Saturday, June 6, 2009

Personal Leadership at D-Day

In honor of the D-Day anniversary, I thought I would take note of the actions of Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., son of President Teddy Roosevelt, and cousin of FDR. Roosevelt was assistant commander of the 4th Infantry division, which made the assault landing at Utah beach. Over the protests of his superior, who felt that he wouldn't survive, he insisted on landing with the first wave, the only general to do so. His actions resulted in one of the four medals of honor awarded for that day of June 6, 1944. Here is his citation. Like many medals of honor, his was posthumous. He survived the landing, but died of a heart attack July 12, before the medal was awarded.
for gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 6 June 1944, in France. After 2 verbal requests to accompany the leading assault elements in the Normandy invasion had been denied, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt's written request for this mission was approved and he landed with the first wave of the forces assaulting the enemy-held beaches. 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.
More information about Roosevelt can be found here.

No comments:

Post a Comment