Accident and Death 

On December 9, 1945 in Germany only one day before General Patton was scheduled to leave and return to the United States, Patton was severely injured in a car accident at a railroad crossing. Patton and Major General Hobart Gay were going pheasant hunting on a day trip. Their 1938 Cadillac model 75 that was driven by PFC Horace Woodring. Patton sat in the back seat on the right with General Gay on the left.

At 11:45, their car came to a stop at a railroad crossing. As they started up a 2 ½ ton GMC truck driven by technical Sergeant  Robert L. Thompson struck the Generals car head on. However, they were at a railroad crossing so neither car was going more than 20 MPH. Neither of the cars had been damaged, but General Patton had been thrown forward and was leaning back. He also had trouble breathing.

Patton was paralyzed from the neck down. General George S. Patton Jr. died of an embolism on December 21, 1945 at a military hospital in Heidelberg, Germany. His wife was present.

Patton was buried at a Luxembourg Memorial in Hamm, Luxembourg, along with other members of the third army. His body was moved to its current location at the head of his former troops.

The car that he was riding in, when struck, was repaired and used by other officers. The car can now be seen on display with other Patton artifacts in the General George Patton museum at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

 

 

Home Base

Birth Education
& Family


Early Military Career
World War I


World War II
Campaigns


Accident and
Death


General Patton's
Legacy












General George S. Patton - A History Fair Project by Taylor Jones