Mitscher spent much of World War I conducting catapult experiments. In 1919, he participated in the U.S. Navy's first attempted transatlantic flight, although his particular aircraft only reached the Azores. Between the wars, Mitscher remained in aviation through a variety of administrative and operational postings, including stints aboard the carriers Langley (1929–1930) and Saratoga (1934–1935), as well as with the Bureau of Aeronautics (1930–1933 and 1935–1937).
In 1938, Mitscher was promoted to captain. Three years later, he was the first commanding officer of the carrier Hornet, and his ship launched Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle's raid on Tokyo in April 1942. Promoted to rear admiral, Mitscher commanded all air operations in the Solomon Islands in 1943. In 1944, he assumed command of Fast Carrier Task Force 58/38 (38 if William Halsey commanded, 58 for Raymond Spruance). In March 1944, Mitscher was promoted to vice admiral. Excluding a brief rest period from October 1944 to January 1945, he remained with Task Force 58/38 for many of the greatest Pacific battles, including the Marshalls, the Marianas, Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and raids on the Japanese home islands.
In July 1945, Mitscher became deputy chief of naval operations for air. In March 1946, he commanded Eighth Fleet, then assumed the post of commander in chief, Atlantic Fleet in September. Mitscher died of heart failure in Norfolk, Virginia, on 3 February 1947.
Coletta, Paola E. Admiral Marc Mitscher and U.S. Naval Aviation: Bald Eagle. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellon Press, 1997.; Reynolds, Clark G. "Admiral Marc A. Mitscher." In Steven Howarth, ed., Men of War: Great Naval Leaders of World War II, 242–262. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992.; Taylor, Theodore. The Magnificent Mitscher. New York: Norton, 1954.