Quentin Roosevelt (November 19, 1897 – July 14, 1918) was the youngest son of President Theodore Roosevelt and First Lady Edith Roosevelt. Family and friends agreed that Quentin had many of his father’s positive qualities and few of the negative ones. Inspired by his father and siblings, he joined the United States Army Air Service where he became a pursuit pilot during World War I. Extremely popular with his fellow pilots and known for being daring, he was killed in aerial combat over France on Bastille Day (July 14), 1918.
After his grave came under Allied control, thousands of American soldiers visited it to pay their respects. Quentin’s resting place became a shrine and an inspiration to his comrades in arms. Quentin’s death was a great personal loss to his father, who understood quite well that he had encouraged his son’s entry into the War. It is said that he never fully recovered from Quentin’s death. Within six months, Theodore himself would be dead.
<img alt=”” src=”//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/38/Quentin_Roosevelt_headstone.jpg/220px-Quentin_Roosevelt_headstone.jpg” width=”220″ height=”166″ class=”thumbimage” data-file-width=”2848″ data-file-height=”2144″>
Quentin Roosevelt’s grave in the Normandy American Cemetery
Eleven years after the World War II American Cemetery was established in France at Colleville-sur-Mer, Quentin’s body was exhumed and moved there. In 1955. Quentin’s remains were moved in order to be buried next to his eldest brother Ted, who had died of a heart attack in France in 1944, shortly after leading his troops in landings on Utah Beach on D-Day as Assistant 4th Infantry Division Commander (an act which would earn him the Medal of Honor). Quentin’s original gravestone was moved to Sagamore Hill to serve as a cenotaph for the President’s son. The German-made basswood cross that marked Quentin’s original gravesite is on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in Dayton Ohio.