Michael P. Elcano, 92, a retired Army lieutenant colonel whose military career spanned artillery leadership in World War II, the Korean War and Army intelligence assignments, died Sept. 9, of pneumonia at the Alexandria Hospital.
Lt. Col. Elcano, a native of Fresno, Calif., was born to a Basque family who owned the Santa Fe Hotel, frequented by Basque sheepherders. After moving to Reno and attending the University of Nevada, he joined the Army in 1941 and attended Officer Candidate School.
During World War II, he landed at Normandy, led an artillery platoon across France, and was wounded. Over the course of his Army career, Lt. Col. Elcano also fought in the Korean War and served in Army intelligence positions. After retiring from the Army, he worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency and taught high school.
His military and other decorations included a Bronze Star with two clusters, a Purple Heart, and a Department of Defense Meritorious Service Medal (Civilian). In 1962, he earned a B.S. from the University of Maryland and in 1971 a Masters of Science in Teaching from American University. A devout Catholic, Lt. Col. Elcano attended Blessed Sacrament Church of Alexandria regularly over 47 years.
Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Marian R. Elcano of Alexandria; five children, Michele Gleitsmann of La Plata, Mary Elcano of Bethesda, David Elcano of Woodbridge, Kathleen Wilds of Herndon, and John Elcano of Centreville; and 9 grandchildren. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to "American Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services." Checks should state the intended designation and be mailed to - American Red Cross, Attn: Cara Ciullo, Development Officer, 2025 E Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20006.