Perhaps you may remember the 1980’s TV detective Thomas Magnum, who used to step out of character and say this voice-over at the change of a scene: “I know what you’re thinking”.

“Yet another (yawn) piece about Quentin Roosevelt”. Indeed, there have been quite a few – I’ve even written one myself, posted about two years ago in another venue.

Quentin’s story is a central part of the lore of WW1. He was as close as we get to ‘royalty’; President Theodore Roosevelt’s youngest and probably favorite son, he grew up in the White House and in the public eye. He became a very young, dashing fighter pilot who lasted only nineteen days at the front (nine of them in the air). In his 1919 best-seller Fighting the Flying Circus (Wings of War), Captain Eddie Rickenbacker devoted a whole chapter to Quentin’s story although they weren’t friends and never served together.

In his recently published book My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans who Helped Win the Great War, historian Andrew Carroll gives readers glimpses into the Roosevelt archives that I for one haven’t seen before. You can read about it in this Smithsonian magazine feature.

James (“Jim”) Patton BS BA MPA is a retired state official living in Shawnee, Kansas and a frequent contributor to several WW1 e-publications, including "Roads to the Great War," "St. Mihiel Tripwire," "Over the Top" and "Medicine in the First World War." He has spent many hours walking the WW1 battlefields, and is also an authority on British regiments and a collector of their badges. An Army Engineer during the Vietnam War, he does work for the US World War 1 Centennial Commission and has memberships in the WW1 Historical Association, the Western Front Association, the Indian Military Historical Society and the Salonika Campaign Society.