BG THEODORE ROOSEVELT, JR.
Commanding – 4th Inf. Div.
Utah Beach Normandy
6 June 1944
On 6 June 1944 there was only one American General leading his troops on the beach. Gen Roosevelt wasn’t in the best health but even if he was, Division Commanders were considered too valuable to send in on the first wave.
Roosevelt felt different, he believed he should lead his men on the beach.
After being refused twice by his command, Roosevelt forced Eisenhower’s hand and was allowed to lead his Division in the first wave. Roosevelt repeatedly returned to the breach to rally, encourage and lead his men from the beach, over the seawall and established them inland.
The General’s valor, courage, and presence in the very front of the attack along with his complete disregard for heavy enemy resistance Brig. Gen. Roosevelt moved from position to position, rallying men around him personally leading them against the enemy.
You might say that Teddy Roosevelt Jr had a big pair of Combat boots to fill – I think he filled them
Not only was his father a former President, his father also earned the Medal of Honor during the Charge on San Juan Hill. He was awarded it posthumously because he refused it when he was alive saying his men earned it – almost 20 of them actually did earn MOHs while under his command.