Paul Rogers (soldier)

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Paul Rogers
2015-01-24 Rogers, Paul 026.jpg
Paul Rogers at the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge - Kansas Chapter 2015 Reunion at Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kansas
Birth name Paul Clifford Rogers
Nickname(s) "Hayseed"
Born (1918-07-12)July 12, 1918
Adrian, Missouri, U.S.
Died March 16, 2015(2015-03-16) (aged 96)
Overland Park, Kansas, U.S.
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of War.png United States Army
Years of service 1942-1945
Rank US Army WWII TSGT.svg Technical Sergeant
Unit 506 patch.jpeg Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment,
US 101st Airborne Division patch.svg101st Airborne Division
Battles/wars

World War II

Technical Sergeant Paul 'Hayseed' Rogers (July 12, 1918 – March 16, 2015) was a non-commissioned officer with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army during World War II. Rogers was one of the 140 "Toccoa men" of Easy Company.

Youth[edit]

Rogers was from Kansas City, and he grew up in Adrian, Missouri. He enlisted on August 13, 1942 at Leavenworth when he was 24 years old. He volunteered for the paratroopers.[1][dead link]

Military service[edit]

Rogers was assigned to Easy Company and received training in Toccoa, Georgia under Captain Herbert Sobel. Rogers made his first combat jump into Normandy on D-Day. James Alley, who jumped right before Rogers, had trouble getting out of the plane and was about to be pulled in half. Rogers, who was "strong as a bull," had to throw Alley out to save him.[2] Rogers's parachute was snagged by tree limbs and he had to cut himself free and climb to the ground. Like many other paratroopers Rogers lost much of his equipment, including his rifle.[1] He linked up with Alley and Earl McClung near Ste. Mere Eglise, and fought with an 82nd Airborne Division unit for 8 days.[1] Rogers was promoted to sergeant after the campaign in France.[3]

Rogers and Walter 'Smokey' Gordon made up funny songs or poems about fellow Easy Company comrades.[4] Their good friend Floyd Talbert was bayoneted by Private George Smith in Carentan. After Talbert returned from the hospital, Rogers and Gordon put together a makeshift award ceremony to give Talbert one of Gordon's extra purple hearts (which Talbert was disqualified from receiving).[5] Rogers also wrote a poem about the fighting in Ste. Mere Eglise that gave McClung the nickname "One Lung."

Rogers also participated in Operation Market Garden. During the attack on Nuenen, Rogers, at the time a mortar sergeant, was seriously wounded while the men carrying ammunition next to him were killed.[6] According to Carwood Lipton, who went to check on Rogers, Rogers "let out a string of profanity that lasted a full minute," which was "most unusual for him."[7] After returning from the hospital, Rogers fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne. In Foy, Rogers and Lieutenant Edward Shames destroyed a German tank with a bazooka.[8] Rogers became the platoon sergeant after the campaign[9] and fought with Easy Company until the end of the war.

Later years and death[edit]

After the war, Rogers attended Easy Company reunions regularly.[1] Starting in 2001, he lived in Overland Park, Kansas[10][dead link] and, from March 8, 2014 (following the death of William Guarnere) to his death, was the oldest living member of Easy Company. He died in March 2015, aged 96.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Purinton, Cait (July 10, 2001). "HBO miniseries premiere spurs D-Day memories". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  2. ^ Chapter 4, Ambrose
  3. ^ p. 85, Alexander
  4. ^ p. 47, Brotherton, 2009
  5. ^ p. 96, Brotherton, 2010
  6. ^ p. 129, Brotherton, 2009
  7. ^ Chapter 8, Ambrose
  8. ^ p. 298, Alexander, 2011
  9. ^ p. 164, Brotherton, 2009
  10. ^ Mays, Nancy (June 5, 2014). "Johnson County honors three local D-Day survivors". Gardner Edge. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  11. ^ "PAUL ROGERS Obituary - Lenexa, KS - Kansas City Star". Kansas City Star. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Ambrose, Stephen E. (1992). Band of Brothers: Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7434-6411-6. 
  • Brotherton, Marcus (2009). We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from Band of Brothers). Berkley Trade. ISBN 0425234193. 
  • Brotherton, Marcus (2010). A Company of Heroes: Personal Memories about the Real Band of Brothers and the Legacy They Left Us. Berkley Caliber. ISBN 978-0-425-23420-4. 
  • Larry Alexander (2011). In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers: A Return to Easy Company's Battefields with Sgt. Forrest Guth). NAL Trade]. ISBN 0451233158. 
  • Robyn Post, William Guarnere and Edward Heffron (2008). Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends). Berkley Trade. ISBN 0425224368. 
  • Alexander, Larry. Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, the Man Who Led the Band of Brothers.