Every war has a hero or two and many towns have their own hometown hero or a fallen soldier that they honor. Perhaps the funniest national hero was one who was “buried” in the town of Bourg, France in 1917.
In 1917, Colonel (at the time) Patton picked Bourg as an ideal location for his Light Tank Training School. On his arrival to the town the mayor was crying and told Patton that the Americans failed to inform him of a fallen soldier buried in the town. Patton later recalled, “Being unaware of this sad fact, and not liking to admit it to a stranger, I stalled until I found out that no one was dead. However, the Frenchman insisted that we visit the grave.”
Upon arriving, Patton viewed an oblong shaped earth mound that had a cross at the end. On the end of the cross it said, “Abandoned Rear” and Patton quickly realized that the French mistook a filled in latrine for a fallen soldier and left his sympathies and quickly left. When Patton returned to visit during WWII, the townspeople were still maintaining the small grave and were holding the “fallen soldier” as a hero. Patton admitted that he never told them the truth.
Written by Josh Yohe