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A chat with George Patton IV

By EVERETT VANOVER

He was the son of World War II General George S. Patton, Jr., and served in the Korean War and the Viet Nam War. In Korea he was a captain.

Patton served a total of three tours of duty in South Viet Nam and was promoted to lieutenant colonel. He frequently used helicopters as mobile command posts, and was shot down three times. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

After Viet Nam he was promoted to brigadier general in 1970 before becoming the commanding officers of the U.S. 2nd Armored Division in 1975 as a major general.

This was a unit his father had commanded just before the U.S. entered World War II, making this the first time in U.S. Army history that a father and son had both commanded the same division.

Brigadier General Patton was deputy commander at Fort Knox during 1972. Patton was known by the troops as a “G.I. General”, often appearing in the dining hall after the general would be behind the serving line.

Patton died June 27, 2004 at the age of 80, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

In December 1945, his dad, General George S. Patton, broke his neck in a car crash near Mannheim, Germany. He died at the hospital in Heidelberg 12 days later, on Dec. 21, 1945.

In 1947, his memoir, War As I Knew It was published posthumously.

(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.)

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