Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. Took Charge

  
By:  john-russell  •  3 weeks ago  •  7 comments

Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. Took Charge
"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.”

There were setbacks at Utah, as on every beach. Of the 360 United States bombers sent just before the landings to bomb the German beach defenses at Utah, 67 did not release their bombs: visibility was too bad. When, at three-thirty in the morning, the men transferred while at sea from their transport ships to their landing craft, many, falling in the heavy swell from the rigging on which they were descending to the landing craft, broke their legs: their equipment weighed almost seventy pounds. Landing three hours later, they discovered that they were more than a mile south of where they should have been. It was the assistant divisional commander, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr.—a son of President Theodore Roosevelt and cousin of Franklin Roosevelt— who, having landed with the first wave of the attacking forces, took charge. Rather than reembark and move to the correct landing area, he decided to move inland. Striding up and down the beach, cane in hand, he urged the men forward.

theodore_roosevelt_jr.jpg

 For his actions on Utah Beach, General Roosevelt was awarded the Medal of Honor, one of four awarded on D-Day. His citation notes that despite his high rank, “he personally led a number of groups of soldiers from the beach, over the seawall, and to positions inland where they could establish themselves. … 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.” It was General Roosevelt who led the attack on Blockhouse W5, which Rommel had inspected a month earlier. By chance, the men came ashore in an area less heavily defended than the one where they were intended to land.* 

General Roosevelt died of a heart attack shortly after the Utah landings. His brother, an aviator, had been killed in action in the First World War. When the Second World War American National Cemetery was created on the bluff above Omaha beach, his brother’s body was brought from elsewhere in France and reburied next to him. Thirty other pairs of brothers lie side by side in that cemetery. Another eight pairs of brothers are also buried there but in different rows. A father and son also lie side by side, Colonel Ollie Reed and his son Ollie Reed Jr., both killed in Normandy. 

from "D-Day" by Martin Gilbert

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JohnRussell
1  author  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

Roosevelt was not required to go in with the first wave, he wanted to. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2  author  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago
Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt, moved among the men, speaking softly and soothingly. Countless members of the 4th Division recall the words of reassurance that Roosevelt, the oldest man going ashore that day, said to them. They remember, too, that he began singing and urged them to join in. Lt. John Robert Lewis described the scene: “During the cruise across, we all assembled on the deck of the Bayfield and sang ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’ and ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’ This was a very sobering time to sing the words, ‘As God died to make men holy, let us die to make men free.’  from "D-Day June 6th 1944" by Stephen Ambrose
 
 
 
Kavika
3  Kavika     3 weeks ago

Respect

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
4  Ed-NavDoc    3 weeks ago

A true warrior.

 
 
 
Sparty On
5  Sparty On    3 weeks ago

Wow, another great D-day story i've never heard.   Amazing!

Semper Fi Army!

 
 
 
JohnRussell
6  author  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago
 Theodore Roosevelt Jr’s cousin was Franklin D Roosevelt, who became president, and was Commander-in-Chief when Theodore Jr, then a brigadier general, was the only flag-grade officer to land at Normandy during D-Day as part of the First Wave, and at age fifty-six, the oldest person to participate in the Invasion https://www.ammoland.com/2018/04/real-leaderstheodore-roosevelt-jr/
 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7  Bob Nelson    3 weeks ago

Was this Henry Fonda's character in "The Longest Day"?

I'm afraid a lot of my knowledge of D-day come from there.

Yup. That was it. Google's my friend......

 
 
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