1885 November 11 Patton was born in San Gabriel, Los Angeles County, California.

1897–1903 Patton attended Stephen Cutter Clark’s Classical School for Boys, Pasadena, California.


1903–1904 Patton attended Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia, as Cadet.

1904 June 16 Patton entered U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

1905 June 5 Patton turned back to repeat initial year.

September 1 Patton re-entered as Cadet, U.S. Military Academy.

1909 June 11 Patton was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant, 15th Cavalry.

September 12 Patton joined 15th Cavalry, Fort Sheridan, Illinois, and was assigned to Troop K.

1910 May 26 Patton and Beatrice Banning Ayer were married; they would later have three children.

1911 March 19 Patton’s first child, Beatrice Ayer, was born.

1912 June 14 Patton sailed for Europe to participate in the Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden.

July 7 Patton participated in Modern Pentathlon, Olympic Games.

July–August Patton received individual instruction in fencing at Saumur, France.

1915 February 28 Patton’s second child, Ruth Ellen Patton Totten, was born.

1916 March 13 Patton detached from 8th Cavalry and attached to headquarters, Punitive Expedition, Mexico.

May 14 Patton led soldiers who engaged Pancho Villa’s bodyguard and others at Rubio Ranch.

May 23 Patton was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant.

1917 May 15 Patton was promoted to the rank of captain.

May 18 Patton was ordered to report to General Pershing in Washington, D.C.; appointed Commanding Officer, Headquarters Troop, AEF.

November 10 Detailed to the Tank Service.

1918 January 26 Patton was promoted to the temporary rank of major.

March 23 Patton, as commanding officer of the American Tank School in France, received his first 10 light tanks by train.

March 30 Patton was promoted to the temporary rank of lieutenant colonel.

September 15 St. Mihiel Offensive was launched.

September 26 Patton was seriously wounded during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France.

October 17 Patton was promoted to the temporary rank of colonel.

December 16 Patton was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

1920 June 20 Patton reverted to the permanent rank of captain.

July 1 Patton was promoted to the permanent rank of major.

October 3 Patton joined 3d Cavalry at Fort Myer, Virginia, as Commanding Officer, 3d Squadron.

1923 December 24 Patton’s son, George Patton IV, was born.

1924 July 30 Patton was an Honor Graduate, Command and General Staff College.

1925 March 4 Patton sailed from New York to Hawaii on the Army Transport ship Chateau-Thierry going through the Panama Canal.

March 31 Reached Hawaii and was assigned to the G-1 and G-2 Hawaiian Division.

1927 June Patton’s father, George Smith Patton, died.

1928 October 6 Patton’s mother, Ruth Wilson Patton, died.

1932 June 2 Patton was awarded the Purple Heart for a wound sustained in 1918.

June 11 Became Distinguished Graduate, Army War College.

1934 March 1 Patton was promoted to the permanent rank of lieutenant colonel.

1935 May 7 Patton departed Los Angeles for Hawaii.

June 8 Arrived in Honolulu and was assigned to G-2, Hawaiian Department.

1937 June 12 Patton departed Honolulu.

July 12 Arrived in Los Angeles.

July 25 Spent time in Beverly, Massachusetts hospital with a broken leg.

November 14 Discharged from the hospital, sick in quarters.

1938 July 1 Patton was promoted to the permanent rank of colonel.

July 24 Patton served as Commanding Officer, 5th Cavalry, Fort Clark, Texas.

December 10 Patton served as Commanding Officer, 3d Cavalry, Fort Myer, Virginia.

1940 April 1 Served as Umpire, Spring Maneuvers, Fort Benning, Georgia.

May 1 Served as Control Officer, Maneuvers, Fort Beauregard, Louisiana.

October 2 Patton was promoted to the temporary rank of brigadier general.

July 26 Patton served as Commanding Officer, 2d Armored Brigade of 2d Armored Division, Fort Benning.

1941 April 4 Patton was promoted to the temporary rank of major general.

April 11 Patton was made the commanding officer of the 2nd Armored Division.

1943 March 6 Patton was named the commanding officer of the US II Corps.

March 12 Patton was promoted to the temporary rank of lieutenant general.

July 15 Patton formed a provisional corps in western Sicily, Italy.

August 3 Patton visited a field hospital in Sicily, Italy, and slapped Charles Kuhl for what he considered cowardice as Kuhl suffered no physical wounds.

August 10 Patton visited the 93rd Evacuation Hospital in Sicily, Italy, and berated Private Paul Bennett for cowardice.

November 21 Journalist Drew Pearson publicized George Patton’s “slapping incident” of Aug 3, 1943.

1944 March 26 Task Force Baum heads out for Hammelburg to liberate the prisoner of war camp there. One of the prisoners is Patton’s son-in-law, John K. Waters.

July 6 Patton secretly flew into Normandy, France, while the Germans still believed he would lead the main invading force at Pas de Calais.

August 16 Patton was promoted to the permanent rank of major general, bypassing the permanent rank of brigadier general.

December 8 Patton calls Chaplain James H. O’Neill and asks if he has “a good prayer for weather.”

December 12–14 Prayer cards are distributed to Patton’s troops, asking, “Grant us fair weather for battle.”

December 16 Germany launched offensive in the Ardennes known as the Battle of the Bulge.

December 20 Weather in the Ardennes cleared.

1945 March 17 Eisenhower ordered Patton to cease making plans to enter German-occupied Czechoslovakia.

March 24 Patton urinated into the Rhine River. Upon completing his crossing over a pontoon bridge, he took some dirt on the far bank, emulating his favorite historical figure William the Conqueror.

April 14 Patton was promoted to the permanent rank of general.

May 12 Patton launched Operation Cowboy in Hostau, Czechoslovakia, rescuing 1,200 horses, including 375 of the Lipizzan breed, from potential Soviet slaughter.

June 9 Patton and James Doolittle were honored at a parade in Los Angeles, California.

June 10 Patton addressed a crowd of 100,000 civilians in Burbank, California.

September 22 Taken out of context, Patton’s careless comparison of Nazi Party members in Germany to Democratic Party or Republican Party members in the United States stirred much controversy.

October 2 Patton was relieved for statements made to the press about former Nazi Party members.

December 9 Patton sustained spinal cord and neck injuries in an automobile accident near Neckarstadt, Germany.

December 21 Patton passed away from pulmonary embolism as the result of an automobile accident.

1946 March 19 Patton’s remains were moved to a different gravesite within the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial in Hamm, Luxembourg.

1953 September 30 Patton’s widow, Beatrice, died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm while horseback riding at Hamilton, Massachusetts. Her ashes were later strewn over her husband’s grave.

This article is part of our larger selection of posts about the George S. Patton. To learn more, click here for our comprehensive guide to General Patton. 

This article is from the book Patton: Blood, Guts, and Prayer © 2012 by Michael Keane. Please use this data for any reference citations. To order this book, please visit its online sales page at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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