Fatigue crack growth and related damage mechanisms were investigated experimentally in a stainless steel/aluminum laminated composite with middle through thickness crack, and two different fracture mechanics approaches applied to the composite to reveal their differences under fatigue loading. The laminated composite material, which has a unidirectional continuous AISI 304 stainless steel as fibers and Al 1060 as matrix, was produced by using diffusion bonding. Fatigue tests were conducted in accordance with ASTM E 647. The relationships between fatigue crack growth rate (da/dN), stress intensity factor , and strain energy release rate were determined; and damage behavior was discussed. Both linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) and compliance method were used, and the results were compared with each other. It is found that as the crack propagates, the LEFM overestimates the values. Interlaminar and fiber/matrix interface damage were evaluated by fractographic examination.