Patton's Personal Vet

Dr. Lester Fisher (’43)
Lester Fisher was director of Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo for 30 years. But his most famous role may have occurred years earlier just after he graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine. During World War II, Fisher served in the U.S. Army where he cared for 5,000 messenger pigeons. While making sure those pigeons were in flight shape, he also was asked to keep an eye on one of the most famous dogs of the war. A homely, white bull terrier named “Willie” traveled with his owner, General George S. Patton throughout the war. “Occasionally the general was needed somewhere else and he’d call me up and say, ‘Fisher, I’m going to be gone a day or two days and would you look after Willie,’” Fisher recalled. “Of course, my answer was ‘Yes Sir.’” Although he came under fire on several occasions, Fisher was more afraid that something would happen to the general’s dog. “I thought if anything happened to Willie or (if) Willie died during my watch, I was convinced the general would shoot me on the spot.”