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Major Kermit Roosevelt_One of Teddy’s Military Sons

I received a bonus when I purchased an old copy of Foreign Service Magazine dated July, 1943.

The feature article detailed the role of the U.S. Coast Guard during World War Two and I wrote about that at this link, Global Warfare with the U.S. Coast Guard, 1943.

In paging through the rest of the magazine I came across the obituary of Major Kermit Roosevelt who died June 4th, 1943 at age 53 in Alaska where he was posted.

Major Roosevelt was the son of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt and the 26th President of the United States. President Roosevelt had become a member of the V.F.W. in 1907 when the organization was known as American Veterans of Foreign Service. The organization changed its name in 1913 to become the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars of the United States. Major Roosevelt was eligible to the V.F. W. because of his service in World War One and World War Two.

Scanned from the July, 1943 issue of Foreign Service Magazine. Major Kermit Roosevelt.

Scanned from the July, 1943 issue of Foreign Service Magazine. Major Kermit Roosevelt.

Major Kermit Roosevelt had a very interesting wartime service record.

The magazine obituary states the following…

“In June 1917, he was commissioned a Captain in the British Army, serving with the Motor Machine Guns in Mesopotamia until June, 1918, when he was transferred to the Seventh Field Artillery, First Division, U.S. Army.

In 1939. Colonel Roosevelt was commissioned a Major in the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army. A year later, as a Colonel with the Finnish Army, he raised volunteers in England for the Finnish Campaign (against Russia); then participated in the Norwegian Campaign (against Germany) from March to June, 1940 with the British Army. after serving in Egypt in August, 1940, he was invalided to England in December, 1940, and returned to the United States in June, 1941. He wore the British Military Cross and the Montenegrin War Cross.”

According to WIKI Colonel Roosevelt battled depression and alcoholism and that led to his suicide in June, 1943. The obituary I just quoted from in the magazine did not mention how the colonel died.

The Wiki article adds a great deal of detail to Major Roosevelt’s life such as how he came to be an officer in the British Army and why his suicide was reported as a heart aliment. I recommend the link to learn more about Major Roosevelt’s life as a writer, businessman and officer in three armies.

Kermit Roosevelt had two brothers who also died on active service with the US military.

Quentin Roosevelt, one of Kermit’s younger brothers was a fighter pilot in World War One. He was killed in action in July, 1918.

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was Kermit’s older brother. Theodore Roosevelt the second is perhaps the best known of the President’s sons. “Ted” as he was known was one of the first general officers ashore on Utah Beach during the Normandy landings despite the fact he suffered from crippling arthritis and needed a cane as well as a heart condition that would kill him 36 days after the landing.

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. with his cane. His jeep was named "Rough Rider, after his father's regiment during the Spanish American War.

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. with his cane. His jeep was named “Rough Rider, after his father’s regiment during the Spanish-American War.

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on D-Day.

It can be said that “Teddy’s” three sons followed in the military foot steps of their patriotic father.

 

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