Born: St Albans, Vermont, March 24, 1902. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army upon graduation from University of Vermont in 1924.
During the years preceding WWII, he served in variety of Infantry commands and staff positions in the US and Hawaii and attended the Infantry and Command & General Staff Schools.
In 1941, he was commanding an Infantry battalion in the 1st Infantry Division when he was selected to become Assistant G-4 of VI Corps. This was the first of a long series of key assignments in field of logistics. Shortly thereafter, he became G-4 of VI Corps and moved with it to North Africa in January 1943. This corps was the US assault unit in the amphibious landings at Salerno and Anzio in Italy and in Southern France and was the first American unit to fight its way onto the continent of Europe. As G-4 of the Corps, he participated in these 3 D-Day landings and had the responsibility for the logistical operations.
During Operation SHINGLE at Anzio, he was responsible for logistical support of all the US and British forces within the critical beachhead. During this campaign he devised a unique roll-off system of unloading supplies from the LST's shuttling from Naples which cut unloading time for each vessel from 24 hours to less than 2 hours and enabled sufficient supplies to reach the hard-pressed Allied troops despite the fact that the beached were under constant German artillery fire.
In 1950 he returned to Europe as Deputy Chief of Staff of the European Command, redesignated HQ, US Army Europe, during the rapid buildup of American forces in Europe which followed the outbreak of the Korean War. He was promoted to Brigadier General August 1954.
As a veteran of some of the war's hardest campaigns, he was designated to select the trans-Atlantic candidate for reburial at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier from the European-North African-Middle East unknown dead of WWII. He made the selection during solemn ceremonies at the Military Cemetery at Epinal, France, in May 1958.
He is buried in Section 30 (Grave 1081) of Arlington National Cemetery.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard