Elliott Roosevelt’s Army Air Force Service Dress Uniform
(MO 2005.16.1-2)

 

All four of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s sons served in America’s armed forces during World War II.

Elliott was an Army Air Corps reconnaissance pilot in the North Atlantic and Europe. He eventually achieved the rank of brigadier general. Franklin Jr. and John both entered the U.S. Navy. John rose to the rank of lieutenant commander. Franklin Jr. became a full commander and was awarded a Purple Heart and Silver Star. James chose combat duty with the Marines and received the Navy Cross and the Silver Star.

Elliott Roosevelt was the first Roosevelt son to enter the military. FDR was very proud of his son and visited him in training camp. Elliott later wrote that when FDR learned he had enlisted, he saluted him with a heartfelt toast: “To Elliott. He’s the first of the family to think seriously enough, and soberly enough, about the threat to America to join his country’s armed forces. We’re all very proud of him. I’m the proudest.” (As He Saw It, Elliott Roosevelt).

This is Elliott Roosevelt’s service dress uniform from when he was a captain in the Army Air Corps. The uniform consists of a black wool, fully lined, single-breasted jacket with double pockets on each breast and brass buttons, each with a U.S. seal. A maker’s tag on the left pocket reads: “The Lilley-Ames Co. of Columbus, Ohio.” Handwritten in ink on the tag is “Capt. Elliott Roosevelt”. Each sleeve has blue and gold bands at the ends. Also included are navy blue pants with royal blue and orange stripes running down each leg.

Armed Forces day is May 21. To learn more about this day, visit www.defense.gov/afd