Skip to comments.Gen. George S. Patton, 80, Son Of World War II Commander, Dies
Posted on 06/30/2004 4:44:08 AM PDT by SLB
WASHINGTON, June 29 - Maj. Gen. George S. Patton, the son and namesake of the World War II armored commander and a veteran of combat in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, died on Sunday at his home in Hamilton, Mass. He was 80.
General Patton, who retired from the Army in 1980, had been in poor health for years because of complications from hip surgery and other ailments, his wife, Joanne, said.
The younger General Patton was occasionally asked whether he felt overshadowed by his father, who gained fame for his exploits in North Africa, Sicily and France and who was introduced to new generations of Americans through George C. Scott's movie portrayal. "I've never worried about it," the son said in an interview in 1977. "I've been too busy."
The younger officer was wounded in one of his three Vietnam tours and was awarded a Purple Heart. He was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest decoration for bravery in combat.
George Smith Patton was in his last year at West Point when his father, George S. Patton Jr., was killed in a traffic accident in Germany in December 1945. For a time, the younger man was known as George S. Patton III, but he eventually dropped the Roman numeral, his wife said.
General Patton acknowledged that, just as his father had, he demanded a spit-and-polish look from his soldiers. And like his father, he loved history and spoke French, Joanne Patton said. He received a master's in international affairs from George Washington University.
As a colonel, he commanded the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam. As a major general in 1975, he took command of the Second Armored Division at Fort Hood, Tex. His father had led the division in North Africa.
In 1964, the younger George Patton and other relatives objected to a new biography of the World War II commander, "Ordeal and Triumph," saying it used unauthorized material from the general's wartime diaries. Some material was deleted, and the book was published.
In retirement, the general ran Green Meadows Farm in Hamilton, north of Boston.
Also surviving are three sons, George, of Hamilton; Robert, of Darien, Conn.; and Benjamin, of New York; two daughters, Mother Margaret Patton, a nun in Bethlehem, Conn., and Helen Plusczyk of Saarbrücken, Germany; six grandchildren; and a great-grandson.
This came to me in email this morning. The source was listed as the Earlybird. I will check the Earlybird later, right now off to the "honey do."
Some of you are in an earlier post. Sorry about doubling.
George the Third gone to Fiddler's Green.
He joins a group of very honorable warriors on Gods side.
Thank you. I have a couple of what I think are funny stories about him while I was stationed at Fort Knox in the 70's. I'll share them later when I have a little more time.
BTW, I was about to say that I knew him as "the III" and then I read the article. RIP GSP III.
We radioed back all of our findings to the company, who forwarded them to battalion, and up the chain it went. We sent the maps and radio code sheets back with one of the squads.
At about 0600, General Patton's helicopter came over and SGT Porter called it in to the landing zone at the HQ. When it landed and the General got out, my squad took both him "prisoner" and "captured" the helicopter as well.
We got most of his staff, his maps and radios (and code sheets), and his helicopter. 2nd Armored lost that wargame as the Cav rolled it up like a f*rtsack.
I learned yesterday from a friend that the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, General Casey is the son of the 1st Cav General who was killed in a helicopter crash in Vietnam. Damn, I'm feelin' old.
You magnificent bastard..I READ YOUR BOOK!
During the road march north the radio suddenly came to life with information that the Regimental Commander, COL George S. Patton, Blackhorse Six, was standing on the side of the road saluting each A-Cav as it went by him. The troopers on each vehicle, including myself, returned the salute as they went by Blackhorse Six. At that time, B Troop was commanded by CPT John Hays, an outstanding Troop Commander. Several days later CPT Hays was killed in an attack against dug in NVA troops.
COL Patton's simple leadership act of standing by the road and saluting each vehicle as it went by had a great affect on me. That image has stuck with me to this day.
HOW 1/11 1968-69
May he enjoy his hero's welcome in heaven! REst in peace...
God bless him, and the old General, too. What a colorful family.
And he gets extra stars in my book for dropping the III once his father and grandfather were gone. Except for kings and popes, the numbers are supposed to be temporary, only to distinguish among *living* holders of the same name.
The rumor around Ft. Knox when the movie, "Patton" came out was that the family would not cooperate with any studio until after Colonel Patton was selected for BG. If true, I always thought that was a classy move. They didn't want it to be said that the movie helped him get a star.
Gen. George S. Patton visited the University of Vermont in 1972 as a speaker to the campus ROTC cadets. These were tough times in this country particularly for us military types. The General was magnificent in every respect. He was very real in those surrealistic times. Inspiring.