ROGERS, JAMES ERNEST, First Lieutenant, # 0-700180, USAAF
James E. Rogers was born on 9 April 1918 in Cabarrus Co., North Carolina, to William Ren Rogers (1888-1977) and Cora Madge (Williams) Rogers (1896-1967). Siblings were William Corbett Rogers (1917-1997), Martha Shirley (Rogers) Howard (1920-1970), Helen Wadsworth (Rogers) Yates (1923-1995), Joe Ren Rogers (1929-1975). He graduated from North Carolina State University in 1937. He was married to Frances Eloise (Long) Rogers (1920- ), 908 N. Road St., Elizabeth City, North Carolina, on 22 June 1942 in Highlands, Florida.
He enlisted in the USAAF as an aviation cadet in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 8 October 1941. He completed flight and navigator instruction on the B-24 Liberator. He earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 14 November 1943 a B-24J, # 42-73194, assigned to 10th Air Force, 7th Bomb Group, 493rd Bomb Squadron, Pandaveswar, India, departed the airfield and joined a formation of other B-24s on a mission to bomb Pokokku, Magway, Burma; west of and very near the Irrawady River. Witnesses to the crash were 1stLt Leland G. Berlette, 0-661915, 2ndLt Glenn F. Stephens, 0-797631, and 1stLt William G. Clark, 0-662023. 1stLt Berlette reported that he saw that 1stLt McLoughlin’s B-24 was hit in one engine. The tail gunner saw 1stLt McLoughlin trying to make a crash landing. His left wing dropped and the B-24 hit nose down, bursting into flame immediately. It disintegrated on impact. No one saw any parachutes or survivors. After recovery from Burma and then India, Lt. Roger’s remains and those (indistinguishable) of other crewmen (Funderburg, Higgs, Litz, Swope & Whitsell) were buried in a group burial and ceremony in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky (Sec. E, Graves 163-164). He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
His brother, William C. Rogers, born 2 January 1917, served in the U.S. Army, Technician 5th Grade, during WWII. He died 20 December 1997 and is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery, Concord, Cabarrus Co., North Carolina.
His brother, Joe R. Rogers, born 16 May 1929, served in the U.S. Navy from 16 April 1946 to 14 January 1950 and again, 7 August 1950 to 4 June 1954. He died 23 December 1975.