Image Size: 19 x 26
1945 Limited Edition
40 Artist Proofs
At 0630 on the morning of June 6, 1944, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr armed only with a .45 colt and clutching a wooden cane, led the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division ashore in the first assault wave at Utah Beach on the Normandy coast of France. As they scrambled across the wide beach toward the seawall, 80-millimeter mortar rounds began to explode around them, men dropped, some silent, some screaming but on they went following General Roosevelt until they came to the seawall.
Upon reaching the seawall, General Roosevelt climbed to the top and immediately recognized that they had been put ashore about a mile south of the scheduled landing site. He quickly improvised an attack to push inland. He stated: "If those Germans want war, this is as good a place as any to start it." He then led his men over the seawall, established them inland and returned for more arriving waves of troops. He contacted a Naval Commander and insisted that the Navy continue to land the 4th Division where he had landed and not their scheduled landing site. He also directed a tank to a German pillbox which destroyed the pillbox. Under grueling enemy fire, for hours he kept going back and forth from the beach to the inland position to redirect succeeding waves of troops until the last assault forces has been cleared from the beach.
Of the five assault beaches on D-Day, the Utah beach landing was the most successful and most of the credit goes to the conduct of General Roosevelt for his ability to make the right decision at the right time. For his actions on Utah Beach, General Roosevelt was awarded the Medal of Honor. Years after the war, General Omar Bradley, then Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, was asked by a magazine syndicate for a statement on the bravest act he had ever known in over forty years of military service. He described General Roosevelt's conduct on Utah Beach.