Alexander Patch

Alexander Patch

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Alexander Patch

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General Alexander McCarrell "Sandy" Patch (November 23, 1889 – November 21, 1945) was an officer in the United States Army, best known for his service in World War II. He commanded Army and Marine forces during the invasion of Guadalcanal, and the U.S. Seventh Army in the invasion of southern France (Operation Dragoon).

Early career

Patch was born on Fort Huachuca, a military post in Arizona where his father commanded a detachment. He never considered any career other than the army, and received his appointment to West Point in 1909. He wanted to follow his father into the cavalry, but realizing that they were becoming obsolete, he was commissioned into the infantry in 1913.

In World War I Patch served as an infantry officer and as an instructor in the Army's machine gun school. While commanding troops on the front line, his leadership came to the attention of George C. Marshall, then a member of Gen. John Pershing's staff.During the buildup before the United States' entry into World War II, Marshall was appointed Army Chief of Staff. Marshall promoted Patch to brigadier general, and sent him to Fort Bragg to supervise the training of new soldiers there.

World War II

In 1942, Patch was sent to the Pacific to organize the reinforcement and defense of New Caledonia. He took command of a loose collection of units, and formed them into the Americal Division (a name adopted on Patch's suggestion after it was proposed by a soldier in the division.) This unit...
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