Major Floyd W. Rogers
8th Bombardment Squadron (8th BS) Commanding Officer (C.O.)
A-24 Dive Bomber 41-15797 pilot Missing In Action (MIA)
Floyd William Rogers was born on July 10, 1915 in Chickasha, Oklahoma to parents George Harden Rogers and Mary "Maude" Marshall Rogers. He attended University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) in Monticello, Arkansas. Nicknamed "Buck Rogers" after the comic strip and movie hero made famous by "Buster" Crabbe.
On October 7, 1936 joined the U.S. Army and attended flight school and earned his wings. In August 1939 commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant with serial number O-022494. During October 1940 promoted to the rank of 1st Lieutenant. On December 24, 1940 he married Wilhelmina Jennette Troegel in Shreveport, Louisiana. They had one daughter, Rebecca Jean. Afterwards, he served at Barksdale Field, Louisiana, and Savannah Army Air Base, Georgia. On November 1, 1941 assigned to the 8th Bombardment Squadron (8th BS).
During 1942, he was sent overseas to Australia and became the Commanding Officer (C. O.) of the 8th Bombardment Squadron (8th BS) and was stationed at Charters Towers Airfield. During April 1942 moved to Port Moresby in New Guinea.
On April 7, 1942 Rogers was
suffering from dengue fever and unable to fly an A-24 Dive Bomber strike against Lae. Instead, the mission was led by 1st Lt. Robert G. Ruegg.
On July 29, 1942 took off from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby piloting A-24 Dive Bomber 41-15797 with gunner Cpl Robert E. Nichols armed with bombs on a mission to dive bomb Japanese ships off Gona on the north coast of New Guinea. This A-24 was leading the formation of eight dive bombers escorted by P-39 Airacobras from the 41st Fighter Squadron (41st FS) flying top cover plus P-39 Airacobras from the 80th Fighter Squadron (80th FS) flying close escort.
Inbound to the target, one A-24 aborted the mission leaving seven A-24s to bomb Japanese transports 20 miles north of Gona, roughly 1 1/4 miles form shore. The convoy was protected by A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kōkūtai which intercepted the A-24s as they started their dives attacking in two waves.
The first wave of three was led by A-24 41-15797 pilot Rogers, A-24 pilot Hill (heavily damaged and force lands at Fall River) and A-24 pilot Raymond Wilkins (the only aircraft to return to 7-Mile).
This A-24 went down after being hit by machine gun fire and several 20mm cannon hits from attacking A6M2 Zeros, causing the plane to catch fire and crash into the sea. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Rogers was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
He earned the Silver Star for missions against Lae between April 7-13, 1942, Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.
On November 15, 1942 30 Mile Drome was renamed "Rogers Field" in honor of Major Floyd W. Rogers.
Wilhelmina Jeannette Troegel Towers (wife)
Rebecca Jean (daughter)
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