27.06.

2004: General George Patton IV died

2004: General George Patton IV died
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 27 June 2004
  • George S. Patton IV became the commander of the U.S. 2nd Armored Division, the same unit his father had commanded in North Africa during World War II. It was the first time in American history that a father and son commanded the same division.

On this day, in 2004, the American General George S. Patton IV, son of the famous World War II General George Patton, died. 

It was a family with a long military tradition. Specifically, already the ancestor of the two mentioned generals, who was also called George Patton, was a colonel in the Confederate Army (South) during the Civil War. The father of George Patton IV should theoretically bear the name George Patton III, but he did not use the number behind his name during his life.

During his military career, George S. Patton IV attained the rank of major general, i.e. a two-star rank. His father, the World War II commander, had a higher rank of a four-star general. Shortly after the victory in World War II, that general was killed in a car accident in occupied Germany. His son, George S. Patton IV, was only 21 years old at the time.

The year following the death of his father – 1946 – George S. Patton IV graduated from the famous West Point. He participated in the 1948 Berlin Airlift and then in the Korean War, where he was decorated. During the Vietnam War, he was promoted to colonel and was decorated once again.

In 1970, George S. Patton IV was promoted to brigadier general. He became the commander of the U.S. 2nd Armored Division, the same unit his father had commanded in North Africa during World War II. It was the first time in American history that a father and son commanded the same division (Abrams family accomplished that later).

While he was stationed in Germany, George S. Patton IV met German politician Manfred Rommel, son of the famous World War II German field marshal. They apparently became friends, which the media found especially interesting. Manfred Rommel was Lord Mayor of Stuttgart for more than 20 years. Unusual is also the fact that George S. Patton IV and Manfred Rommel had a birthday on the same day (24 December).

After his retirement, George Patton IV devoted himself to his estate north of the city of Boston. He allegedly named the fields after the soldiers who died under his command in Vietnam. He died at the age of 80 and he left behind a wife and five children. It is interesting that his daughter Margaret Georgina Patton became a Catholic Benedictine nun.

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