Gen. Patton's Bull Terrier 'Willie' Mourns His Master, January 1946

Gen. Patton's Bull Terrier 'Willie' Mourns His Master, January 1946

This photo was taken in Bad Nauheim, Germany in January 1946, right after the death of General George S. Patton Jr. on 21 December 1945 at the Army hospital in Heidelberg, Germany, the result of a tragic automobile accident. The photo shows Patton's papers that have been packed in trunks to be sent to his aide, Colonel Charles R. Codman, his briefcase, and above all his faithful friend Willie, Patton's pet bull terrier.

The most famous bull terrier owned by General Patton was purchased on 4 March 1944. He was named Willie, short for "William the Conqueror." When General Patton bought Willie, he wrote in his diary, "My bull pup...took to me like a duck to water. He is 15 months old, pure white except for a little lemin [sic] on his tail which to a cursory glance would seem to indicate that he had not used toilet paper..." Willie wore jingle bells on his collar so everyone would know when he was around and he was rumored to be a prodigious "lover." He supposedly had his own set of "dog tags" too. Willie was devoted to General Patton and followed him everywhere.

Willie was sent home to the United States, and lived out the rest of his life with the General's wife and daughters. There is a statue of Patton and Willie at the General Patton Memorial Museum, Chiriaco Summit, CA thirty miles east of Indio on Interstate 10.

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