GEORGE SMITH PATTON JR. (1885-1945)
San Gabriel, California
His father George Smith Patton Sr.
His Mother Ruth Wilson Patton
Their first son was named Junior.
The day September thirtieth.
Affluent was his family
Were even known as shibboleth.
Was introduced to Homer’s Iliad
The Odyssey and the Bible.
Also the works of William Shakespeare.
Was taught to be reliable.
A friend John Singleton Mosby
He told military stories.
Served under J.E.B. Stuart
Young Patton was in his glory.
From his family history
Being a hero was not new.
A line of soldiers fought and died
This seemed to be what Patton’s do.
Believed in reincarnation
Held himself to be Hannibal,
A Carthaginian General.
He too would be when capable.
His idols were Stonewall Jackson
And General Robert E. Lee.
Patton would stare at their pictures
Just like them he wanted to be.
Both in Virginia and West Point
Attended Military school
Was made to repeat his plebe year
In math he failed with West Point’s rules.
He married his childhood sweetheart
Shortly after graduation.
Entered the Summer Olympics
In Stockholm for competition.
Was representing the U.S.
In the first-ever pentathlon.
The year was nineteen-hundred twelve
No gold but still a champion.
A leading General in World War II
Spent a life of thirty-six years.
He commanded major theaters
A warrior in his career.
An accident December ninth
In nineteen-hundred-and forty-five.
While in Heidelberg, Germany
George Patton did not survive.
(November 11, 1885? December 21, 1945)
shibboleth: a custom or usage regarded as distinguishing one group from others for most of the well-to-do in the town.
Plebe: a freshman at a military or naval academy
Modern pentathlon: : a composite contest in which all contestants compete in a 300-meter freestyle swim, a 4000-meter cross-country run, a 5000-meter 30-jump equestrian steeplechase, epee fencing, and target shooting at 25 meters.
Patton’s summer home was located in Hamilton, Massachusetts. The town has since dedicated its central park to Patton, boasting a full-size World War II tank in the center of town, and the town’s schools play under the name “Generals”. In addition, the French Government bestowed two statues to the town commemorating Patton’s service to their nation. They were improved in 2003 and sit at the entrance to Patton Park. A great-uncle, Waller T. Patton, perished of wounds received in Pickett’s Charge during the Battle of Gettysburg. Another relative Hugh Weedon Mercer was a Confederate General. Patton’s paternal grandparents were Colonel George Smith Patton. Often claimed to have seen vivid, lifelike visions of his ancestors. He was a staunch believer in reincarnation, and much anecdotal evidence indicates that he held himself to be the reincarnation of the Carthaginian general Hannibal, a Roman legionnaire, a Napoleonic field marshal, and various other historical military figures. It is rumored that Patton’s mother kept paintings of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in their living room; Patton admired them as she read to him from her rocking chair. He is quoted as saying, “Until I was old enough to know better, I thought those were portraits of God the Father, and God the Son.” While at West Point, Patton renewed his acquaintance with childhood friend Beatrice Ayer, the daughter of a wealthy textile baron. The two were married shortly after his graduation. In his 36-year Army career, he was an advocate of armored warfare and commanded major units of North Africa, Sicily, and the European Theater of Operations. Many have viewed Patton as a pure, ruthless and ferocious warrior, known by the nickname “Old Blood and Guts”, a name given to him after a reporter misquoted his statement that it takes blood and brains to win a war. George Patton died of an embolism on 21 December 1945 at the military hospital in Heidelberg, Germany with his wife present. Patton was buried at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial in Hamm, Luxembourg.