On December 21, 1945, General George S. Patton died of injuries suffered during an automotive accident which occurred two weeks earlier in post-war Germany. Patton died in a hospital in Heidelberg, where a service was held. His remains were then transported to the American cemetery in Luxembourg for burial alongside many Soldiers he had commanded during the war.
In a foreshadowing of a mission years into the future, men of the 3rd Infantry Regiment acted as pallbearers for Patton’s remains (identifiable by the Buff Straps worn on the left shoulder). Along with members of the Regiment, Patton’s personal orderly, Master Sergeant William G. Meeks, acted as casket bearers for the former commanding general of the Third Army.