General Theodore Roosevelt funeral, July 14, 1944

For reasons that I and others have discussed today, July 14 is an important date in Roosevelt family history. Less well-known than the fact that Quentin was killed in France on Bastille Day 1918 is that General Ted Roosevelt was buried on this day in 1944. General Theodore Roosevelt died of a heart attack in France on July 12, five weeks after landing on the beaches of Normandy. I would go more into the story of General Roosevelt’s burial but we already have the narrative as told by the photographer who took the images we see above and below. PFC Sidney Gutelewitz happened to have his camera on his person when he saw Omar Bradley, George Patton and at least four more (other article say at least eight more) generals marching solemnly in the funeral. As Gutelewitz tell it, he did not know it was the funeral of General Roosevelt for another decade. Thankfully the images survived. The photographer turned them over to the United States Army Center of Military History.

General Omar Bradley attends the funeral of General Theodore Roosevelt, July 14, 1944. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle said: “The funeral procession was awe-inspiring for its solemnity and military simplicity.”

One note: many articles discussing Mr. Gutelewitz and his photographs have the funeral as happening in July 13, 1944, To the best of my knowledge–and I researched it pretty closely to check the discrepency–that is almost certainly incorrect. All of the contemporary accounts I read and watched have the funeral as happening on the evening of July 14. It is a lesson in always checking these types of details and not taking them at face value. Apparently twenty-six images of the funeral exist. I have only seen 5-6 online. Maybe next year they will do more with this for the seventy-fifth anniversary of General Roosevelt’s death.

(images/US Army Pfc. Sidney Gutelewitz)