Alva R. Fitch

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Alva R. Fitch
Alva R. Fitch 1950 major general.jpg
Born (1907-09-10)September 10, 1907
Amherst, Nebraska
Died November 25, 1989(1989-11-25) (aged 82)
Washington, D.C.
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 34 years
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held 3rd Armored Division
Battles/wars Battle of Bataan
Korean War
Awards Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star

Alva Revista Fitch (September 10, 1907–November 25, 1989) was a lieutenant general in the United States Army and was deputy director of Defense Intelligence Agency from 1964 to 1966.[1] From October 16, 1961 to January 5, 1964, Fitch served as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Headquarters, Department of the Army.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Amherst, Nebraska on September 10, 1907, Fitch was the first Eagle Scout in Nebraska, and one of the very earliest west of the Mississippi River.

Military career[edit]

Fitch graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in June 1930 and became a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery.[3] He was promoted to first lieutenant in September 1935. He was sent to the Philippines in February 1940 and commanded Battery A of the 23rd Field Artillery Regiment and was promoted to captain in June 1940. He was promoted to Major in January 1942 during the Battle of Bataan early in World War II and put in command of the 91st Coast Artillery until their surrender to the Japanese in May 1942. A survivor of the Bataan Death March, he was held at Luzon at Camp O'Donnell[4] In December 1944 he was transferred with other Bataan survivors by hell ship (the other of which sank) to the Fukuoka prison camps.[citation needed] He was released in September 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star for heroism and courage in combat and while a captive of the Japanese.[5]

From February to July 1946 he attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and remained as an instructor until August 1947.[3]

In the Korean War, Fitch was an artillery commander and then commanded the 3rd Armored Division. He later served as Chief of Staff of Army Intelligence before being named to the Defense Intelligence Agency post in 1964.

He served on the Army Aircraft Requirements Review Board, also known as the Rogers Board, which was established on January 15, 1960 by the Army Chief of Staff to review the Army Aircraft Development Plan and the related industry proposals. The Rogers Board's members included Major Generals Hamilton H. Howze, Thomas F. Van Natta, Robert J. Wood, Richard D. Meyer, Ernest F. Easterbrook, and chairman Lieutenant General Gordon B. Rogers; and its results prefigured the more influential Howze Board on airmobility.[6]

Retirement and death[edit]

He retired from active duty in 1966 and was military editor of the Kiplinger Newsletter from 1966 to 1975.

General Fitch died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., on November 25, 1989 and was buried in Section 30 of Arlington National Cemetery. [7] General Fitch is a member of the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.

Notable subordinates[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ May, Eric Charles (1989-11-28). "Lt. Gen. Alva R. Fitch Dies". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  2. ^ "Faces of Defense Intelligence: Lt. Gen. Alva R. Fitch". DIA News. Washington, D.C.: Defense Intelligence Agency. 2016-06-13. Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  3. ^ a b "Briefing of Major General Alva R. Fitch". CIA FOIA Electronic Reading Room. Central Intelligence Agency. 1959-10-01. Retrieved 2016-11-01. 
  4. ^ Gregory J. W. Urwin (15 November 2010). Victory in Defeat: The Wake Island Defenders in Captivity, 1941-1945. Naval Institute Press. pp. 440–. ISBN 978-1-59114-899-9. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Irvin Alexander (10 July 2005). Surviving Bataan And Beyond: Colonel Irvin Alexander's Odyssey As A Japanese Prisoner Of War. Stackpole Books. pp. 266–. ISBN 978-0-8117-3248-2. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Chapter 1 The Growth of the Airmobile Concept". Airmobility 1961-1971. Vietnam Studies. United States Army Center of Military History. 1989. CMH Pub=1989. 
  7. ^ "Memorial for LTG Alva R. Fitch". Cullum No. 8879. Arlington, VA: Arlington National Cemetery. 1989-11-25. Retrieved 2016-10-12. 


  • Black, J. K. United States Penetration of Brazil. 1977 (page 183, 188)
  • Fitch, A. R. Autobiography of Alva Revista Fitch, Fitch family genealogy collection, unpublished, 1984, page 4
  • Mader, Julius Who's Who in CIA. 1968
  • Newman, John M. JFK and Vietnam: Deception, Intrigue, and the Struggle for Power. 1992 (page 33, 186)
  • Powers, T. The Man Who Kept the Secrets. 1981 (page 271)

External links[edit]