Tuesday, May 17, 2011

George S. Patton during the Great War

George Smith Patton, Jr was the in Great War and led the US Tank Corps.  He won the world's first tank battle in 1917 in Cambrai, France.  He started as a Captain but was promoted to Colonel during the war.  After the war he went back to Captain.

Why is this in the Lowell Doughboys blog?  George S Patton, Jr married Beatrice Ayer, the daughter of Frederick Ayer on May 26, 1910.   Her birthplace is now the Franco American School at the corner of School and Pawtucket streets.

Lowell City Hall was almost renamed for General Patton after his death following WWII.  When Beatrice learned it was not unanimous she asked them to not do it.  Beatrice died after being thrown from her horse at the Myopia Hunting Club in Hamilton, MA on September 30, 1953.

The Patton Memorial Society was formed in 1971.  Two plaques and a portrait of Patton were dedicated in the Memorial Auditorium.  Thousands of veterans marched in a grand parade.

During the Great War Colonel Patton was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal and the Purple Heart for a leg wound.  The war was officially declared over on his 33rd birthday.


  1. I liked this linking of George Patton and Lowell.  I have had heard the story before, but this was a good retelling and the thing about City Hall was new to me.


    Regards  —  Cliff

  2. Patton didn't lead the US Tank Corps in WW1. That was Samuel Rockenbach. Patton commanded the Light Tank Brigade. Cambrai was not the world's first tank battle; see Flers, Ypres, Berry-au-Bac, and Laffaux. Patton didn't win the battle of Cambrai; nobody did, but Patton didn't take part in it.