First, there is my father, LT. Col. Odie Rogers. I was 10-years-old when he was killed in a crash when his plane exploded on a practice bombing run to Eglin A.F.B. This was December 4, 1957. He was stationed on the island of Corsica near Italy. My father flew 65 combat missions in WWII. He was with the 320th bomb group and flew with the 443 and 444 bomb squadron. My dad was awarded the Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, the Groix de Guerre with Palms, the Flying Cross and the Purple Heart. My dad was also with the Pershing Rifles during college at Western Kentucky State Teachers College in Bowling Green.
The number two man of honor is Charles O’Mahoney. He wrote a book called “Blue Battlefields.” O’Mahony completed 71 combat missions in the Martin B-26, 14 as Squadron or Group leader and 13 as Mission Commander. While participating in six campaigns in the Mediterranean and European Theatres of Operations, O’Mahoney earned the Air Medal with eight oak leaf clusters and a Distinguished Flying Cross. As part of the 320th bomb group, he was also awarded the Coix-de Guerre and two Distinguished Unit citations. Charles O’Mahoney passed away, but will not be forgotten.
The third in this series of men of honor is Sgt. William Patrick Rudd. I personally did not know Mr. Rudd, but it would have been an honor to meet him. I do know his father, Bill Rudd. To me, both Bill and his son are “Men of Honor.” On October 8, I felt the need to stop at Mr. Rudd’s office and tell him that the prayers of my wife and I were with his family. Mr. Rudd asked me to come into his office and that is when I had the honor to meet two of the Rangers, M.S.G. Curt Donaldson and SGT. Ryan Lonergan of the third battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. When I left Mr. Rudd’s office, one of the Rangers gave me the badge of the 3rd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment.
Now, the fourth Man of Honor is that of Ed Harrell of the United States Marine Corps. He wrote a book entitled “Out of the Depths.” Mr. Harrell is a survivor of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. I had the honor to meet Ed when the “Wall” came to Madisonville to honor the Veterans. This date was September 23 through September 26, 2010. I had a booth set up at the Hopkins County Convention Center and Fairgrounds. I stayed in touch with Ed. He lives in Clarksville Tennessee and travels around the United States speaking about his survivor story of the sinking of the ship.
In recognizing all these heroes, I would like to remind everyone not to forget Mr. Bill Adcock and the role he played in getting the wall here in Madisonville. Mr. Adcock is also a great man of honor in this list.
Blue Collar Comments
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