- Patton, George Smith
- (1885-1945)George S. Patton was born in California and educated at Virginia Military Institute and West Point Military Academy, where he graduated in 1909 and joined the cavalry. In 1912, he competed in the pentathlon in the Olympic Games. Patton took part in the punitive expedition against Mexico in 1916 and 1917 and then in France during World War I. He was aide to General Jack Pershing before being assigned to the new tank corps. He led a tank brigade at the Battle of St. Mihiel in 1918 and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery. After the war, Patton attended cavalry school and later the army war college. In 1932, he was one of the officers who led troops against the Bonus Army in Washington, D.C. After the United States joined World War II, Patton commanded the First Armored Corps in Africa. In July 1943, he took command of the 7th Army during the invasion and campaign in Sicily and was responsible for the seizure of Palermo, Italy. Known for his intemperate language and aggressive manner, Patton caused a public outcry when he called two soldiers in a field hospital cowards and struck one of them. General Dwight D. Eisenhower made him issue a public apology but refused to court-martial him. Patton led the 3rd Army following the D-Day invasions of Europe, and he helped turn the tide during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, when he led his forces more than 100 miles in bad weather to relieve the army in Bastogne, Belgium. After the war, Patton was placed in command in Bavaria, Germany, but he was removed for failing to impose the policies of denazification as rigorously as required. He also urged that a firm stand be taken against the Soviet Union. Patton died following a road accident.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.