||George Patton Jr. participated in the Great War.|
Join: The Great War 1914-1918 Project
||George Patton Jr. participated in the Second World War.|
Join: World War II Project
Patton was born in San Gabriel, Los Angeles County, California on 11 Nov 1885 to a wealthy family and enjoyed a privileged childhood. His father George Smith Patton was a prominent lawyer who graduated from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). During his childhood years, he heard countless stories of his ancestors who participated in the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars, because of this Patton set his mind to become a war hero. Attended VMI for one year (1903-1904) as a member of the Class of 1907, following the footsteps of his family. He was a third generation to attend.  In Jun 1904, Patton was admitted in the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduating on 11 Jun 1910.
On 26 May 1910, Patton married his longtime friend Beatrice Ayer on Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, she was the daughter of Boston industrial tycoon Frederick Ayer.  In Jul 1912, Patton went onto represent the United States in the Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden competing in the Modern Pentathlon. The first event of the 1912 modern pentathlon was shooting, and Patton performed poorly, finishing only 21st. It cost him a chance at a gold medal, as he performed credibly in the last four contests. In swimming, probably the sport at which he had the least experience, he was seventh. He placed fourth in fencing and sixth in cross-country riding. He had moved up to sixth place with only the 4,000 metre run remaining. He did well there, placing third in the run, and moving up to fifth spot. But the deficit he had built for himself in the shooting was too much for him to overcome.
In the summer of 1913, Patton received orders to report to the commandant of the Mounted Service School in Fort Riley, Kansas, where he became the school's first Master of the Sword. Patton helped in designing and teaching the course in swordsmanship while attending as a student at the school. In this role, Patton was instrumental in the designed the U.S. Model 1913 Enlisted Cavalry Saber, which is referred to as the “Patton Sword.”
After Fort Riley, Patton gained his first battle experience in 1915, when assigned to lead cavalry troops against Mexican forces led by Pancho Villa along the U.S.-Mexico border. This was considered the Pancho Villa Expedition. Patton served as aide-de-camp to General John J. Pershing, commander of American forces in Mexico.
When the United States entered World War I in Apr 1917, Patton was promoted to captain and assigned to Pershing’s staff in France. In Nov 1917, Patton was promoted to major and became the first officer assigned to the new U.S. Army Tank Corps. Over the next few month Patton was involved in organizing, training, and even designed the uniforms for the soldiers. By the end of World War I, Patton had been promoted to the temporary rank of colonel and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for bravery under fire.
As the country was beginning to rearm itself in 1940, Patton had been promoted officially to the rank of colonel. Shortly after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Patton was given command of the 1st and 2nd Armored Divisions, which came with a temporary promotion to the rank of brigadier general. With this Patton began training them in for the United States entry into World War II. In late 1942, Patton and his armored divisions headed to Africa. Patton was the commander of the Western Task Force as part of the Allied Invasion of North Africa known as Operation Torch.
After succeeding in Africa, Patton was given command of the 7th Army during the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943. Then in 1944, Patton was reassigned to the 3rd Army in France. In Oct 1945, Patton was assigned to the command 15th Army in American-Occupied Germany.
On 9 Dec 1945, he suffered injuries as the result of an automobile accident. He died 12 days later, on 21 Dec and is buried among the soldiers who died in the Battle of the Bulge in Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, Hamm, Canton de Luxembourg, Luxembourg, Luxembourg, the grave is located at Plot P Row 1 Grave 1.   There is also a Cenotaph for him in the San Gabriel Cemetery, San Gabriel, Los Angeles County, California.  To view information about and pictures of Patton’s grave site use the Find A Grave memorial links below.
During Patton’s military career, he received numerous United States decorations and medals, in addition to foreign orders and decorations. To see the full list and read a description about each one Patton received click here. To read the citations for some of his medals use the following link.
|Decorations, Medals, and Foreign Awards and Honors|
Since Patton was known for his quotes, here are a couple examples:
These are only a few, there are several websites that have lists of them. To see one of those websites, click here to view more of the Patton's famous quotes.
Here is a short video approximately 30-minute in length titled “The General George S. Patton Story” it is just one of many that you can search for and watch. You can also watch the movie starring George C. Scott released in 1970 titled "Patton". The movie won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Scott won Best Actor for his portrayal of General Patton.
There is a museum dedicated to the legacy of leadership that continues to inspire each generation. It contains history of the United States Army through personal stories, artifacts and film while viewing the foremost collection of Patton material in the world. So, for anyone who would like to see and learn more about Patton and wants to visit the General George Patton Museum they can do so by checking out the museum website here to get directions and instructions on gaining access to Fort Knox, Kentucky. Anyone who is interested in learning more about specific stories about the battles and more information about Patton’s life in the military check out the U.S. Army Center of Military History and do a search for “George Patton”. This search will bring back numerous articles about Patton’s leadership tactics and the different battles he was involved in.
Throughout Patton's military career he was on the covers of both Time and Life magazines. The Time magazine covers were 12 Apr 1943, 26 Jul 1943, and 9 Apr 1945. The Life magazine covers were 7 Jul 1941 and 15 Jan 1945. Then in 1953, the United States Postal Service issued a General George Patton commemorative stamp.
|Gen Patton Commemorative Stamp|
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Categories: Example Profiles of the Week | Virginia Military Institute | United States Military Academy | Mexican Revolution | Pancho Villa Expedition | Fort Riley, Kansas | United States Army Tank Corps, World War I | Battle of Saint-Mihiel (1918) | Meuse-Argonne Offensive (1918) | Schofield Barracks, Hawaii | United States Army Generals | United States Army Generals, World War II | Third Army, United States Army, World War II | Seventh Army, United States Army, World War II | Fifteenth Army, United States Army, World War II | I Armored Corps, United States Army, World War II | II Corps, United States Army, World War II | 5th Cavalry Regiment, United States Army, World War II | First United States Army Group, United States Army, World War II | Operation Torch | North African Campaign | Italian Campaign | Battle of the Bulge | Purple Heart | Distinguished Service Cross (United States) | Distinguished Service Medal | Navy Distinguished Service Medal | Silver Star Medal | Legion of Merit | Bronze Star Medal | Mexican Border Service Medal | World War I Victory Medal | American Defense Service Medal | European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal | World War II Victory Medal | Army of Occupation Medal | Croix de guerre 1940-1945 (Belgium) | Officers of the Order of Leopold (Belgium) | Czechoslovak War Cross 1939-1945 | Grands Officiers de la Légion d'honneur | Croix de Guerre 1914-1918 | Croix de guerre 1939-1945 | Médaille de la France Libérée | Knights Commander of the Order of the Bath | Knights Commander of the Order of the British Empire | Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg | San Gabriel Cemetery, San Gabriel, California | 1912 Olympic Summer Games | Olympians Representing the United States | United States of America, Notables | Notables