Patch, Alexander (McCarrell)(1889–1945) soldier; born in Fort Huachuca, Ariz. The son of an army officer, he graduated from West Point (1913), commanded a battalion in France in 1918, and, between the wars, held a series of posts at army educational institutions and unit commands. After Pearl Harbor, he was given command of a task force to help the French defend New Caledonia. In 1943 he led the American forces that crushed Japanese resistance on Guadalcanal. In August 1944 Patch commanded the Seventh Army in the Allied invasion of southern France; he led his army up the Rhone Valley, over the Rhine, and across southern Germany to accept the surrender of major German units in Bavaria on May 5, 1945. He was reassigned to prepare for duty in the Pacific; when Japan surrendered, he headed a board to study the reorganization of the army, but he died of pneumonia shortly thereafter.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.