Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (World War II)
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., was the son of President Theodore Roosevelt. He was born September 13, 1887 at the family estate in Oyster Bay, NY. Ted, Jr., graduated from Harvard University in 1908 and entered the business world in the steel and carpet industries before becoming a branch manager of an investment bank.
After service as an officer (rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel) in World War I), Ted, Jr., began his political career in the New York State Assembly. He later was to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of Puerto Rico (1929–32), and Governor General of the Philippines (1932–33). He resigned and returned to the U.S. shortly after his cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was elected President. He served as Vice President at Doubleday publishing company, later serving as chairman of the board of the American Express Company, as Vice President for Boy Scouts of America, and as President of the National Health Council.
He returned to active duty in April 1941 and was placed in command of the 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division - the same group he fought with in World War I. Late in 1941, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. Throughout World War II, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., suffered from heart trouble and arthritis problems which caused him to walk with a cane. However, he saw action in northern Africa, Sicily, and Italy.
In 1944 General Eisenhower assigned Ted, Jr., to England to help lead the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944. On D-Day, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., led the first wave of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division's landing at Utah Beach and earned the Medal of Honor. His Medal of Honor Citation reads in part “He repeatedly led groups from the beach, over the seawall and established them inland. His valor, courage, and presence in the very front of the attack and his complete unconcern at being under heavy fire inspired the troops to heights of enthusiasm and self-sacrifice. Although the enemy had the beach under constant direct fire, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt moved from one locality to another, rallying men around him, directed and personally led them against the enemy. Under his seasoned, precise, calm, and unfaltering leadership, assault troops reduced beach strong points and rapidly moved inland with minimum casualties. He thus contributed substantially to the successful establishment of the beachhead in France.”
One month after the landing at Utah Beach, he died of a heart attack in France. He is buried at the American cemetery in Normandy, next to his brother, Quentin, a WW I air corps pilot shot down and killed behind enemy lines July 14, 1918.
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.’s, National number is 32876 and his Empire State Society number is 3526. His Patriot ancestor is Jacobus (James) Roosevelt who served as Commissary in the New York Troops during the Revolutionary War. He signed his SAR application on June 10, 1919.
Attached to the last page of his application is a newspaper clipping (source unknown) with handwritten date of “9/20/44” entitled “Gen. Roosevelt’s Widow Presented Medal of Honor.” Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson presented the award to Roosevelt’s widow. Also attending the presentation were “Gen. George C. Marshall, chief of staff, and Gen. H. H. Arnold, commander of the Army Air Forces.” “The War Department said that the award had been recommended prior to Roosevelt’s death in Normandy on July 12.”