John Bass volunteered for World War Two just as he was starting college at LSU back in 1943. To hear him tell it, he lived a charmed life while he was in the army and came home with a choice souvenir. What he is doing with that souvenir is an admirable decision.
John has photographs and other mementos of his travels and adventures from World War Two and has plenty of stories. Like what happened the day he graduated from Officers Candidate School and reported to his new unit in France.
“I was lucky. And I was finally sent to the 63rd Infantry Division," said John. "I reported to them on the last day of the war in Europe.”
So then John was reassigned to be a part of the invasion force in Japan. So what happened before they had a chance to sail from Marseille?
“Dropped the bomb. War’s over," added John. "Don’t know what to do with us.”
John Bass was in good company. He and a great number of other officers were assigned to the same company in Europe. One of them was General George Patton.
“I admired the general a great deal. In fact, I thought he was the best tactician in the army. Better than Eisenhower,” said John.
So when John was given one of the 4-star tags from General Patton’s staff car by Patton’s driver, it was and has been one of John’s prized possessions. But that tag's about to get a new home in a new place. The place John came back to at the end of the war and picked up life again, LSU.
“They’re building a new museum down at LSU. I’m quite fond of my old school so I think I’ll give it to them,” said John.
I’m sure the American Pickers would have loved to have this plate or any number of other collectors; But instead, John Bass is giving Patton’s 4-star car tag to a place where it will have a new life and help jump-start a new life for a new museum.