WW II Christmas 1944 Card from Gen. Patton to Third US Army

WW II Christmas 1944 Card from Gen. Patton to Third US Army

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The Christmas Card was created on 8 December 1944, written by Msgr. James H. O'Neill, Chief Chaplain of the Third Army. He wrote it at the request of Gen. Patton at Third Army Headquarters, then located in the Caserne Molifor in Nancy, France.

This is the text of Patton's Christmas Prayer, on the other side of the card. Rain had plagued Third Army throughout the Moselle and Saar Campaigns from September 1944 to 8 December, the motivation for the words:

Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen.

About 250 thousand of these cards were printed and distributed. By Christmas Day 1944, Patton's troops were committed to the relief of Bastogne, Belgium, the key engagement of the Battle of Bulge. Just when needed, the skies cleared enabling crucial supplies to be airdropped to the defenders and allowing time for Third Army to arrive.

Today in WW II: 18 Apr 1941 As German troops approach Athens, the Greek Prime Minister Alexandros Koryzis commits suicide.  More 
18 Apr 1942 Doolittle Raid takes American bombers to Tokyo.
18 Apr 1943 Japanese Combined Fleet Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto killed when intercepted and shot down over Bougainville by 18 P-38 aircraft, the longest such mission of the war.
18 Apr 1945 Esteemed American war correspondent Ernie Pyle killed by Japanese machine gun fire, island of Ie Shima off Okinawa.
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