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Patton's Dog Willie
William the Conqueror, Gen. Patton's Dog
General George S. Patton, Jr. was an animal lover with a particular attraction to bull terriers. He bought his first one, called Tank, just after World War I.
During World War II, on 4 March 1944 at the height of Patton's fame, he purchased the famous white bull terrier named Willie, short for "William the Conqueror." For the rest of Patton's life, Willie and General Patton went everywhere together.
Willie had his own set of "dog tags," and had quite a reputation with the "lady" dogs. Gen. Patton doted on the dog and even hosted a birthday party for him.
Bill Mauldin Meets Patton
Not everyone was charmed by Patton and Willie. When Sgt. Bill Maudlin, Stars and Stripes cartoonist, met Gen. Patton in March 1945, he described Willie this way:
Willie Loses His Master: The Death of Patton
On 9 December 1945, Gen. Patton suffered injuries as the result of an automobile accident. He died 12 days later, on 21 December 1945 and is buried in a simple grave at the U.S. military cemetery in Hamm, Luxembourg, among the soldiers who died in the Battle of the Bulge.
Willie, Patton's constant companion during the war, was sent to the United States, and lived out the rest of his life with the General's wife and daughters. A twelve-foot-high bronze statue of Patton and Willie has been erected at the General Patton Memorial Museum, off Interstate 10 in Chiriaco Summit, CA, not far from the former site of the Desert Training Center. It was there that Patton, as the first commander in 1942, began developing the armored tactics for Operation Torch in North Africa and later campaigns of World War II.
Recommended Book and Film Biography of Gen. Patton
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