Rodgers, Raymond Elmo, CMSgt

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Chief Master Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
113X0-Flight Engineer
Last AFSC Group
Aircrew
Primary Unit
1966-1969, 3630th Consolidated Maintenance Squadron
Service Years
1938 - 1969
Chief Master Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Texas
Texas
Year of Birth
1917
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by A3C Michael S. Bell to remember Rodgers, Raymond Elmo, CMSgt.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Tolar
Last Address
Rancho Cordova, CA

Date of Passing
May 08, 1997
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Hood County Texas Genealogical Society

 

PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS OF

RAYMOND ELMO RODGERS

1917 – 1997

by Raymond E. Rodgers, Jr.

Raymond Elmo Rodgers

 My early childhood memories of Dad are pretty sketchy. He was gone a lot during WWII undergoing training and then serving in Italy as a B-24 [I think] bomber aircraft crew chief. In those days men brought home the bacon and women raised the kids. I have fuzzy memories of him taking me rabbit and squirrel hunting and fishing a couple of times and playing catch a few times. Dad taught me to shoot a rifle and shotgun very young and stressed gun safety to me. Mom and Dad played penny-anti poker with Ada and Al and “Bubba” and Margie or bar-b-qued in the evenings and sat out in the backyard drinking beer and “shooting the breeze.” My cousins and brother and sister tried to keep a low profile playing tag and hide & seek. Children, after all, were to be “seen and not heard.”

 In Germany (1952-1955), Dad went fishing and hunting a lot, but by then I had decided it wasn’t for me and avoided going whenever possible, because it usually meant getting up at some ungodly hour and sitting in a cold duck blind (or worse). He also brought his buddies home to “party” on the weekends. I do remember trying to drown out the music of Hank Williams on the 78 by putting my pillow over my ears to get some sleep. After three earlier temporary quarters, we lived in a small three bedroom apartment in Rhein Main, outside of Frankfurt. I occasionally went with him to the flight line on Saturday to check on things.  From my earliest recollections I can remember Dad being meticulous in his dress, always shoes shined and pressed uniforms. Afterwards we usually went to the NCO Club for a coke (for me), some popcorn, and play the pinball machine while Dad had a couple of beers with his buds.

After Germany Dad was assigned to Ardmore, Oklahoma from 1955 – 1959. Aside from an occasional crappie fishing expedition out to Lake Murray, we didn’t do too much together. He did take me to a couple of football games, one up to Norman to see OU back when Bud Wilkinson was coaching and another to see Air Force play TCU in the Cotton Bowl game (0-0 tie). I do remember one rather funny incident clearly. My friends and I were in by bedroom playing poker and Dad stuck his head in to find out why we were so quiet. He saw what was up, but didn’t say anything and left. I thought I was going to catch hell after my friends left, but instead he returned a little bit later with a platter of cheese and crackers and other snacks for us.

Dad never said too much about my getting accepted to the USAF Academy, actually he was a man of few words and never said too much about anything. I think he was pretty pleased about it though. One of the main reasons I thought about going into the military was that I was proud of my Dad and we seemed to have a pretty good life. Mom and Dad came out to the Academy only once, at graduation, but didn’t see the graduation parade – they were there, but the fog was so dense we couldn’t see the spectators and vice versa.

There are a lot of plusses about military life, but one of the big drawbacks is that you are separated from your family a lot, and we only saw Mom and Dad occasionally. For example I didn’t see them at all during our 5 year Germany assignment (1969-1974) although Barb went by to show off the new grandson when she went back home for her sister Margie’s wedding. After we were assigned in California we visited more often and it was always good to go up and visit for a few days. Dad would always take me out to the Elks club to hoist a couple of beers with his buddies, and we would watch whatever ball game that happened to be on TV. He liked to have a bet or two riding on the games, and from what I gather was pretty good at it. He always enjoyed young kids and took both Greg and Chris out to shoot at the Rod and Gun club.

Dad stayed active right up to the end of his life. Just the Christmas before he passed away he enjoyed the holidays at our home in Hermosa Beach, talking with our friends and relatives and having a good time.

I wish now that I had tried to draw him out a little more on his early life and what he did in the war. He never talked about it much voluntarily. As I said he was a man of few words.

By: Raymond E. Rodgers, Jr. (USAFA)
September 7, 2003

 

Raymond Elmo Rodgers – Biographical Notes

 26 Dec 1917          Born in Tolar, (Hood County, Texas), to Joshua Virgil Rodgers and Eunice Alice Rodgers (nee Hendon). One of six children: older brothers Duval and Ray; sisters Wanah, Margie, and Estelle.

26 May 1934         Received a certificate for completion of elementary school in Cleburne, Texas.

21 May 1937         Graduated from Cresson High School, Texas [10th grade?], at 19 years old. Class Vice President and class “prophet.”

?? ??? 1938            Graduated from Granbury High School, Granbury, Texas (Hood County). “Majored in History”

7 Oct 1938           Enlisted at the U.S. Army Recruiting Station, 462 Federal Building, Dallas, Texas and as a recruit ordered to report to Kelly Field, Texas. EOD (entered active duty?), Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Completed basic training.

Oct 38-Sep 40       Assigned to the 62nd School Sq, Kelly AFB, Texas as an aircraft student

 1 Feb 1940            Promoted from Pfc to Corporal, while assigned to the 62nd Sch Sq, AC at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas

 1 Sep 1940            Promoted from Private, Air Mechanic 2nd Class, to Sergeant, while assigned to the 66th School Squadron, Air Corps, at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas

 Sep 40-Feb 42       Assigned to the 66th School Sq, Brooks AFB, Texas, type of duty “AM 1st Cl”

 5 Oct 1940            Married Ella Lee Boss, San Antonio, Texas at Zion Lutheran Church, 702 Cincinnati, San Antonio, Texas. Miss Ada Boss and Mr. Alvin Marmor were witnesses.

 1 Apr 1941            Promoted to Staff Sergeant, while assigned to the 66th School Squadron, Brooks Field, San Antonio, Texas

 7 Oct 1941            Reenlisted in the grade of Staff Sergeant, while assigned to 66th School Squadron, Air Corps, Dallas, Texas

 Feb 42-Jan 44        Assigned to the 303rd AF Training Det., Cuero, Texas as an Inspector

 15 Mar 1942          Son [and scribe of these notes] born, Raymond Elmo Rodgers, Jr., Fort Sam Houston Hospital, San Antonio, Texas

 10 Jun 1943           Promoted from Technical Sergeant to Master Sergeant, effective this date (SO #53, HQ 303rd AAF Flying Training Detachment, Cuero, Texas)

 

15 Jan 1944           Authorized separate rations of $1.80/day and quarters of $1.40/day while assigned to 306th Army Air Forces Flying Training Detachment, AAF Contract Pilot School (Primary), Ballinger, Texas (SO #10)

 

Jan 44-Mar 45        Assigned to South Plains Army Air Field, Texas as an Inspector [near Lubbock]

 

27Apr 1944           Awarded Carbine Expert designation (the only one in a class of 29 to be awarded this highest rating) firing the .30 caliber M1 carbine (Special Order No. 71)

 

Mar 45-Nov 45      Assigned to 15th AF in Italy as a crew chief [B-24 Liberators]

 

13 Jan 1946           Reenlisted while assigned to 957th Air Engineer Squadron, 531st Air Service Group. Airplane Maintenance Technician 750.

 

17 Jan 1946           Assigned to “RC”, Ft. MacArthur, Calif, reporting date 18 Apr 1946. Furlough address: C/O Gundry Ranch, Caliente, Calif (SO #17, Army Service Forces, HQ, War Dept. Personnel Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas) [Ft MacArthur, if it’s the same, now belongs to the Air Force and is used for base housing for service people assigned to the space program at Los Angeles AFB.]

 

25 Apr 1946          Transferred from Camp Beale, CA where he was “NCWP = now casually at this station” to 69 Recon Gp, Brooks Field, San Antonio, Texas. Orders stated he was reimbursed 3 cents/mile and $1.00/meal travel pay. (SO 115)

 

Apr 46-Jul 47         Assigned to the 363rd Recon Gp, Brooks AFB Tex and Langley AFB, VA as an Inspector

 

22 Oct 1946          Son born, Gary Paul Rodgers, in San Antonio

 

1 May 1947           Promoted from Master Sergeant (Temporary) to Master Sergeant, Air Corps, with date of rank of 10 June 1943 at Langley Field, Virginia.

 

19 Sep 47              Transferred from “pipeline” (AAF Overseas Replacement Depot, Hamilton Field, CA) to 306th AAF BU, Brooks Field, Texas (SO 188)

 

14 Jan 49               Assigned to 2593d AF Res Tng Center, Brooks AFB, Texas. [Listed leave address as 2515 North Killingsworth, Apt. #3, Portland, Oregon. – visited sister Wanah??]

 

Jul 47-Jun 49         Assigned to “B&T”, Brooks AFB, TX as an Inspector

 

5 Feb 1948            Daughter born, Patricia Ann Rodgers in San Antonio, Texas

 

13 Jan 1949           Reenlisted while assigned to 2595th Base Service Squadron, Brooks Field, Texas, Airplane Maintenance Technician 750I

 

Jun 49-Jul 49         Assigned to C-54 Trans Sch, Great Falls, Montana as a student

 

Jul 49-Nov 49        Assigned to the 513th Troop Carrier Wing, Rhein-Main, Germany as an Engineer

 

24 Oct 49              Transferred to the 29th Support Group, Dep, Kelly AFB, Texas and further assigned to the 29th Ammo Sup Sq (SO #75)

 

Nov 49-May 50     Assigned to the Hq & Hq Sq 25th ABG, Kelly AFB, Texas as an Engineer

 

5 Apr 1950            Promoted from Technical Sergeant to Master Sergeant, United States Air Force, with date of rank of 10 June 1943 at Kelly AFB, San Antonio, Texas [This must have been the promotion to the permanent grade.]

 

 ?? May 50            Assigned as a Crew Chief, Hq & Hq Sq 25th ABG, Hill AFB, Utah

 

15 Sep 50              Assigned as a Flight Engineer, Section – “B&T Acft”, 25th Air Base Group, Hill AFB, Utah

 

31 Oct 51              Reassigned from Hq 2949th AB Gp, Hill AFB, Utah and ordered to report to Camp Kilmer, NJ for assignment in Europe (SO #219)

 

20 Dec 51 (o/a)      Sailed aboard the USNS Gen. W.G. Haan from Camp Kilmer New Jersey for Europe. [The family did not accompany him.]

 

2 Jan 1952             Assigned to the 7167th Special Air Missions SQ, APO 633, Wiesbaden, Germany

 

6 Jun 1952             Reenlisted while assigned to the 7167 Special Air Missions Sq, USAFE, Germany

 

18 Jun 1952           Received movement orders to Germany (SO #88)

 

13 Sep 1952          [The rest of the family joined Dad in Germany. It was quite an adventure for me and a nightmare for Mom. We rode the train from San Antonio to New York. Stayed at the St. George Hotel where I was allowed to go down to the swimming pool in the basement by myself, and ate in a real NYC deli. Butch almost fell out of an umpteenth story window. Then we took a Flying Tigers flight in a DC-3 to Germany with refueling stops in Newfoundland and Ireland.]

 

8 Jul 1953              Son born, Neal Alan Rodgers, Wiesbaden Hospital (American), Germany. Weighed 7 lbs. 9 oz. [His grandson Greg was born in the same hospital almost 20 years later.]

 

9 Apr 1954            Completed Resources Management Course at Rhein Main AFB, Frankfurt, Germany

 

6 Jun 1955             Reenlisted while assigned to 7167 Air Transport Sq Medium (Special Missions), USAFE, Rhein Main AFB, Germany

 

12 Jul 1955            Arrived back in the United States from Germany with the family aboard Flying Tigers flight W-10. [We picked up a new 1955 Chevy in New York and Dad drove it to Texas. We stopped a day in Washington, D.C. so I could see the sights on a bus tour.]

 

16 Mar 1956          Received a certificate for completing a school on “Military Principles” at Ardmore AFB, OK

 

15 May 1956         Completed OJT (On the job training) Supervisors and Instructors Course at Ardmore AFB, OK (463rd Troop Carrier Wing)

 

9 Oct 1956            Completed a one month C-130 Aircraft Maintenance Course, Mechanics Class “A”

 

5 Nov 1956           Appointed to the permanent grade of Master Sergeant, USAF with a date of rank of 10 June 1943 while stationed at Ardmore AFB, Ardmore, OK. [Don’t know what to make of why Dad was promoted to MSgt so many times]

 

6 Feb 1957            Designated as an OJT Supervisor and Instructor for the 773d TRPCARONM, Ardmore AFB, OK

 

?? ??? 1958            Completed Prop Jet Specialist, C-130 Course

 

1 Sep 1958            Promoted to the temporary grade of Senior Master Sergeant (E-8) with date of rank of 1 Sep 58, AFSC 43180. (Special Order C-1281, HQ Tactical Air Command, Langley AFB, VA)

 

31 Dec 1958          Reassigned from Ardmore AFB, OK to Sewart AFB, Tenn with no change in organizational assignment (SO A-500) [i.e., the whole unit moved]

 

27 Mar 1959          Reassigned from the 773d Troop Carrier Sq (M) (TAC) to the 463d Troop Carrier Wing (M) (TAC) [no change of station]

 

6 Aug 1959            Reenlisted while assigned to HQ SQ 463rd TRPCARWGM (TAC), Sewart AFB, (Smyrna), Tenn, AFSC: 43180, Aircraft Maintenance Superintendent. Also assigned as Line Chief to the 773rd Troop Carrier Sq, (16 C-130 acft) while as Sewart.

 

7 Aug 1959            Reassigned from Hq 463rd Troop Carrier Wing (Med) (TAC), Sewart AFB, Tenn to 3565th Navigator Training Wing (ATC), James Connally AFB, TX (outskirts of Waco, TX)

 

13 Jan 1960           Awarded permanent grade of Senior Master Sergeant with date of rank of 1 Sep 58, while assigned to the 3566th Field Maintenance Sq, James Connally AFB, TX (Special Order A-16)

 

1 Mar 1961            Promoted to the permanent grade of Chief Master Sergeant with date of rank of 1 Mar 1961 while assigned to the 3566th Field Maintenance Sq, James Connally AFB, TX  [These “super” NCO grades were established in the late 1950s and Dad was among the first to be promoted into them.]

 

6 Aug 1963            Reenlisted while assigned to the HQ 3565 Maintenance and Supply Group, ATC, James Connally AFB, TX. AFSC: 43190, Acft Maint Supt.

 

6 Aug 1966            Reenlisted while assigned to the 3630 Consolidated Maintenance (ATC), Sheppard AFB, TX

 

[Somewhere in here Dad was assigned to Stead AFB, Nevada, but I don’t find any mention of it in his records]

 

14 July 1969          Terminated on-base quarters on Mather AFB, 102 McRoberts

 

  31 July 1969          Retired from the United States Air Force, while assigned to the 3535 FMS (Field Maintenance Squadron), Mather AFB, CA. Total service: 30 years, 10 months and 24 days. AFSC: 43191, Acft Maint Supt.

 

  1971-Mar 1982      Managed the temporary lodging facilities at Mather AFB, CA. The letter from the commanding officer at his retirement read in part, “…. For these 11 years, your tireless determination in fulfilling your duties at our temporary lodging facilities has been appreciated by thousands of Matherites and other visitors who have stayed there. Numerous Outstanding Performance ratings, Special Achievement Awards, and a cash award for Sustained Superior Performance attest to the professionalism that has always been characteristic of your work.”

 

  23 Oct 1970          Awarded 30% disability due to hearing loss, benign prostrate hypertrophy, low back pain and diabetes mellitus (each 10%)

 

  24 Dec 1981          Entitled to share in and wear the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award presented to the 323d Flying Training Wing (ATC)

 

  31 Mar 1982          Received a Certificate of Service upon retiring from federal service after 42 years

 

  23 Dec 1994          Awarded 100% disability status by the Department of Veterans Affairs

 

  8 May 1997           Died in Rancho Cordova, Ca. Cremated with ashes in possession of Ella.

 

Decorations (listed in reverse chronological order):

 

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Dec 24, 1981. Presented to the 323d Flying Training Wing (Air Training Command).

Air Force Commendation Medal, First Oak Leaf Cluster for meritorious service from 23 Jan 1967 to 31 July 1969 as NCOIC of the Quality Control Branch, Chief of Maintenance Division, 3535th Navigator Training wing, Mather AFB, CA. (SO G-104)

National Defense Service Medal (DD Form 214, 31 July 69)

Air Force Longevity Service Award w/1Bronze OLC (DD Form 214, 31 July 69)

AFGCM w/1BrOLC (7 Oct 65 – 6 Oct 68) (DD Form 214, 31 July 69)

MHA? (DD Form 214, 6 Aug 66)

BAD? (DD Form 214, 6 Aug 66)

CF? (GO-109, HQ 12th AF)

SAEMR [Small arms expert marksmanship ribbon?] (SOG – 17)

Air Force Good Conduct Medal (7 Oct 61 – 6 Oct 65) (SOGB – 69, 15 Dec 65)

National Defense Service Medal AFM 900-3 (DD Form 214, 6 Aug 66)

Air Force Longevity Service Award w/1 Silver OLC (DD Form 214, 6 Aug 63)

Good Conduct Medal (Silver Clasp with 3 loops) “for demonstration of exemplary behavior, efficiency and fidelity” for the period 7 Oct 59 – 6 Oct 62. CMSGT (Hq 3565th Navigator Training Wing (ATC), James Connally AFB, Texas, Special Order G-31, 8 Nov 1962)

Air Force Longevity Service Award w/4 Bronze OLC (DD Form 214, 6 Aug 59)

Air Force Commendation Medal “for meritorious achievement”, 29 Aug 1958 – 5 Dec 1958 (General Orders # 109, 10 Aug 1959, HQ 12th Air Force, Waco, Texas)

Good Conduct Medal w/1 Silver Clasp (6 Oct 56, SO-104, 773rd TCSq, 16 Sep 57)

National Defense Service Medal (DD Form 214, 6 June 55)

Occupation Medal w/clasp (Germany) (DD Form 214, 6 June 52)

Medal for Humane Action, Berlin Airlift Device (DD Form 214, 6 June 52)

1st Clasp to Good Conduct Medal (DD Form 214, 6 June 52)

American Defense Service Medal (Discharge Orders, 1946)

American Theater Campaign Medal (Discharge Orders, 1946)

EAME Campaign Medal w/ 3 Bronze Stars (Discharge Orders, 1946)

Good Conduct Medal (Discharge Orders, 1946)

Victory Ribbon (Discharge Orders, 1946)

2 Service Stripes (Discharge Orders, 1946)

Overseas Service Bar (Discharge Orders, 1946)

         

Sep 10, 1944 – Apr 4, 1945, North Apennines (BSS) (Listed as combat in Army records)

Sep 15, 1944 – Mar 21, 1945, Rhineland (BSS) (Listed as combat in Army records)

April 5, 1945 – May 8, 1945, Po Valley (BSS) (Listed as combat in Army records)

 

Addresses:

 

1962 - 1997, 2631 Los Amigos, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

Mather AFB, CA

 

 - 14 July 1969, 102 McRoberts, Mather AFB, CA

 

Stead AFB, Nevada

 

Aug 66 - , 114B Matador St., Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, TX 76311

 

25 Sep 59 - 1964, 119 Langley Drive, Waco, Texas (McLennan Co.) (on James Connally AFB)

 

Sep 59, 48 Bolling, James Connally AFB [while waiting for new quarters on Langley to be completed]

 

1958-1959, 212B Cannon Drive, Smyrna (Sewart AFB), Tenn

 

Ardmore, OK, 2nd Address, street no. was 347 (from old photo)

Ardmore, OK, first Address

 

Gateway Gardens, Apt. 7-E-1, Rhein Main AFB, Germany

 

[Wiesbaden, Germany]

 

[Gauting (sp), Germany]

 

[Furstenfeldbruck, Germany]

 

1948, 110 Bradford Ave, San Antonio, Texas (Bexar Co.)

 

1949, j-22 Navy Way, Washington Terrace, Ogden, Utah

 

110 Bradford Ave, San Antonio, Texas (Bexar Co.)

 

[Cuero, Texas]

 

804 Crosby Street, San Antonio, Texas [This might have been Granny’s address and used as a permanent address for him for a while.]

 

Notes:

 

Information is generally from Dad’s collected memorabilia and official Army/Air Force records. Entries within [brackets] are my recollections are expansions/explanations of abbreviations, etc.

- Raymond E. Rodgers Jr.

 

Dad was off and on flying status throughout his military career. I haven’t recorded these on again off again occurrences, but they are recorded in the special orders file.

 

Abbreviations and Acronyms

 

OJT – on the job training

OLC – oak leaf cluster

Pfc – private first class

USAFE – United States Air Forces Europe

 

Other Data:

Social Security Number: 459-18-4824

Service Number: AF6292576

Life Insurance (USGLI), was signed up for and paid off

VAC25093397

DAV Life Member: 040931-27391

Blood type, A pos
   
Other Comments:
Not Specified
   
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 Unit Assignments
Aviation Cadet Flight School15th Air ForceAir Training Command513th Troop Carrier Wing
United States Air Forces in Europe (COMUSAFE/USAFE)US Air Force463rd Troop Carrier Wing3565th Navigator Training Wing
Air Training Command3630th Consolidated Maintenance Squadron
  1941-1943, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1945-1945, 15th Air Force
  1947-1949, Air Training Command
  1949-1949, 513th Troop Carrier Wing
  1952-1956, United States Air Forces in Europe (COMUSAFE/USAFE)
  1952-1956, 7167th Special Air Missions Squadron
  1956-1956, 463rd Troop Carrier Wing
  1959-1961, 3565th Navigator Training Wing
  1960-1965, Air Training Command
  1966-1969, 3630th Consolidated Maintenance Squadron
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1948-1949 Berlin Airlift (East Gemany)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-24 Liberator  C-54 Skymaster  C-130 Hercules  
  2003-2003, B-24 Liberator
  2003-2003, C-54 Skymaster
  2003-2003, C-130 Hercules
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