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Patton's Dog Willie

US 3rd Army Commander Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. and Willie
US 3rd Army Commander Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. surrounded by his staff. At his feet is his English Bull Terrier "William the Conqueror" (usually called Willie). Late 1944 or early 1945. Click image for more about this photo.

Today in WW II: 19 Apr 1941 British troops sent to Iraq.  More 
19 Apr 1943 On the first day of Passover, 2000 German troops marched into the Warsaw Ghetto to round up remaining Jews but were attacked and routed by the residents.
19 Apr 1944 Japanese launch Operation ICHIGO, the first Japanese ground offensive in China since December 1941.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

William the Conqueror, Gen. Patton's Dog

US 3rd Army Commander Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. and Willie

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:

Beside him, lying in a big chair, was Willie, the bull terrier. If ever dog was suited to master this one was. Willie had his beloved boss's expression and lacked only the ribbons and stars. I stood in that door staring into the four meanest eyes I'd ever seen.

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 mourns after Patton's death
Photo taken right after Gen. Patton's death, as Willie waits with personal belongings to be shipped to the United States.
Click the image for more information about the photograph.

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

Find More Information on the Internet

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