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CHARLES H. ROGERS: D-DAY PATHFINDER


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#1 BEAST

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 01:45 PM

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Enlisting in May of 1942, Charles H. Rogers had been an athlete at his high school in Monon, Indiana.  After his parents had divorced; Charles remained with his father living in Monon, while his mother had moved to Milford, Indiana. 

He first underwent training at Camp Blanding, Florida followed by assignments at Fort Benning, Georgia and then Camp Mackall, North Carolina. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 508th PIR. 

 

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#2 BEAST

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 01:48 PM

Notebook kept by Rogers. I believe this was used during their stateside training.

 

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#3 BEAST

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 01:50 PM

In December 1943, the 508th left Camp Mackall and sailed to Ireland.  From there the 508th began their training in Great Britain, preparing for the invasion of France.

 

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#4 BEAST

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 01:52 PM

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Rogers volunteered to be a pathfinder and spent much of his time learning about the terrain on which they were to land. The mission of the 508th pathfinders was to mark the Drop Zone “N” north of Picauville.

At 0015hrs, 6 June 1944, the pathfinders began their drops.

The following is from an 82 ABN AAR dated 11 June 1944

“Pathfinder teams of the 505th, 507th and 508th Parachute Infantries were scheduled to be employed on their respective DZ's at H-30, D Day, in accordance with Field Orders of these organizations.
The Regimental Pathfinder Teams consisted of three battalion teams composed of two officers, two Eureka operators, one wire man, seven light men, and from four to six security men. The 507th and 508th Pathfinder teams had four security men per each battalion assigned from the 504th Parachute Infantry, plus one officer for each Regimental Team.
The 508th Regimental Team, in addition to the above equipment and personnel, dropped two BUPS beacons plus the Commanding Officer of the Provisional Pathfinder Company”

 

“508th, commanded by Captain N. L. MC ROBERTS of the 505th Parachute Infantry, Air Corps flight leader, Captain MILES, took off on time, from NORTH WITHAM, made landfall on time, encountering little flak until over SAN SAUVEUR LE VICOMTE. Flak continued from SAN SAUVEUR LE VICOMTE to run in for drop. Anti-aircraft fire shifted from planes to jumpers at time of drop. Drop was on time, approximately one and one-half miles south and slightly east from previously selected DZ. Due to aggressive enemy action on the ground, lights were not able to be turned on with the exception of two; one of which was coded in the predesignated code. BUPS Beacon was set up and operating twenty minutes prior to arrival of first scheduled serial. One Eureka was set up and operating twenty minutes prior to first scheduled serial. Eureka was triggered approximately twelve minutes prior to drop time. BUPS Beacon was receiving definite tuning of homing planes. To ground observers it appeared that incoming formations were scattered due to intense anti-aircraft fire. One large formation was observed dropping approximately one mile directly north. Twenty planes dropped on DZ with pathfinders. Twenty planes that dropped were approximately ten minutes late, of the first scheduled serial. No subsequent serials arrived over DZ. Eureka remained on thirty minutes after time of last scheduled serial. No strays dropped during that time.”

(http://www.6juin1944.com/assaut/aeropus/en_page.php?page=after_pathf_82)

 

 

 



#5 BEAST

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 01:52 PM

According to the AAR, the 508th pathfinders lost approximately two-thirds of their enlisted and officer personnel.

 

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#6 BEAST

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 01:54 PM

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#7 BEAST

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 01:56 PM

On 13 July, Rogers, along the rest of the 82nd returned to Wollaton Park.  More than 50% of the 508th were causalities, with 307 killed in action. The Division held a memorial service was on 6 August 1944. Leave was authorized.

 

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#8 BEAST

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 01:57 PM

 On 17 September, the 508th parachuted into Holland as part of Operation Market Garden.  Quickly securing its first objectives, the 508th was unable to capture the Nijmegen Bridge.  The next day, the 508th had to recall its force from Nijmegen, to recapture drop zone T. Fighting against a force of 500 Germans supported by 20mm guns, the 508th was able to retake the DZ. (http://www.ww2market...nedivision.html)

 

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#9 BEAST

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 01:58 PM

On 24 September, the division consolidated its positions and continued to hold against German counter attacks.  Early on the morning of 1 October, the Germans unleashed a heavy artillery barrage.  It was during this barrage that T-5 Rogers was killed.

 

 



#10 BEAST

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 01:59 PM

In 1956, his mother requested from the government her gold star. The Army sent to her replacements for all of his awards including his Bronze Star, which now included the “V” device.

 

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#11 BEAST

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 02:00 PM

T-5 Rogers is buried in the American War Cemetery in Margraten, Netherlands.

 

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#12 BEAST

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 11:03 AM

 On 17 September, the 508th parachuted into Holland as part of Operation Market Garden.  Quickly securing its first objectives, the 508th was unable to capture the Nijmegen Bridge.  The next day, the 508th had to recall its force from Nijmegen, to recapture drop zone T. Fighting against a force of 500 Germans supported by 20mm guns, the 508th was able to retake the DZ. (http://www.ww2market...nedivision.html)



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With the anniversary of Market Garden upon us, I thought I would bring up an interesting possibility. The battery box shown in this thread, sent home by Rogers, was censured by Lt. Jack Dittmar. Lt. Dittmar transferred into HQ Co., 3rd Bn, 508th PIR on September 8, 1944. So, unless Rogers sent this box home between 8 September and 17 September, then this box full of German souvenirs was sent home from Holland during Market Garden.

#13 BEAST

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 06:29 AM

Remembering him on the anniversary of his sacrifice.

#14 David D

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 07:13 AM

Great tribute. May he Rest In Peace.

#15 BEAST

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 09:21 AM

Great tribute. May he Rest In Peace.


David, Thank you for your kind words.

#16 Patchcollector

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 10:46 AM

Thanks for bringing this back up again,I had completely missed it the first time around.A spectacular group to a very brave American.When reading how he won the first Oak Leaf Cluster Award I thought that what he did was, in my opinion, MOH worthy. Rest in Peace Hero.
 



#17 Robbie

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 07:53 AM

Wow! Amazing

#18 panzer 1

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 08:29 AM

Thanks for sharing this grouping, 

 

May he RIP.

 

Regards,

 

Romain



#19 bobgee

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 10:17 AM

R.I.P. Trooper Rogers



#20 BEAST

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 06:16 AM

Thank you to everyone for your kind words. I am very honored to be the caretaker of this group.

#21 Blacksmith

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 07:16 AM

Yes, I'm not sure how, but I missed this first time 'round as well. Fantastic grouping to my favorite PIR. I am glad it is in caring hands. RIP brave Sir.

#22 BEAST

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 09:13 AM

Entry from the morning report listing Rogers' death.

9 OCT ROGERS KIA web.jpg

#23 General Apathy

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 01:38 AM

Entry from the morning report listing Rogers' death.

attachicon.gif9 OCT ROGERS KIA web.jpg

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Hi Erick,  I'm another forum member that missed this the first time round. Very interesting biography of Charles Rogers, I thought I had the same unit photo that you attached in your first post and thought I could put details of Rogers with the unit photo. I had to go search for my unit photo and then realised I have Company ' E '.

 

thanks again for posting Ken

 

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#24 BEAST

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 02:43 AM

Bringing this thread to the top in rememberance of D-Day

#25 beef

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 03:14 PM

Great thread, Beast! The Pathfinders then were a kind of fluid organization. Just because you where a pathfinder on the D Day drop didn't mean that you were in Holland. Some guys opted out. Others, like Jake McNeese opted in later.

Plus, for instance, the 101st used 11 sticks of Pathfinders for the D Day drop, but only four for the Holland jump. The daylight drop was less "labor/personnel" intensive, since VFR could be used. So not all the Pathfinder trained guys were needed.

Your jump wings have one star for the Normandy jump. Robert Cooper (my A Co. 505th KIA Grouping, he was with E Co. 505 in Holland) has two stars and an arrowhead for Sicily, Salerno and Normandy. Sadly, neither of these guys lived to add the star for Holland.

I have a local connection that can get flowers placed on Rogers' grave from time to time if you like.?


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