Alexander Patch

Alexander Patch

Alexander Patch, the son of an army officer, was born in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, United States on 23rd November, 1889. He attended the West Point Military Academy and graduated in 1913 (75/93) and joined the 13th Infantry Regiment in Texas. He saw action in Mexico and in France during the First World War and by 1918 had reached the rank of lieutenant colonel.

After the war Patch studied at the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth and spent twelve years as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Staunton. Promoted to colonel he was placed in charge of the recruitment camp at Camp Croft in North Carolina.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor Patch was promoted to major general and sent to New Caledonia. As head of the 164th Regiment he joined Alexander Vandegrift and his US Marines on Guadalcana on 13th October 1942. Patch led a counter-offensive against the Japanese Army and secured victory on 9th February 1943.

In May 1943 Patch returned to the United States where he was placed in charge of the 4th Corps at Fort Lewis, Washington. He was also given responsibility for the Desert Training Center.

Patch returned to front-line duties when he was placed in charge of the US 7th Army which landed in France near Toulon on 15th August, 1944. His troops advanced up the Rhone Valley and captured the Saar on 15th March 1945. He then went on to force the surrender of German troops under the command of Hermann Balck.

In July 1945 Patch was promoted to lieutenant general and placed in command of the 4th Army based in San Antonio, Texas. Alexander Patch died of pneumonia on 21st November 1945.