In December of 1984, it will be forty years since one of America’s greatest heroes, General George S. Patton, was executed by his Communist foes. General Patton was struck down the day before he was scheduled to make a triumphant return to the United States. He had just been removed from his command of the Third Army, which was in charge of governing the American sector of Germany. Because he not only opposed the dismemberment of Germany, but also because he favored military action against the Communists. As the most popular hero of the Second World War, Patton would have been unbeatable in a Presidential race. This was the reason his skulking enemies ordered his execution before he could leave Germany.
The Patton Papers, 1940-45 recently published by Houghton Mifflin Company in Boston, gives ample reasons for the murder of General Patton. A few months before he was killed, his driver for five years, Master Sergeant John L. Mims, was replaced. Patton was asked by Major General Gay to accompany him on an excursion for a few hours the day before he was to return to America. At 11:45 A.M. in clear weather and on a straight stretch of road, the driver of a GMC military truck turned his vehicle directly into the side of the 1938 Cadillac 75 Special limousine in which Patton was the only person injured. He suffered some internal injuries but did not seem to be seriously hurt. On Dec. 21, 1945, it was announced that he had died of an “embolism”, that is a bubble of the blood which is fatal when it reaches a vital organ. It can be introduced into the bloodstream with a syringe by anyone with brief medical training.