Commander of Steel and Wood

What does this tank and this schooner have in common?

tank, hamilton, common, green, flags
Photo: CrazyasCoolFox
Both were commanded by the same person.
schooner, sails, ocean, navigation

The famous World War II commander,  General George S. Patton defined tank warfare. In Northern Africa he defeated the "desert fox" Rommel. In France he and his troops liberated the territory from the Nazi regime. One of his tanks sits on the common of his hometown of Hamilton, Massachusetts, not far from here where I live. After the war he was asked to oversee the rebuilding of war torn Europe.

It was always his dream to sail around the world in his own schooner, in his words, "when and if" he retired from military service. Sadly that chance never came. Patton was injured in an auto accident while commanding the rebuilding effort. He died shortly after that from his injuries. He never got to take his schooner around the world.

I had the fine opportunity to sail this beautiful vessel when it's home port was Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. I was at the helm for a few minutes and turned the same wheel Patton did many years ago. It was truly and exhilarating experience sailing amongst the islands of Salem Sound. She handled well.

When the schooner was launched, Patton's wife christened her the "When and If."


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