James G. Paterson was commissioned by the U.S. Army in June of 1941 and entered Fort Sill's Battery Officers Course No. 12 as a second lieutenant. After completing the course, Paterson was assigned to the 4th Armor Division at Pine Camp, NY. He joined the 8th Armor Division at Fort Knox shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and became part of an Armored Force Detachment in June/July of 1942. He was then placed upon the M.S. Tarn, a Norwegian motor ship and part of a convoy, as the commanding officer.

During his military career, Paterson was asked to accompany George Bacon to evaluate the battlefield damage after the Battle of Alamein, after which he reported to General Norman Brooks. He also served as the forward liaison of his detachment to General Clark at the Free French headquarters in Algeria.   
 
Transcript Number 501
Title: James Paterson: Remembering World War II (Part 1 of 2)
Interviewee: James G. Paterson
Interviewer: Paul Zarbock
 Date of Interview: July 9, 2003
Location of Interview: The University of North Carolina - Wilmington
Description: 1 VHS Cassette Tape, sd., col.
Documentation: 1 Typed Transcript
Series: World War II Veterans Oral History Preservation Project
Series: Voices of Experience