US general. During World War II, he became commander of US XIV Corps on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in 1942, crushing Japanese resistance there in 1943. In August 1944 he commanded the US 7th Army which landed in southern France and fought northward up the Rhône Valley and through Alsace to join the Allied troops that had landed in Normandy. His army crossed the River Rhine on 26 March 1945, and accepted the surrender of major German units in Bavaria on 5 May 1945.
Patch was born in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, the son of an army officer, and entered West Point military academy in 1909, graduating in 1913. In World War I he was a director of the army machine-gun school in France, and later commanded a battalion in the Aisne-Marne, St Mihiel, and Argonne offensives. Between the wars he held a series of posts at army educational institutions and unit commands, commanding the infantry training centre at Camp Croft, South Carolina, in 1941. After the Japanese attacked the US naval base at Pearl Harbor in December 1941, he was given command of a task force to help the French defend New Caledonia before his assignment to Guadalcanal in 1942. Following his command of the US 7th Army in Europe 1944–45, he was reassigned to prepare for duty in the Pacific but Japan surrendered. Patch then headed a board to study the reorganization of the army, but died of pneumonia shortly thereafter.