Younglove Genealogy 
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Joseph Ritton Younglove

Johnstown High School graduate class of 1911.

Source: Gloversville Leader - Herald NY
Date:19 November 1970

The motion picture "Patton" depicts the World War II leadership of Gen. George S. Patton, but a Johnstown resident has his own memories of Patton from World War I that also involved another doughboy, who rose to presidency, Harry S. Truman.

Former State Assemblyman Joseph R. Younglove yesterday recalled his contact with Patton and Truman in France, and disclosed an exchange of World War II letters, which among other information, revealed to the general and indirectly to the President, that they had taken part in the same battle, unbeknownst to them.

Younglove was a second lieutenant in the 345th Tank Battalion in 1918. The battalion, the first of its kind, was commanded by Patton, then a colonel.

Younglove was a platoon commander in the battalion and Patton singled him out to command the truck train to the front which was to accompany the tank attack which marked the battle of St. Mihiel, the first battle in which tanks saw large scale use. The young second lieutenant had to bring the supply trucks up from the rear, then lead the first tank platoon, and the battalion, into the fight for St. Mihiel.

Patton remembered Younglove and called on him again to bring up the critical supplies for a later battle, that of the Argonne Forest. It was during that battle that the meeting with Truman then artillery captain, took place. Younglove recalls that he was at the front with a young captain, and they were watching the advance of another company. The company came under heavy enemy fire and was unable to move they were in danger of being wiped out by the enemy shelling. The guns of the tanks were not powerful enough to reach the enemy firing positions so the captain left Younglove to return to his artillery pieces.

Shortly after, the German guns were silenced.

The sequence of letters was initiated when Patton was promoted to lieutenant general in 1941.

Younglove wrote him a congratulatory letter, and the general wrote a thank you letter back which contained the following passage: "It hardly seems 25 years since you joined me at Bourg - time has certainly flown. I hope that it has dealt easy with you as it has with me".

In 1944, with Patton spearheading the drive into Germany, Younglove wrote him remarking how it was ironic that Patton should be fighting over the same ground that he fought over in World War I, when Younglove was with him.

In the midst of battle Patton replied, thanking him for his consideration, and giving his regrets that he could not answer him in detail.

Also in 1944 Younglove wrote to then Sen. Truman, asking him if he was the man that Younglove had met on the Argonne battlefield.

Truman replied that he was, and that he remembered the tank advance in which Younglove had taken part.

The final exchange between Patton and Younglove took place during June 1945.

Truman had succeeded to the Presidency, and Patton was being called to Washington to meet the President. Younglove related his meeting with Truman to Patton, thus revealing to Patton that he and the President had been comrades-in-arms in World War I unknown to each other before then. Patton thanked Younglove for relaying the story, and used the story when he met Truman.

Younglove was wounded in the Argonne campaign and spent the remainder of the war in a hospital. After returning to civilian life he became active in state politics and served 24 years in the State Assembly before retiring in 1965. He is now living quietly at his residence, 14 Hoosac Street, Johnstown, NY.
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