James H. Critchfield (1917-2003) was a noted World War II army officer, Central Intelligence Agency official, and economic consultant to the nation of Oman. Born in 1917, Critchfield graduated from North Dakota State University in 1939. Seeing action in World War II, James H. Critchfield served for a total of nine years in the U.S. Army. At the close of World War II, he was a colonel. Immediately after the war, Critchfield was a staff intelligence officer in the American Occupation Army in Heidelberg and Vienna.
Critchfield joined the fledgling CIA and was posted to Germany to help establish the German National Intelligence service. From 1950 to 1955, Critchfield served as the CIA's liaison with German General Reinhard Gehlen. In 1956, Critchfield became head of the East European Division of the CIA Clandestine Service, a position he held until 1961. Between 1961 and 1971, Critchfield was director of the Near East Division of the CIA. Subsequently, he worked as chief intelligence officer for energy policy. He retired from the CIA in June 1974.
In 1975, Critchfield became president of Tetra Tech International, a consulting firm assisting the government of Oman in the development of its oil, natural gas, water, and mineral resources. Tetra Tech was a subsidiary of Honeywell, Inc. Omani ruler Sultan Qaboos valued Critchfield as a trusted advisor.
James H. Critchfield authored the book "Partners at the Creation: The Men Behind Postwar Germany's Defense and Intelligence Establishments" (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2003).
James H. Critchfield died on April 23, 2003.
- "Encyclopedia of American Intelligence and Espionage" (New York: Facts on File, 1988), p. 138.
- Critchfield, Lois M. "Oman Emerges: An American Company in an Ancient Kingdom" (Vista, CA: Selwa Press, 2010).