Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Army Air Forces 1
Officer 1
1919 2
Pennsylvania 2

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Personal Details

Joseph M Rodgers Jr 2
Level of Education: 3 years of college 2
Marital Status: Married 2
1919 2
Pennsylvania 2
Place: Delaware County, Pennsylvania 2

World War II 1

Army Air Forces 1
Officer 1
Service Start Date:
1942 1
Service End Date:
1945 1
Enlistment Date:
08 Dec 1941 1
Enlistment Location:
Philadelphia PA 1
Service Number:
33109755 1

World War II 2

World War II 1

Army 2
Enlistment Date:
07 Dec 1945 2
Army Branch:
Air Corps 2
Army Component:
Regular Army (including Officers, Nurses, Warrant Officers, and Enlisted Men) 2
Army Serial Number:
33109755 2
Enlistment Place:
Philadelphia Pennsylvania 2
Enlistment Term:
Enlistment for Hawaiian Department 2
Tinsmiths, coppersmiths, and sheet metal workers 2
Race or Ethnicity:
White 2
Source Information:
Box Number: 0612 2
Film Reel Number: 2.276 2

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Joseph M Rodgers Jr was a Bombardier in the 92nd Bomb Group, based at Podington UK.

Enlistment date was 7-Dec-1941, the day after the attack at Pearl Harbor. The original enlistment date of 1945 is incorrect.  Rodgers joined the USAAF as an enlisted man and was promoted to 2nd Lt upon completion of Bombardier School, he was subsequently assigned to the 92nd Bomb Group based at Podington UK Station 109. 

During the war Rodgers was commissioned to paint a portrait of Sir Arthur Harris, Commander of RAF Bomber Command.  Harris was commonly known by the nickname "Bomber Harris"

The other painting on this page of the post war flight helmet and a bottle presently hangs on a wall of the Pentagon in Washington DC.



Joe Rodgers was stationed in the United States, England, France and Japan.

Medals:  Distinguished Flying Cross and four Air Medals.

Joe was called back into active service during the Korean War.  Stationed in Japan, Joe worked in Intelligence

After the war Joe became a Teacher, adjunct faculty at seven colleges and universities, B.F.A., M.A., and M.F.A.; His art work is represented in the U.S. Air Force Art Collection.

Joe stated that his most memorable experience of the war is that "He Survived."  Joe divorced and had two children prior to the divorce, Joe III, and Bob. He had two grandchildren: Robby and Andrew.  Joe enjoyed painting and teaching and lived primarily in Germany.  Joe enjoyed his post war life and passed away 24 November 2006.

Interment at Arlington National Cemetery:

Rodgers Tombstone Arlington.JPG
2 images

Joseph M. Rodgers Jr in his later years had expressed a deep desire to have his remains interred at Arlington National Cemetary.  Joseph died November 24, 2006.  His remains were cremated.  Josephs dream became a reality on November 15, 2013 when his remains were officially interred in Arlington.

"Joe was one of a kind" ( From a crew mate.)

Crew Photo Page 1.jpg

I knew Joe since October 1943 when we were crew members together on Tom Dexter's crew.  We flew most of our 30 missions together in the nose of the same B-17.  Joe was one of a kind. When we were under attack and everything was going crazy all around the nose he was never flustered, always setting back with his back pressed to the firewall, looking relaxed, just firing away with his gun at the attacking 109's or Focke Wolfes.  On a mission to Berlin I can not recall any instance when the flak was any worst.  It was so thick you walk on it over Berlin. The 109's and 190's were tearing through our formation and Joe was all business. First reporting to the crew that we were about to be attacked from 12 O,clock high and then wedging himself between his seat and the nose roof skin and firing away. Joe was about 6' 6" tall and his height allowed him to wedge into the wall keeping him stationary even with the Pilot, Tom Dexter taking violent evasive action.



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