I read them in the paper every morning as part of my daily routine. I have noticed a random trend which I think is worth a comment.
I was reading about a WWII veteran who had passed away recently. He was a tail gunner on a B-17 that was shot down over Germany in December, 1944. He survived and became a prisoner of war.
His obituary states that he was liberated by the Third Army which was under the command of George Patton. The trend I have noticed is this: not only in obituaries but in conversations with veterans, if they had even the slightest association with General Patton they are sure to mention it.
This vet was in the Army Air Corps and had no direct relation to the command of Patton except in April 1945 when elements of Patton’s Third Army liberated his pow camp.
My uncle served in under Patton and told me that the if Patton had been given the gas he needed he would have gone all the way to Berlin and ended the war well before it did. History, being what it is, tells us that such supplies of fuel were not available as the Allies simply outran their supply lines.
It seems to me that the veteran I mentioned earlier had kept the memory of his liberation alive and well to the point where his family was well aware of it, knew how important it was to him and made sure that the name of General Patton was featured in the obituary.
This a very unscientific sampling but the name of General Patton seems to be mentioned more by enlisted men than any other general. In fact, I can’t recall reading about other generals pretty much at all.
George Patton died in 1945 in Germany as the result of an automobile accident.