Oliver Beirne Patton – Brigadier General, United States Army

From a contemporary press report:

Oliver B. Patton, 81, a retired Army Brigadier General who was Executive Secretary of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society from 1974 to 1979, died of congestive heart failure September 15, 2002, in his home at Fort Belvoir.

He lived in Chevy Chase, Maryland,  from the early 1970s until moving in 2001 to the Fairfax, a retirement community at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

General Patton (no relation to George S. Patton) was born in Washington and raised in several states.

He was a 1944 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy.

During the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, he commanded a rifle platoon that was overrun. He was badly wounded during the action and spent the balance of the war in German hospitals and prisoner-of-war camps. He later recounted his experiences for a PBS documentary about the battle.

During the Korean War, he served in Korea, where he was wounded again, and he was assistant chief of staff for XXIV Corps in Vietnam in the late 1960s. In his last tour of duty, he was assistant chief of staff for Army intelligence at the Pentagon.

Among his decorations was the Army Distinguished Service Medal, three awards of the Legion of Merit, three awards of the Bronze Star and three awards of the Purple Heart.

Beginning in 1976, five of his historical novels were published. The last of them, “The Silent Snow,” was a story about the Battle of the Bulge from a foot soldier’s view.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Anne Patton of Fort Belvoir; four daughters, Shelby Whitney of Brunswick, Maine, Anya Ward of Wilmington, Delaware, Ellen Patton of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Sarah Patton of Chevy Chase; a son, Oliver II of Alexandria; and nine grandchildren.


On September 15, 2002, of Alexandria, Virginia. Beloved husband of Anne C. Patton; father of Shelby Whitney of Maine, Oliver Patton of Alexandria, Anya Ward of Delaware, Ellen Crystle of Pennsylvania and Sarah Mondale of Maryland. Also survived by nine grandchildren. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 at 1 p.m. at Fort Myer Old Post Chapel. Interment to follow at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Army Emergency Relief Fund, 200 Stovall St., Room 5N13, Alexandria, Virginia 22332.


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