General Patton Memorial Museum, Chiriaco Summit, CA
With David Backman and family
The Second World War saw the fighting by David Brinkley's Greatest Generation and gave us leaders famous and infamous. One of the larger than life players in the War in Germany and Africa was General George S. Patton, who was famously portrayed by George C. Scott in the movie biography Patton. Patton was a storied soldier in the U.S. Army, he chased Pancho Villa in Mexico before heading overseas for World War I, where he was the first officer assigned to the newly formed Tank Corps. A staunch advocate of armored warfare, he led corps and armies in North Africa, Sicily and mainland Europe. Famous for slapping a soldier recuperating in the hospital and calling him a coward, Patton found himself commanding a decoy attack to divert the Germans from the main D Day invasion at Normandy.
In the late 1980's, a museum was developed for the Desert Training Center at Camp Young. The museum was named in honor of Patton who had handpicked the site and was the center's first commander.
At this camp, Patton personally oversaw the training of soldiers to prepare to fight General Rommel's Afrikakorps in North Africa during World War II.
In his honor, several tanks have been given the Patton name. The M60A1 Medium tank was used in the Cold War.
As was the M47 Main Battle Tank.
One thinks of tanks as being able to go everywhere, which they do. But when they break, like any other vehicle they need to be towed to repair. That's where a specialized tank tow truck comes into use. A M578 Light Recovery Vehicle.
This Honorable Service lapel pin is nicknamed the "ruptured duck."
Before Patton was riding around on tanks, he was chasing the enemy on horseback. One of his saddles comes from his estate in San Marino.
Outside the museum is a memorial to fallen soldiers. NOT contemplates the memorial from in the broken tank treads.
War is hell, and it leave a lot of material behind. This includes:
Trench art from World War I
And rusted beer cans.
NOT tried out to see if he was made for Army life. Unfortunately they didn't seem to make a uniform in his size.
And the less said about failure to try and use the latrines, the better.
NOT's glad to be living in a time of relative peace. He'll find some other way to make his contribution to the cause.
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United States Travel
Photos courtesy of David Backman
Last Updated January 2010