Theodore Jr "Teddy"
Roosevelt, Theodore Jr "Teddy"
Teddy Roosevelt" as he was, in childhood, universally known, was the son of President Theodore Roosevelt (see Roosevelt). He was born 13-09-1887, at the family estate in Oyster Bay Cove, New York, when his father was just starting his political career. Like all the Roosevelt children, Ted was tremendously influenced by his father. In later life, Ted would record some of these childhood recollections in a series of newspaper articles written around the time of World War I. One day when he was about nine, his father gave young Ted a rifle. Ted was so excited and wanted to see if it worked, so after promising not to tell mother, he fired a small shot into the roof. They never got caught for that. When Ted was a child, his father initially expected more of him than of his siblings – an added burden that almost caused him to suffer a nervous breakdown. Unlike his little brother Quentin (see Quentin Roosevelt), who, like his father, was naturally gifted intellectually and sailed through Harvard, studies did not come easy for Ted. He persisted however and graduated from Harvard University in 1908. Before he went to college, he thought about going to military school. All the Roosevelt sons except Kermit had had some military training prior to World War I. Ted, having a reserve commission in the army, as did two of his brothers, Quentin and Archibald was called up shortly after World War I broke out. When the United States declared war on Germany, Ted volunteered to be one of the first soldiers to go to France. There, Ted distinguished himself as the best battalion commander in his division, according to the division commander himself. He braved hostile fire and gas and led his battalion in combat. Ted resumed his reserve service between the wars. He attended the annual summer camps at Pine Camp and completed both the Infantry Officer's Basic and Advanced Courses and the Command and General Staff College, and so was eligible for senior commissioned service in World War II. In 1940, he attended a military refresher course offered to many businessmen as an advanced student, and was promoted to colonel in the Army of the United States. He returned to active duty in April 1941 and was given command of the 26th Infantry Regiment, nickname "Blue spaders" , 1st Infantry Division,nickname "The Big Red One" the same group he fought with in World War I. Late in 1941, he was promoted to Brigadier General. Roosevelt saw action in Sicily, commanded Allied Forces in Sardinia, and fought on the Italian mainland. He was the chief liaison officer to the French Army in Italy for General Dwight D. Eisenhower (see Eisenhouwer), and repeatedly made requests of Eisenhower for combat command. In February 1944, Roosevelt was assigned to England to help lead the Normandy invasion. He was assigned to the staff of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division. After several verbal requests to the division's commanding officer, Major General "Tubby" Barton, (see Barton) he died age 73, on 27-02-1963, were denied, Roosevelt sent a written petition. Barton approved this letter with much misgiving, stating that he did not expect Roosevelt to return alive. Roosevelt would be the only General on D-Day to land by sea with the first wave of troops. He was one of the first soldiers, along with Captain. Leonard T.“Max” Schroeder Jr, he died very old age of 90, on 26-05-2009, off his landing craft as he led the U.S. 4th Infantry Division’s, nickname "Iron Horse" , 8th Infantry Regiment and 70th Tank Battalion landing at Utah Beach. Throughout World War II, Roosevelt suffered from health problems. He had arthritis, mostly from old World War I injuries, and walked with a cane. He also had heart trouble. On 12-07-1944, age 56, one month after the landing at Utah Beach,
he died of a heart attack in France. He was fifty six years of age. He is buried at the American cemetery in Normandy next to his brother, Lieutenant Quentin Roosevelt.(see Quentin) Quentin had been killed, age 20, in France during World War I and buried at Chamery, but was exhumed and moved to the Normandy Cemetery. When Ted Roosevelt died, he had already been selected by General Dwight D. Eisenhower for promotion to Major General and orders had been cut placing him in command of the 90th Infantry Division, nickname "Toügh 'Ombres" . The 90th Infantry Division liberated the concentration camp Flössenburg where only days before Wehrmacht Admiral Wilhelm Canaris (see Canaris) and Stafchef OKW und Group von Stauffenberg , Hans Oster (see Oster) were killed and the remaining 1.500 emaciated prisoners left behind. Teddy Roosevelt is buried on the American War Cemetery in Vierville, France, now next to his brother.