If anyone considered an army wife to be merely the kite’s tail, Beatrice Ayer Patton had the perfect retort, “How high can a kite soar without its tail?” After all, she shaped the man, fortified the soldier, and created the legend.
General George Patton once remarked that World War II undoubtedly would have lasted a lot longer were it not for his soldiers and his wife. Those who knew the Pattons were aware of the vital role Beatrice played in his reaching his destiny, but few others understood the singular impact of this remarkable woman whom people described as having “a personality which radiates like a brilliant gem.”
The arduous army life was alien to Beatrice growing up on Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue, but her adventurous spirit and insatiable curiosity allowed her to adapt quickly. She became an immediate asset to her husband’s career and continuously fanned the flames of his burning ambition, walking beside him on his path to glory while maintaining her own identity. As comfortable on the back of a magnificent steed as at the helm of a great schooner, she became an authority on Hawaiian legends while stationed on the islands twice.
Called “a triumph” by Joanne Holbrook Patton and “a unique book in the military biography field” by the Manhattan Book Review, Lady of the Army has been hailed for its extensive research and factual reporting. Straddling the line between the home-and- war front, Lady of the Army tells the story of the General’s greatest champion in life and fiercest defender in death while shedding new light on a complex personality who wanted nothing more than to die a glorious death on the battlefield.