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Meeting General Patton

Heroes Remember

Meeting General Patton

And finally we got to a place, near Liverpool again, a Royal Air Force training base. And landed there at the end of the week and we were going to disperse from that point. We got into the officers' mess, there was a great gaggle of guys, and someone said, "General Patton is going to come to inspect you tomorrow morning." So we turned to each other and said, "Who the hell is General Patton?" And no one really knew, except one of the Americans said, "Well he's one of our generals and he was sent back to England because he had slapped a soldier in Sicily" or whatever the story was. The next morning we had our, he was going to come at 8 o'clock. This is a grass airfield. RAF training base, very (inaudible) people. We had all of our airplanes lined up in a row facing west, and dew on the ground, I'm right in the middle with my air plane. And the Mustang's a big fighter, and I'm still looking sixteen. So at 8 o'clock in the morning toward us comes a pair of jeeps. And they come and then they turn and they go down to the left, to my left which is south. And I'm watching and there's General Patton. And I watch him get out, I'm standing out in front of my air plane, I've got my flat hat on and my polka dot scarf... I'm a fighter pilot. I've got my jacket, revolver, flying boots the whole nine yards. And so I watch him come along, and I'm right in the middle as I said. He didn't stop until he got to me. Here's this six-foot plus man, wedge cap on, his battle (inaudible), ribbons, his two ivory handled revolvers and they weren't pearl. He said pearl was for pimps. So here he is standing in front of me and he looks down at me and he says, "Boy," he said "do you fly that goddamn air plane?" I said, "Yes sir." I'm looking up at him. "Yes sir." He said, "How old are you boy?" I said, "I'm twenty sir." He said, "You really fly that air plane?" I said, "Yes sir." He said, "Son of a bitch." And off he walked. That was my meeting with General Patton.

Mr. Rohmer describes an encounter he had with General George Patton.

Richard Heath Rohmer

Major General Rohmer was born in Hamilton, Ontario on January 24, 1924. He enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force on his eighteenth birthday. He had received some training in Canada before being shipped overseas to Bournemouth for further training on both Spitfires and Mustangs. He chose to fly a Mustang and was finally able to get into operations in the Fall of 1944.

General Rohmer provided reconnaissance for D-Day, the Falaise Gap and the Liberation of the Netherlands.

After the war, General Rohmer instructed Spitfire pilots on how to attack in the air at Gunnery Instructor School and later went back to college in Ontario, Canada. After graduating from college he went on to practice law. General Rohmer has received several awards throughout his illustrious career including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Canada Defence Medal and is an Officer of the Order of Canada just to name a few. General Rohmer is also a best selling author.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Richard Heath Rohmer
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Battle of Normandy
Air Force
403 Squadron

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