Retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Pedro A. del Valle, 84, a combat commander in numerous major campaigns in the Pacific in World War II and later a vice president of International Telephone and Telegraph, died Friday at the Naval hospital in Annapolis. He had entered the hospital April 23 for a series of tests.
Gen. del Valle served in the First Marine Division during the war, and commanded it during the Okinawa campaign before returning to Washington as inspector general and chief of personnel of the Marine Corps in 1946.
He retired in 1948 and joined ITT as vice president of the corporation. He directed its operations in the Middle East from Cairo and then was named president of ITT of South America, with headquarters in Buenos Aires. He retired again in 1953.
A resident of Howard County, Md., Gen. del Valle then became involved in politics. He has purchased a farm there before the war and he returned to remodel it. In later years he lived in Annapolis.
In the 1950s, he was a founder of the Defenders of the Constitution, Inc., and was still its president at the time of his death. The Defenders helped form a third party in the mid-1950s, which was a conservative organization. He himself was openly opposed to "socialism and internationalism."
Gen. del Valle, who was an intense critic of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also was among a number of retired admirals and generals who spearheaded a drive to get signatures on petitions opposing the Congressional censure of Sen. Joseph R.McCarthy (R.Wis.) in 1954. All has broken with the Administration over some aspect of American foreign or military policy.
Gen. del Valle was born in Puerto Rico, and came to Baltimore at an early age.
After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1915, he became a Marine Corps officer.
During World War I, he commanded a Marine detachment aboard the USS Texas, a battleship of the Sixth Battle Squadron, stationed in the North Sea.
Gen. del Valle served in number of posts after the war, seeing duty with Marine units during insurrections in Central America and Cuba. He also was an instructor at Quantico.
He was assistant U.S. naval attache in Rome in 1935-36. During 1936 he served as the only American observer with the Italian Army during its conquest of Ethiopia.
Returning to this country, he eventunally was named to the Marine General Staff in charge of operations and training, a position he held at the outbreak of World War II.
With the beginning of the war, Gen. del Valle, then a colonel, requested a field assignment and was given command of the 11th Marines
Before taking his unit overseas and into combat, he wrote to friends that, "At 48 I can still live in a tent, as I am now doing, break the ice in the water bucket to wash on a frosty morning, and bless the Lord for giving me agood constitution, enough brains to get along and a grand country to fight for. What the hell more can a fellow want?"
During the Guadalcanal campaign in 1942, he was placed in command of all First Division artillery. He later commanded the Third Amphibious Corps Artillery during the landings in Guam.
Gen. del Valle took over the First Division and led it during the Okinawa campaign in 1945.
He held a number of decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and four foreign honors.
He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Annapolis.
He is survived by his wife, Katharine N., of the home; a sister, Maria D. Jimenez, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and three grandchildren.