Communications: George S. Patton, Jr. - Bill Kennedy
George S. Patton, Jr. is one of my heroes. I am an attentive student of Patton lore. His oral expression was such that his men never misunderstood what he was telling them. An old time friend of my father was Gen O.P. Weyland who was Patton's air officer commanding XVIII Tactical Air Force. When I was unable to get to where my folks were for leaves I often went to Langley AFB and stayed with the Weylands. I sucked his brain dry of Patton recollections. I'll repeat one, you may have heard it.
Eisenhower had become irritated with the excruciating details in Patton's after battle reports. He went so far as to have his chief of staff, Bedell (rhymes with beetle) Smith admonish Patton and insist he report just the factual highlights. After the Battle of the Bulge Patton penned and sent a report:
"Crossed Rhine, pissed in same, Patton."
That's all it said, I saw Opie Weyland's copy of it. Patton did, in fact, urinate into the Rhine before crossing. That much is well known, how he reported it to Eisenhower isn't.
[ story submitted in response to USNA63.org's Pride & Tradition page posting of Patton's speech to his troops prior to D-Day, 1944]
R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GnySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952 (Plt #437)--'72
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