In 1941 before the Americans had joined the war, Patch commanded the Infantry Replacement Center at Camp Croft in North Carolina. In spring of 1942 he was sent to help the French defend New Caledonia in the South Pacific and was appointed Commander of that Task Force. In the very early days of 1943 Patch, as commander of American Forces, led his troops to their first major land victory at the Battle of Guadalcanal. In March 1944 he became Commanding General of the US 7th Army which landed between Cannes and Toulon on 15 August as part of the invasion of France (Dragoon). Fighting steadily, the 7th Army advanced up the Rhone valley capturing Alsace in the winter and the Saar by 15 March 1945. The German Army Group G was now in retreat and Patch crossed the Rhine on 26 March. He then prevented the Germans from forming a national redoubt by making a headlong advance into southern Germany. On 5 May 1945 Patch received the formal surrender of BALCK’s Army Group G.