28 March 2023
Yannick had had the great opportunity to go to the village of Chamery (Northern France) where Lt Quentin Roosevelt died in 1918.
Quentin Roosevelt I was the youngest son of President Theodore Roosevelt. He was born in November 1897. Quentin developed a sparkling personality and used the White House as his playground. The President Theodore Roosevelt used to call Quentin and his friends the “White House Gang”. In 1909, he was amazed when he attended the first aerial meeting in the world in Reims, France. His passion for aviation started.
When the First World War broke out, the United States realized the significance of military aviation. The army created summer camps to recruit and train futur pilots.
In May 1917, Quentin joined the newly formed 1st Reserve Aero Squadron and in July of the same year, he was sent to France.
At first, he served as a mechanic and instructor because the chiefs of staff did not want to expose me but Quentin insisted and became a pilot in June 1918. A few weeks later he shot down his first German airplane.
On Bastille day, Quentin was supposed to form a band to celebrate the French National Day but he was sent with three pilots to intercept German observation airplanes. On their way inside their Nieuport 28 they were attacked by seven German Fokker. An intense dog fight started but unfortunately Quentin was killed by two bullets in his head and his plane crashed.
His body was recovered by the Germans and Quentin received military funeral. His father was devastated by the loss of his son however, he decided to leave Quentin’s body where he fell. Quentin’s grave became a shrine for thousands of allied soldiers who paid their respect to this hero.
The Roosevelt family wanted to create a monument to honor Quentin but they wanted something useful for the population of Chamery and the idea to build a fountain came up.
After WWII, the body of Quentin was moved next to his brother Teddy Roosevelt Junior who died in Normandy of a heart failure, during WWII. They are now resting in peace at the Normandy American Cemetery.