How George S. Patton IV Lived Up To His Father’s Legacy


George Smith Patton IV, requested what it was prefer to develop up within the shadow of a World Conflict II icon, replied in a 1977 interview: “I’ve by no means frightened about it. I’ve been too busy.”

Born in Boston on Dec. 24, 1923, he was the fourth in his household to bear the George Smith Patton title. The primary was his great-grandfather, a Accomplice colonel killed throughout the Third Battle of Winchester in Virginia. His grandfather, George Smith Patton Jr., was a lawyer and politician in California. His father, third within the lineage but in addition a “Jr.,” served in two world wars and earned two Distinguished Service Crosses and two Silver Stars.

George Patton IV was in his final 12 months at West Level when his father died in December 1945 of accidents from an car accident in Germany. The son modified his title to drop the Roman numeral. After commencement in 1946, Patton was despatched to Germany as an infantry officer and took part within the 1948 Berlin Airlift. In 1952 he turned an armor officer. A 12 months later, whereas in Korea with the one hundred and fortieth Tank Battalion, fortieth Infantry Division, Patton acquired a Silver Star and Purple Coronary heart.

Patton served in Vietnam in 1962-63 and returned for a shorter tour in 1967. A 3rd tour started in January 1968. In April, after being promoted to colonel, he was given command of the eleventh Armored Cavalry Regiment.

On Aug. 9, throughout a search operation with a unit from the Military of the Republic of Vietnam, the ARVN troops have been struck by enemy forces combating from tunnels below the village of Chanh Luu, north of Saigon. Patton instructed his senior workers to cowl him whereas he took a smoke grenade (he couldn’t discover a fragmentation grenade) and superior towards the enemy. Exposing himself to heavy fireplace, he threw the smoke grenade right into a tunnel opening. Patton’s actions resulted in 16 enemy killed, the seize of 99 suspected Viet Cong and a second Silver Star.

On Sept. 5, Patton, in his command helicopter, noticed 58 North Vietnamese Military troopers making an attempt to flee the encirclement his troops had made. Whereas his door gunners fired, Patton ordered his pilot to land. Because the helicopter landed, it sustained heavy injury traced to fireplace from a ravine. Patton directed an assault that pressured the NVA to withdraw. He additionally led a squad in an assault on the ravine. Patton personally captured one soldier and killed two as they tried to flee the ravine. He acquired the Distinguished Service Cross.

On Sept. 24 Patton and the eleventh Armored Cavalry have been on an operation close to Chanh Luu with ARVN rangers.

When enemy fireplace from a home slowed the rangers’ momentum, Patton ordered his helicopter to land.

He disembarked and, because the firing continued, moved the rangers right into a supporting place close to the NVA, whereas blasting the enemy with a grenade launcher.

Patton then led his males on a cost that demolished the home and uncovered a closely fortified bunker. As his males coated him, Patton crawled throughout the open terrain and threw a grenade into the doorway. It didn’t do the job. Patton got here again with two different males and TNT, which pulverized the bunker. He acquired one other Distinguished Service Cross.

The son matched in two wars the 2 Distinguished Service Crosses and two Silver Stars awarded to his father in two wars. Earlier than he left Vietnam, Patton’s decorations included a Distinguished Flying Cross and 27 Air Medals.

Patton acquired his first star in 1970 and his second in 1975. As a significant basic, he commanded the 2nd Armored Division (1975-77), the identical division his father had led. They’re the one father and son to command the identical Military division.

Whereas in Germany, Patton turned mates with Stuttgart’s mayor, Manfred Rommel, additionally born on Christmas Eve, 5 years after Patton. Rommel was the son of Area Marshal Erwin Rommel, whose German tanks had gone head-to-head with Patton’s father in North Africa. After Patton retired in 1980, the 2 remained mates. Patton died from Parkinson’s illness on June 27, 2004. He’s buried at Arlington Nationwide Cemetery.

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