The eldest son of American President Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt jr. fought in both World War 1 and World War 2. For most of his life, Theodore Roosevelt jr. was involved in politics, business and the military.
Five months before the allied landings in Normandy, Roosevelt was assigned to the U.S 4th Infantry Division (Ivy Division), and was stationed in England. Roosevelt had requested to lead the attack on Utah Beach with the first wave of soldiers; however, this request was repeatedly denied by Major General Barton. Barton eventually agreed, albeit reluctantly, and Barton made it very clear that he did not expect Roosevelt to live through the initial landings on Utah Beach.
As a result of this agreement from Barton, Roosevelt would be the only General to land with the first wave of troops on any of the allied beaches on D-Day.
At the time of the D-Day landings on June 6th 1944, Roosevelt was a frail man, not in the best of health; needing the aid of a walking stick. His health had suffered as a result of the first World War. Despite his poor health, he proved to be a fine leader and as depicted in the film the longest day, he would famously state: "We'll start the war from right here!". He made this famous quote after discovering that the allied landings on Utah Beach were approximately 2kms off course. His decision to start the battle regardless of this error, worked in favour of the allies. As many of the German's stationed in this area were redeployed to deal with the allied paratroopers dropping over Sainte Marie Du Mont, resistance from this part of the Atlantic Wall coastal defences was considerably weaker than expected.
Later in the day, once the beach head at Utah Beach was secured, General Barton came ashore and to his great surprise, Roosevelt was waiting to meet him. Barton never expected to see him alive and both men were filled with great emotion.
On July 12th 1944, after being involved in fierce fighting, Roosevelt died from a heart attack. He was buried at the Omaha Beach American Cemetery in Colleville Sur Mer, Normandy. He was buried next to his brother, Quentin Roosevelt, who was killed in the first World War. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. is buried in Plot: Plot D, Row 28, Grave 45.
For his bravery, Theordore Roosevelt Jr was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Related pages: Omaha Beach American Cemetery  Utah Beach  Sainte Marie Du Mont  Dead Man's Corner Museum  Sainte Mere Eglise  Brecourt Manor Assault  D-day Beach Holiday Cottages  Pointe Du Hoc  Bayeux  Longues Sur Mer