PEOPLE--UNITED STATES

Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch, USN (1883-1978)

Aubrey Wray Fitch was born in Saint Ignace, Michigan, on 11 June 1883. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1906 and served in several ships, received torpedo training and was an instructor at the Naval Academy during the following eight years. In 1914, he was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet staff and was simultaneously Commanding Officer of USS Yankton. Fitch was Gunnery Officer of the battleship USS Wyoming (BB-32) during most of the First World War. In 1920-27, he had a variety of shore duties, commanded a division of destroyer minelayers, and served with the U.S. Mission to Brazil. He then successively became Executive Officer of USS Nevada (BB-36) and Commanding Officer of USS Arctic (AF-7).

In 1930, following flight training, Fitch was designated a Naval Aviator. During the 1930s, he commanded three naval air stations, a seaplane tender and the aircraft carriers Langley (CV-1) and Lexington (CV-2), as well as serving as Chief of Staff to Commander Aircraft, Battle Force and attending the Naval War College.

After commanding Patrol Wing TWO in 1940, Rear Admiral Fitch flew his flag in the carriers Saratoga (CV-3) and Lexington and was with the latter ship when she was lost in the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. In September of that year he took command of the South Pacific Force's aircraft, holding that position during the critical campaigns in the Solomon Islands. Vice Admiral Fitch became Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air in mid-1944. From August 1945 until January 1947, he was Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy. He was given the rank of Admiral upon retirement from active service in July 1947. Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch died on 22 May 1978.

USS Aubrey Fitch (FFG-34), 1982-____, was named in honor of Admiral Fitch.

This page features selected views of Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch.

Click the photograph to prompt a larger view .

Photo #: NH 97275

Vice Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch, USN


Portrait photograph, dated 18 March 1946.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, Naval History & Heritage Command collection

Online Image: 61KB; 590 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 92751

Vice Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch, USN


Portrait photograph, taken during the World War II era.

Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute Photograph Collection.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 74KB; 585 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: KN-21651 (Color)

Vice Admiral Aubrey Wray Fitch, USN

Portrait by William F. Draper, circa 1944-45.

Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph

Online Image: 76KB; 620 x 765 pixels

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives as Photo # 428-KN-21651

 
Photo #: NH 58017

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN
,
Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, (2nd from left)

On board ship, probably at Pearl Harbor in mid-1942.
With him are, from left:
Rear Admiral David W. Bagley, Commander, Hawaiian Sea Frontier;
Major General Delos C. Emmons, U.S. Army; and
Rear Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch.

Collection of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 127KB; 600 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: 80-G-43065

Rear Admiral John S. McCain
(left)
shakes hands with
Rear Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch

On the occasion of McCain's relief by Fitch as Commander, Aircraft, South Pacific Force, circa 21 September 1942. RAdm. McCain was transferred to Washington, D.C., to become Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics.
The photo may have been taken on board USS Curtiss (AV-4) at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives collection

Online Image: 121KB; 740 x 645 pixels

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives.

 
Photo #: NH 92750

Vice Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch, USN
,
Commander, Aircraft, South Pacific Force (right)

Boards a PBY-5A aircraft at Guadalcanal for a return flight to Espiritu Santo, circa early 1943.
Present to see him off are (from left):
Brigadier General Francis P. Mulcahy, USMC;
Rear Admiral Charles P. Mason, USN; and
Major General Alexander M. Patch, U.S. Army.
The original photograph was released for publication on 7 May 1943.

Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute Photograph Collection.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 112KB; 740 x 605 pixels

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-1464 (Color)

Piva Airfield, Bougainville

Officers, including members of Under Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal's party, at Piva Airfield during an inspection trip in late 1943 or early 1944. Among those present are:
Commodore W.R. Carter (3rd from left);
Vice Admiral A.W. Fitch (2nd from right); and
Captain J.E. Gingrich (right).
The original Kodachrome color transparency was received by the Naval Photographic Science Laboratory in March 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives collection

Online Image: 94KB; 740 x 505 pixels

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-285756

Vice Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch
,
Commander, Aircraft, South Pacific Force

Receives a plaque of appreciation from the People of the British Solomon Islands, in ceremonies at the home of the Resident Commissioner on Guadalcanal, 25 January 1944.
The honor guard, with British SMLE rifles, is from the Solomon Islands Defense Force.
The plaque reads: "To the United States Navy with appreciation from the People of the British Solomon Islands Guadalcanal 1943"

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives collection

Online Image: 149KB; 740 x 605 pixels

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives.

 
Photo #: NH 92752

Vice Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch, USN
(left)
shakes hands with
Vice Admiral John S. McCain, USN

As he relieves VAdm. McCain as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air, in ceremonies at Washington, D.C., 1 August 1944.

Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute Photograph Collection.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 79KB; 740 x 605 pixels

 
Photo #: 80-G-K-5837 (Color)

Assistant Secretary of the Navy John L. Sullivan (at left)

On the flight deck of USS Shangri-La (CV-38) in the Western Pacific, during his swearing-in ceremonies, 2 July 1945. With him are (from left):
Vice Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air;
Vice Admiral John S. McCain, Commander, Task Force 38; and
Captain James D. Barner, Commanding Officer of the carrier.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives collection

Online Image: 89KB; 740 x 605 pixels

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives.

 
Photo #: NH 92753

Vice Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch, USN
,
Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy

With Mrs. Gwyneth Fitch, in the Superintendent's House, Annapolis, Maryland, in October 1945.

Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute Photograph Collection.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 92KB; 740 x 605 pixels

 


For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.



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