The Mysterious Death of George S. Patton
June 23, 2014
“I LOVE OUR LITTLE GET TOGETHERS, don’t you?” Becky asked Carolyn.
“I couldn’t live without them,” Carolyn replied. “It is hard to believe it has been forty years since we were young Army wives at Fort Hood Texas.”
“Yeah, the exact place Elvis was. By the time we arrived, Elvis had left the building, sniffle sniffle, along with a lot of other famous people.”
The two women had kept up a life-long friendship since they had gone to Ft. Hood with their husbands serving in the MEDDAC unit. They had been stationed there for their whole tours of duty, about two and a half years.
Becky ordered a Tequila Sunrise while they waited for their brunch specials to arrive. She said to her old friend, “I am sure you are still into True Crime and unsolved mysteries. I love reading them myself.”
“Oh yes, I am still addicted to those, and to Pina Coladas,” Carolyn answered as she took another sip of hers. “That reminds me. It was so weird, like Déjà vu. My own father served under General George S. Patton in World War II, then, when I arrived at Ft. Hood as a wife, General Patton’s son, also George, arrived shortly and had command of The Second Armored Division there. He had been in Vietnam with that division and had actually gotten wounded over there. I think I met his wife at some Officers’ Wives Club events…”
“You are referring to Ol’ Blood and Guts and his son, of course,” Becky interrupted.
“The same. I am sure you saw the movie, “Patton.” It was very good, but, what I am getting at is at is the death of Patton, which they grazed over in the film. A mystery still hangs over it to this day. Such an irony: a man that got through all of those battles in the thick of it, bullets flying, cannon fire, aerial bombs and landmines, then to die in a senseless car accident that was totally avoidable, it is very odd. Some have the opinion that there was more to it than that. If it had happened with benefit of today’s media, we might know more answers—their feeding frenzies might have bitten off some obscure information and coughed it up.”
“I knew there was a big question mark in that regard, but I have not gotten into the details. Tell me more,” Becky urged.
“There are two schools of thought. A fellow named Wilcox, and some other writers, have written a lot of theories about it. Was it an assassination? And if so, who was responsible?”
“Exactly how did he die?” Becky asked.
“Patton’s trusted driver, Woody, was driving his Cadillac. It was a cold December day in 1945. Patton and some high-level friends were going hunting near Mannheim in Germany. A jeep with their hunting dogs and guns had just preceded the Cadillac down the road. There was a suspicious truck on the opposite side of this road. Witnesses said that the truck did not start up until Patton’s Cadillac came into view. The driver of two and a half ton truck did not signal, but pulled into the road and turned abruptly in front of Patton’s Cadillac and crashed into it. Patton was the only one really injured in the accident. He had a broken neck and head wounds, because of where he was situated in the vehicle. Immediately after the accident the truck driver and his passengers disappeared. What is even more mysterious is that right after the accident, a general and other high-up officers appeared on the scene in the remote area. How did they find out about it so fast? Records of the investigation and their part in it have disappeared. Patton was not taken to nearby Mannheim hospital but was driven clear to Heidelberg, a half an hour away. He was near death, the longer trip to a different hospital had not helped, but somehow he rallied. He lived for twelve days and he was making plans to return to the U.S. when he died of an embolism. There is an even weirder alternate rumor that he was poisoned at this point.”
“This is all mind boggling,” Becky agreed. “Who wanted him dead and why? Besides the usual suspects, I mean.”
“There was a supposed witness that claimed that Patton was itching to start fighting the Russians who had been allies of ours in World War II. He went on and on about it to anyone who would listen. Roosevelt and Truman had been trying to build up relations between the two countries. Patton didn’t trust it, and voiced his opinions again to Eisenhower at a train-station meeting. The witness claimed that after Patton left Eisenhower, Eisenhower said to those remaining present, ‘He is going to screw this up.’ Eisenhower was very mad. This witness was able to keep eavesdropping when he followed the Eisenhower group onto a train. He could not see who was speaking—there was a partition—but one speaker responded to Eisenhower’s comment, ‘We’ve got to stop him,’ with a question. ‘How? We can’t shoot him!’ Another unidentified voice said, ‘I’ll take care of it.’”
“Oh, that is so eerie!” Becky exclaimed. “Vague, but it leaves a lot to the imagination.”
“There are many books on this subject, in addition to the views by Wilcox. Some claim that the OSS head had a hand in one conspiracy. There was another incident that came under scrutiny. Earlier, Russian Spitfires had tried to shoot down a plane that Patton was in. They claimed they “mistook” the small Piper-type aircraft for a German fighter.”
“Now, I had never heard of that incident at all.”
“There are other writers who have taken all of these conspiracy theories and torn them to shreds point by point, naturally, and their evidence is equally convincing. I guess we will never know,” Carolyn lamented.
“I heard that General George S. Patton was a big believer in reincarnation. Maybe he is walking amongst us now. Maybe he himself will someday tell us exactly what happened,” Becky offered.
In a footnote to this story, George Patton was indeed a believer in reincarnation. Once when he arrived in Langres, a village in northeastern France, an officer already there offered to show him around. The area was the site of an ancient Roman camp. Patton, declined saying he knew it by heart, though he had never been there. He even pointed out the sites where temples, a forum, and an amphitheater had been. “This is the site where Julius Caesar made his camp,” he told the startled officer. Patton knew all of this because he was convinced he was a Roman legionnaire in a past life.
On another occasion Patton was praised by a British general. “If you had lived in the eighteenth century, you would have made a great marshal for Napoleon.”
Patton replied, “But I did.”
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