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. From October 16, 1961 to January 5, 1964, Fitch served as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Headquarters, Department of the Army.

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 1930 and became a career Army officer. While a major, he commanded artillery units in the Philippines early in World War II. A survivor of the Bataan Death March in 1942, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star for heroism and courage in combat and while a captive of the Japanese.[1] After the Battle of Bataan, he was taken prisoner of war and was not released until the war was concluded. He was held at Camp O'Donnell[2] and later Fukuoka prison camps, and as a result of multiple illnesses and injuries, was not released from Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii until well into 1947.

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.[3]

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. General Fitch is a member of the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.

See also[edit]

Notable subordinates[edit]


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ "Chapter 1 The Growth of the Airmobile Concept". Airmobility 1961-1971. Vietnam Studies. United States Army Center of Military History. 1989. CMH Pub=1989. 


  • 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]