U.S. At War: I'd Rather Have That Medal

On the White House appointment list were five notable callers—three marines, an Army private, and volcanic General George Smith Patton Jr.

Patton made news by going in unarmed. But he took his riding crop along, waved it rakishly at the cheering White House staff. When a reporter asked about his ivory-handled pistol, Georgie quipped: "Oh, that's my social pistol."*

The other fighting men got the Congressional Medal of Honor, in a homey ceremony on the White House lawn. Reading the citations, Harry Truman got stuck when he came to "Peleliu Island," called on brown-haired, heavy-set Medal Winner Major Everett P. Pope of Wollaston....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!