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James L. Rogers Memoir

Identifier: MS-2578

  • Staff Only

Although this monograph begins with Rogers's birth and ends with his retirement, the bulk of the narrative deals with his time in the Armed Forces during World War II. Rogers describes his desire to serve his country after the attack on Pearl Harbor as well as the difficulty of serving while impeded by a stutter. Among the most memorable parts of this narrative are his descriptions of battle in Europe, including vivid recollections of Omaha Beach shortly after D-Day and an attack on the A-5 airstrip in St. Lo, France. Rogers also shares his observations and opinions of German soldiers and the German army, including a teenage pilot that his unit took prisoner. He also documents more mundane aspects of Army life, including sending silk parachutes to his sister in Shreveport, Louisiana so that she could make dresses out of them and his unit's fraternization with Polish forced laborers in Germany.


  • 1998

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Conditions Governing Use

The UT Libraries claims only physical ownership of most material in the collections. Persons wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants on for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.


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This memoir documents James L. Rogers's service with the Army Air Force (AAF) in the United States and Europe between 1942 and 1945.

Biographical/Historical Note

James Leonard Cotton Rogers (also spelled Rodgers) was born on April 27, 1921 on a farm near Summerfield, Louisiana to Cub Alfred and Nancy Norred Rogers. He was the youngest of five children.

Rogers attempted to join the armed forces shortly after Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 07, 1941, but was rejected due to his stutter. He was drafted in August of 1942 and officially inducted on September 13, 1942. Rogers was assigned to the Army Air Force and subsequently trained as an aerial engineer working on B-25s, P-51s, and A-24s. Rogers began serving as a crew chief on an A-24 in the spring of 1943, and was assigned to Europe shortly after D-Day. Here, his unit flew missions over Europe from the A-5 airstrip near St. Lo, France. In the fall of 1944, they began following the 3rd Army across Europe, eventually ending up in Stuttgart. Rogers was officially discharged on September 13, 1945, exactly three years after his induction.

After, the war, Rogers returned home. He married Kathleen Cox on September 9, 1947, and they had four children. Rogers died on February 6th, 2014 and is buried in Dixie Inn, Louisiana.


Collection consists of a single folder.

Acquisition Note

James L. Rogers donated this memoir to the Special Collections Library in June of 1999.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA