promoted to temporary Brigadier General, assigned to command the 57th Field Artillery Brigade, 32nd Infantry Division, Camp MacArthur, Texas. In December he was advanced to temporary Major General in command of the Division. The 32nd became in February 1918 the sixth US Division sent to France. It went into line with French 6th Army in July, helped to hold the German offensive in that month in the second battle of the Marne, and in August it earned nickname "Le Terribles" in the capture of Juvigny. The Division took part in final Meuse-Argonne offensive. In November, after the armistice, he moved to command of VII Corps for occupation duty. A few days later he was promoted to permanent Brigadier General. In April 1919 he returned to the US with 32nd, and after its inactivation again assigned to the General Staff.
In July 1920 he was promoted to Major General
and named Director of the War Plans Division. He retired in May 1922 and
was for a time associated with Milwaukee Journal. He died at Washington,
DC, on October 26, 1924. He was buried in Section 4 of Arlington National
MAJOR GENERAL HAAN BURIED IN ARLINGTON
WASHINGTON, October 29, 1924 – Another wartime leader was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery today when the body of Major General William G. Haan, who commanded the Thirty-Second Division in France, was interred with full military honors.
High officers of the War Department who were his comrades in the long years of his military service attended the ceremony and men from Michigan and Wisconsin who were wartime officers of the Thirty-Second Division acted as honorary pallbearers.
After services at a Washington church, the coffin was placed on a caisson and carried across the river to Arlington with a troop of cavalry and a battalion of field artillery acting as escort of honor.
Updated: 23 January 2003 Updated: 19 October 2007 Updated: 2 December 2007
Photos By M. R. Patterson, October 2007
From the collection of Michael Robert Patterson