COLONEL SANFORD BEEBE HUNT,
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
Col. Sanford B. Hunt, U. S. Marine Corps (Retired) was born on October, 18,1915, in Newark, New Jersey. His family migrated to California in 1924. His father,grandfather and great grand father were majority owners and editors of the NEWARK SUNDAY CALL (Newark Call Printing and Publishing Co.) in Newark, New Jersey. As a youth Sanford's interests were divided between amateur radio and horses. He was a Petty Officer (radio) 3rd class in the U.S. Naval Reserve (1934). His interest in horses led him to spend a year working as a ranch hand in Arizona (1935) and Colorado (1936) before returning east to Newark, New Jersey. He became employed in the newspaper and magazine distributing business and was later hired as a reporter and advertising solicitor by the Newark Sunday Call. During the course of his employment he resigned from the Naval Reserve and joined the Marine Corps Reserve (1940 - December). Shortly after joining he was called to active duty as a Private and performed duties with the MarineCorps as a radio operator in Quantico, Virginia and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He attended Cryptographic Repair School (top secret) at the Brooklyn Navy Yard early in 1942, one of two Marines selected from the Corps for this mission.
In 1942 while serving with the 1st Marine Division in New Zealand he received a field commission to 2nd Lieutenant. Assigned as Assistant Division Signal Officer, he participated in the assault and seizure of Guadalcanal. During combat operations on Guadalcanal Island Lt. Hunt established and commanded the first U.S. Naval Radio Station on captured foreign soil (Radio NGK). He was awarded the BRONZE STAR with combat "V" and was subsequently promoted to 1st Lieutenant(1943). Before leaving Guadalcanal with the 1st Division, Lt.Hunt was assigned duties as Signal Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Division and remained in that billet until he was transferred to the 1st Marine Amphibious Corps, Noumea, New Caledonia from Melbourne, Australia, where the division was recuperating. From New Caledonia he was sent to the 3rdMarine Division on Guadalcanal where he participated in landings on Emirau Island and Bougainville in the Northern Solomons.
(Promoted to Captain 31 January 1944)
Immediately after the Bougainville operation he returned to the United States (May1944) and taught Naval Communications and cryptography in the Marine Corps' first Communication Officer's School at the Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia. There he married Helen Louise Smith of Lubbock, Texas, a Marine Corps communications sergeant (April 1945) and soon thereafter was sent to the 1st Marine Division in Tientsin, China as Assistant Staff Secretary. He later served as Communication Officer, HQ U.S.Marine Corps, Arlington, Va.(Nov. 1947- Aug 1950). There he spent 33 months, additional duty, as a member of the Joint Communication Electronics Committee of the JointChiefs of Staff.
He was promoted to Major on 1 January 1949.)
Subsequent tours of duty included:
Assistant Force Communication Officer, Amphibious Forces Atlantic Fleet.sea duty)(1950-1952) Amphibious Warfare School, Quantico, Va.(Sep 52-May 53)
communication Officer, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego.
Battalion Communication Officer, 3rd Shore Party Battalion, Yokusuka, Japan.(1954),
Commanding Officer, Communications Company, 3rd Marine Division, in GIFU, Japan .(1954)
U.S. Ambassador's Representative to the Courts of Japan, Gifu, Japan.
Communication Officer 11th Marines (artillery regiment), Korea.(1954-1955)
(Major Hunt was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 12 April 1955.)
Duties after the United Nations war in Korea were:
Assistant Communications-Electronics Officer, Fleet Marine Force,Atlantic.(1955-1957)
Commanding Officer 7th Communication Battalion.(1958)
Amphibious Communication Officer, U.S.Naval Forces, Europe. (Navy-London, England)(1959-1960)
Deputy Director, Communications-Electronics, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (Combined Forces- HQ in London)(1961-1962)
Member US-UK Plans Board - London.(Joint Cryptographic matters).
Special Communications Advisor to President Eisenhower (based aboard the USS Taconic) during the President's visit to Pakistan in 1959.
Chief, U. S. Marine Corps Communications-Electronics Research and Development Quantico, Virginia.(1962-1965)
(Promoted to Colonel 1 July 1963).
Commanding Officer, Marine Corps Communication-Electronics Schools, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego(1965-1967).
Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego(1966-1967).
While in San Diego Col. Hunt participated in community activities and in particulara working association with city and county educators for the purpose of building a computer data base to provide career guidance for pre-college students in the San Diego area.
Following the San Diego tour of duty he was ordered to duty at Headquarters, III Marine Amphibious Force, Danang, Vietnam, where he was assigned as the Assistant Chief of Staff, (G-6), Communications- Electronics.
This command was unusual in size and scope in that III MAF consisted of two Marine Divisions, three Army Divisions, one Marine Aircraft Wing, a Korean Marine Brigade and miscellaneous combat support and service support units including Army aviation and a U.S. Navy shore command. Additional responsibility fell to III MAF for coordination with, and technical advice to the Vietnam armed forces in the Vietnamese I Corps tactical zone. Communication personnel under III MAF commandand/or technical control numbered some 15,000 Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Korean Marines and civilians(1967-68).
For his service in Vietnam Col. Hunt was awarded the Legion of Merit by the United States, the Vietnamese cross of Gallantry with Palm and the Vietnamese HonorMedal, First Class, by the Vietnamese Government.
After serving a year as Chief of Staff, V Marine Expeditionary Force, FMF, Pacific at Camp Pendleton , California (22 May 1968), he was retired for reasons of physical disability on 1 July 1969 and permanently disability retired on 1 March 1973. He had served more than 32 years with the U.S. Armed services. His duties had taken him from Cuba to Tientsin, China, the British Isles, Europe, the Mediterranean and Red Sea areas, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. He now lives in Lubbock, Texas with his wife, Helen, daughter Leslie Ann Hunt-Bond and Leslie's two children. Leslie's husband lives in Mallorca, Spain. Son Sanford B. IV, a former Marine Officer, is Vice Consul at the American Embassy in Lusaka, Zambia.
Past positions and activities include: Board of Directors Poway Municipal Water Distict in Poway, California (elected office); Commissioner, San Diego Flood ControlDistrict; Member San Diego County Assessment Appeals Board; Member San DiegoCounty Schools Community Educational Resources Advisory Group; County Local Agency Formation Commission and while in England was President of the London Chapter Armed Forces Communication & Electronics Association. In Lubbock Texas 1988/91, charter member Board of Directors of the Lubbock Area Coalition for Literacy (Board treasurer) and President of the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.
He was a Boy Scout Commissioner in Virginia and California. His last paid employment was as a Special Deputy Sheriff, San Diego County California where he was awarded the Sheriff's Department Distinguished Service Medal after 10 years of service.
Col. HUNT retired from 9 years volunteer service with the Lubbock Police Department on Jan 31, 1996.. He is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, past President of the Poway CA Rotary Club and a member of the Greater Lubbock Rotary Club. He is an active genealogist working on genealogy at home.
HONORS and DECORATIONS
Distinguished Service Medal
San Diego County Sheriff's Department
Legion of Merit(Combat)
Bronze Star (Combat)
Rep. of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Palm
Republic of Vietnam Honor Medal 1st Class
U. S. Navy Commendation Ribbon
Four U.S. Presidential Unit Citation Ribbons
Organized Marine Corps Reserve Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Victory Medal World War II
China Service Medal
American Campaign Medal with Star
American Defense Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal
Republic of Vietnam Commendation Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Combat Action Medal(Vietnam)
Letters of commendation and appreciation were received from:
U.S. Military Command, Vietnam
Republic of Korea Marine Corps
U.S. Army 1st Signal Brigade
U.S. Army 37th Signal Battalion
U.S. Naval Forces Europe
USS Gen. A. E. Anderson
plus more than 30 others from Navy and Marine Corps commands.
Col. Hunt was a Marine Corps pistol Expert (Colt.45 calibre semi-automatic pistol) and a rifle Sharpshooter.
April 4, 2000