Mitscher file photo [871]

Marc Mitscher

Given NameMarc
Born26 Jan 1887
Died3 Feb 1947
CountryUnited States


ww2dbaseMarc Andrew Mitscher was born in Hillsboro, Wisconsin, United States, but moved to Washington, DC when he was fairly young. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland in 1910. In the next few years he served aboard cruisers, gunboats, destroyers, as well as holding on-shore posts. In Sep 1915 he was assigned to aviation training aboard the battleship North Carolina and officially became an aviator in Jun 1916 and transferred to Pensacola, Florida. In May 1919, he participated in the trans-Atlantic flight attempt; his plane, NC-3, landed in heavy fog near the Azores, thus failing to achieve the flight like NC-4 had. Nevertheless, he received the Navy Cross for his attempt. In the 1920s, he served at various posts, including seeing through that the carrier Saratoga received proper funding. He also served as officer aboard the carriers Langley and Saratoga, commanded the seaplane tender Wright, and led the Patrol Wing 1 of the Navy. Immediately before United States entered WW2, he served as the Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics.

ww2dbaseIn Oct 1941 Mitscher became the commanding officer of USS Hornet. In Apr 1942, about five months after the United States entered WW2, carrier Hornet was charged with launching James Doolittle's raiders against Tokyo and other targets. Two months later, Hornet participated in the Battle of Midway, though her pilots' battle record for this event was less than desired. He was taken away from the carrier on 30 Jun 1942, instead assigned to lead Patrol Wing 2 and other naval air units in the South Pacific as a rear admiral. In this role, he commanded naval air units during the Guadalcanal and Solomons campaigns. After commanding Carrier Division 3 during the Marshalls campaign, Mitscher was promoted vice admiral on 21 Mar 1944 and commanded the fast carriers of Task Force 58 (also known as TF 38). With the crushing air power in hand, he was responsible for strikes across remaining Japanese defenses all across the Pacific, including attack on the Japanese home islands near the end of the war. The war ended with Mitscher in the role of Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air. He received two Gold Stars to his Navy Cross and the Distinguished Service Medal with two Gold Stars.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, he first became the commander of the 8th Fleet then served as the Commander-in-Chief of United States Atlantic Fleet. He passed away from a heart attack in Feb 1947 at Norfolk, Virginia, United States while still in uniform. Arleigh Burke who served under Mitscher during WW2 recalled:

"He spoke in a low voice and used few words. Yet, so great was his concern for his people--for their training and welfare in peacetime and their rescue in combat--that he was able to obtain their final ounce of effort and loyalty, without which he could not have become the preeminent carrier force commander in the world. A bulldog of a fighter, a strategist blessed with an uncanny ability to foresee his enemy's next move, and a lifelong searcher after truth and trout streams, he was above all else--perhaps above all other--a Naval Aviator."

ww2dbaseSources: Naval Historical Center, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jan 2006

Marc Mitscher Interactive Map


Lieutenant (jg) Marc Mitscher in an A-type seaplane, Pensacola, Florida, United States, circa 1916Lieutenant Commander Marc Mitscher, Jan 1928.Captain Marc Mitscher speaking with Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle aboard USS Hornet, 18 Apr 1942, photo 1 of 3Captain Marc Mitscher speaking with Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle aboard USS Hornet, 18 Apr 1942, photo 2 of 3
See all 24 photographs of Marc Mitscher

Marc Mitscher Timeline

26 Jan 1887 Marc Mitscher was born.
25 Jul 1943 US Army Major General Nathan Twining replaced US Navy Rear Admiral Marc Mitscher as Commander, Aircraft, Solomons.
6 Jan 1944 The Fast Carrier Task Force 50 was renumbered TF 58 and put under the command of Rear Admiral Marc A. Mitscher, one of the US Navy's most skilled aviators. With new carriers coming forward in such numbers it was now possible to provide the Task Force with six fleet carriers and six light fleet carriers with over 700 aircraft. Screened by six battleships and six cruisers it was the most powerful fleet in the world.
28 May 1945 Vice Admiral John S. McCain, Sr. relieved Marc Mitscher as the commanding officer of US Navy Task Force 38; USS Shangri-La remained McCain's flagship.
3 Feb 1947 Marc Mitscher passed away.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
15 Nov 2009 04:51:06 PM

i am interested to know if patrol wing 2 under marcs command participated in the battle of the santa cruz islands.

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More on Marc Mitscher
Event(s) Participated:
» Doolittle Raid
» Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands
» Solomon Islands Campaign
» Operation Vengeance
» Attack on Truk
» Mariana Islands Campaign and the Great Turkey Shoot
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign
» Battle of Iwo Jima
» Okinawa Campaign

Ship(s) Served:
» Hornet (Yorktown-class)
» Lexington (Essex-class)
» Missouri

Marc Mitscher Photo Gallery
Lieutenant (jg) Marc Mitscher in an A-type seaplane, Pensacola, Florida, United States, circa 1916
See all 24 photographs of Marc Mitscher

Famous WW2 Quote
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945

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