Mayo McGill FitzHugh, Jr., was born in Newport News, Virginia, on May 24, 1920, son of Mayo M. and Marie Adele (Ferratt) FitzHugh. He attended Newport News public schools, Virginia Military Institute at Lexington and received the degree of Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. On July 24, 1941 he enlisted in the US Naval Reserve and on January 8, 1942 was honorably discharged to accept an appointment as Aviation Cadet, USNR. After flight training at the Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida, he was designated Naval Aviator and commissioned Ensign, July 10, 1942. He subsequently advanced in rank to that Captain, to date from September 1, 1962, having transferred from the Naval Reserve to the Regular Navy on October 4, 1946.
After receiving his “Wings” in 1942, he had patrol plane commander training with Transition Training Squadron, Atlantic, until October that year, then joined Patrol Squadron Thirty-Two. He is entitled to the Ribbon for, and a facsimile of the Navy Unit Commendation awarded Patrol Squadron Thirty-Two, for outstanding heroism during the period July 1 through 31, 1943 in Atlantic waters off Cuba.
He served with Patrol Bombing Squadron Twenty-Two from March 1944 to February 1845, after which he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Cambridge, from which he received the degree of Master of Science in aeronautical engineering in June 1947. He next headed the Ram and Pulse jet Desk, Design and Engineering Group, Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department, Washington, DC, and in October 1950 reported as Production Control Officer at the Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia. He remained there until June 1953 and the next month became Engineering Officer in the Office of the Bureau of Aeronautics Representative, Essington, Pennsylvania. In April 1955 he returned to the Bureau of Aeronautics where he was Head of the Power Plant Installation Branch.
In July 1958 joined the Staff of Commander Naval Air Force, Pacific Fleet as Power Plant Officer and in July 1961 was detached for duty as Head of the Propulsion Section, later Head of the Aircraft Engineering Branch, Bureau of Naval Weapons, Navy Department. From August 1964 to June 1965 he attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, DC, after which he served as Director of Industrial Engineering in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installation and Logistics). In July 1966 he reported as Director of the Material Control Division, Naval Air Systems Command Headquarters, Washington, DC.
In addition to the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Captain FitzHugh has the American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal.