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June 9, 1945: After their arrival at Municipal Airport from Denver, Los Angeles Mayor Fletcher Bowron, left, welcomes Lt. Gen. James Doolittle and Gen. George S. Patton Jr. This photo was published in the June 10, 1945, L.A. Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

June 9, 1945: Anne Patton, the sister of Gen. George Patton, is flanked by Patton, left, and Lt. Gen. James Doolittle.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

June 9, 1945: Photographers swarm Gen. George S. Patton Jr., as he embraces Mrs. Frances P. Graves, mother of Lt. Francis P. Graves Jr., Patton's aide, at the airport on his arrival. Mr. Graves stands to Gen. Patton's right.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

June 9, 1945: Gen. George S. Patton Jr., stops his jeep during a parade to shake hands with soldier who had served in his command during World War II. The wounded veteran disappeared back into crowd before he was identified.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times

June 9, 1945: Gen. George S. Patton Jr., stands during a welcome home procession on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. This photo was published in the June 10, 1945, L.A. Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

June 9, 1945: Gen. George S. Patton Jr., tips his helmet to crowd during welcome home parade on Broadway in Los Angeles. This photo was published in the June 10, 1945, L.A. Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

June 9, 1945: Lt. Gen. James Doolittle waves to crowd during parade in downtown Los Angeles. This image was published in the June 10, 1945 LA Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

June 9, 1945: More than 1 million residents turned out to welcome Gen. George Patton Jr., and Lt. Gen. James Doolittle to Los Angeles following victory in Europe. In the front jeep, left rear, is Doolittle. This photo taken at Sixth Street and Broadway and published in the June 10, 1945, L.A. Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Al Humphreys / Los Angeles Times

June 9, 1945: From left: Mrs. Beatrice Patton, Lt. Gen. James Doolittle and Mrs. Josephine Doolittle as they left ceremonies at Los Angeles City Hall. Next was a reception and press interview, followed by a big welcome at the Memorial Coliseum. This photo was published in the June 10, 1945 LA Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: L. Maxine Reams / Los Angeles Times

June 10, 1945: Gen. George S. Patton Jr., speaks to patients at Pasadena Army Regional Hospital. This photo was published in the June 11, 1945 LA Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

June 10, 1945: When crowds along Firestone and Long Beach boulevards complained they could not see him, Gen. George S. Patton stood on top of his car and talked briefly with the large crowd. This photo was published in the June 11, 1945, L.A. Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

June 10, 1945: Gen. George s. Patton Jr., leads Lt. Gen. James Doolittle out of San Marino City Hall after welcome-home ceremonies. Patton was born in San Marino on Nov. 11, 1885. This photo was published in the June 11, 1945, L.A. Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

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Patton and Doolittle return home

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June 9, 1945: Following the World War II victory in Europe over Germany, but before the surrender of Japan, Gen. George S. Patton Jr., and Lt. Gen. James Doolittle arrive at Los Angeles Municipal Airport for a welcome home tour.

Times writer Walter Cochane reported the next morning:

George Patton and Jimmy Doolittle came home to Los Angeles yesterday–and Los Angeles took them to her arms.

From the split second that their C-54 Skymaster planes–three of them–roared over the Municipal Airport, they were given thunderous welcomes in the style to which only conquerors are accustomed.

As Gen. George S. Patton’s plane rolled to a stop at the airport, scores of civic officials led by Mayor Bowron, Army generals and the enlisted men right on down to the buck privates went to the side of the ship and welcomed him home.

Attired in shiny steel helmet and bearing the four stars of his high rank, polished boots and a studded pistol, the leader of American’s victorious 3rd Army stepped from the plane and snapped his salute to the “old home town.”

On his face was the grim grin of the conqueror….

After only a brief stop at the airport–until all the heroes could climb into command cars and jeeps provided for each one–there began the journey to Pico Blvd. and Broadway….

Strung all along the line–over the highways to City Hall–it was estimated that 1,000,000 persons–the occupants of the homes for which the generals and their men fought–waved their shouts of greetings to the soldiers.

Both generals had strong ties to Southern California. Patton was born Nov. 11, 1885, in San Marino. Doolittle was born Dec. 14, 1896, in Alameda, near Oakland, but grew up in Los Angeles.

On June 10, the generals toured several cities around Southern California. During the visit Patton gave several speeches, believed to be the only time he addressed large numbers of American civilians. The Times reported that Patton’s speeches were “peppered with profanity — but mild to those who soldiered with him.”

Patton was injured in a Dec. 9, 1945, vehicle accident near Mannheim, Germany. He died from his injures on Dec. 21.

Doolittle passed away on Sep. 27, 1993, at the age of 96. Here is the link to Los Angeles Times’ 1993 Gen. James Doolittle obituary.

The above photo gallery consists of images taken on June 9 and 10, 1945.

A previous From the Archive photo gallery covers 1942 Desert training with Gen. George Patton.

1 Comment

  1. June 11, 2012, 8:25 pm

    Man, has the Los Angeles Theater District changed. Check out the rails in the asphalt. Bullocks ois a Galleria, the banks are all gone, not to mention all of the businesses.

    Heroes, like Patton and Doolittle are scorned by those who know not what their great service did to keep the country from becoming an island of a representative democracy / republic.

    By: Steven Moshlak

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