World War I Letters Show Theodore Roosevelt’s Unbearable Grief After the Death of his Son
Beemer2: His other son Theodore Roosevelt Jr. died in WWII. He was just as crazy has his Father and Brother. He loved to be at the front, he hated being in the rear at the HQ or Command post.
He was the only General to land in the first wave with invasion troops(at Utah Beach) , and he was the oldest man in the invasion force. He walked around with a cane and a pistol, and no helmet, but instead a soft cap.
According to William Chapman a 4th ID soldier who also landed at the beach, Theodore, when asked why he didn’t have a helmet on, and that it was orders to have it on at all times. He responded with “Because I’m a General, that’s why!”
Theodore died on July 12th, 1944 of a Heart attack. He was award the Medal of Honor, for his leadership Valor and courage under fire at Utah. He was buried at the Normandy Military Cemetery next to his brother Quentin whom died in WWI. I’ve been to both graves, it quite a sight to see.
Quentin Roosevelt II – Theodore Jr.’s son (named after his brother) also fought in WWII and landed at Omaha Beach, he survived the war.
LeroyoJenkins: And around the same time, the Red Baron was shot down and died. Upon finding his plane and body, the Australian officers buried him with full military honors, including an honor guard, rifle fire salute and a memorial wreath with the inscription “To Our Gallant and Worthy Foe”.
Edit: also worth seeing on WWI respect across enemy lines if the Christmas Truce:
CrimsonPig: Here’s an excerpt from the article about Theodore Roosevelt’s reaction to his son’s death:
> After Quentin’s death, the once boisterous former president was more subdued, and his physical health declined rapidly. In his final days, Roosevelt often went down to the family’s stables to be near the horses that Quentin as a child had so loved to ride. Lost in sorrow, Roosevelt would stand there alone, quietly repeating the pet name he’d given his son when he was a boy, “Oh Quenty-quee, oh Quenty-quee…”
God damn, that’s heartbreaking.
Mixonaintshit: Quentin had been a child when his father was president and so enjoyed a sort of celebrity status as the nations “darling”. His death was widely received and mourned. In Ken Burns the Roosevelts they mention a town changed its name to Quentin in honor of him.
AndLOA: Respect even during wartime situations always stuns me. I think it makes me feel better about humanity too.
swan1512: Something similar happened for the Japanese submariners who attacked Sydney Harbour.
*The Australians recovered the bodies of the four Japanese crew of the two midget submarines sunk in Sydney Harbour and had them cremated at Rookwood Cemetery. For the cremation, the Allies draped the Japanese flag over each coffin and rendered full naval honours. Muirhead-Gould was criticised for this, but defended his actions as respecting the courage of the four submariners, regardless of their origin.*
dbcanuck: And his ~~grandson~~ eldest son died of a heart attack in Normandy, shortly after D-Day where he was the highest ranking American (1 Star general) leading the landings.
eltiburonso: I remember that, as shown in a documentary (historical movie?) That people working in the Roosevelt house walked in on Teddy clutching one of Quentin’s old toys while crying and saying, “poor Quinty Quin.” As tough as he was, it really hurt him.
Gunboat_Willie: One of my great great uncles was killed two weeks before the Canadians took Vimy ridge. He had been ordered not to attack with his men that morning as he would be needed for Vimy. German intelligence was aware of the order.
He disregarded the order as he felt the attack was suicide as the Germans were aware it was about to happen. He was killed in the attack.
During the lull in battle white flags went up so both sided could collect bodies and wounded.
6 German Officers in Full Military Dress came out of a bunker, proceeded to pick up his body and returned it to the Canadian Lines, saluted him and returned to their lines.
It was actually mentioned in Pierre Burton’s Vimy.
Still gives me a cold chill when I think about that and I often wonder who those officers were.
dave_890: [A photo of the body and crashed plane](https://i.pinimg.com/originals/9e/96/79/9e9679e1d81c657ef2c75017983b6b0e.jpg).
nascarracer99316: Damn decent of them.
UranusFlyTrap: Back in a time where a major politician might have a child in harm’s way. Unthinkable almost in today’s times.
TheFourthTriad: I’ve read that the Roosevelt tradition was to “bury the lion where it falls” meaning that would bury their dead near where they died. So this was in keeping with their family tradition.
notJustin43: It seems like people were a lot more classy in WWI than WWII.
Not the combat in the trenches or tunnels of course…but their (apparent) attitude.
betrayedbytheright: The eldest brother also was a bad ass! Teddy Jr. died a month after storming the beaches of Normandy at age of 56 with his troops. Earlier in his life he was governor of Puerto Rico and served with honor and dignity. He backed the bank of Puerto Rico with $1 mil of his own money, went and met the jibaros and the wealthy and got to know their troubles and concerns. I used to think the many roads and stuff named Roosevelt where in FDRs honor but I later come to believe it was in Teddy Jr honor. The Jardineros, a 30s era musical group wrote a song about him called Papa Roosevelt. What a family!
Moses-SandyKoufax: His body was exhumed and placed next to his older brother, Theodore Jr., at the cemetery at Normandy. I believe Quentin is the only soldier killed in WWI to be buried at Normandy.
mystiki_doll: I just noticed that this thread is void of mean spirited asshats who like to start trouble. No name calling, nothing but love of history and proper discussion. This tealky made my day. Thank you everyone im enjoying this so immensely!!!
Manutelli: In the Kaiserreich universe (alternative history mod for hearts of iron) America doesnt enter the war and Quentin is even a potential leader for the US.
Musicfacter: T.R. Went through some shit. He lost so many people in his life prematurely. His mom and wife died on the same day and his son died at only 21. His life was just filled with some much heartache.
AdmiralissimoObvious: Ah, a different era, where the wealthy and powerful pulled strings to get INTO combat..
TooShiftyForYou: Just last year the remains of 1,400 Nazi soldiers from WWII were found near Leningrad and given a proper reburial.
Rafeno760: I cannot recommend enough the documentary by Ken Burns on the Roosevelt’s. They did so much for this country.