Finding Aid for the Joseph Rogers Second World War correspondence collection 2015.103.w.r

Andrea Paquin
Center for American War Letters Archives
July 9, 2016
Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange, CA 92866

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: Center for American War Letters Archives
Title: Joseph Rogers Second World War correspondence
source: Curington, Terry
Identifier/Call Number: 2015.103.w.r
Physical Description: 4.1 Linear Feet (1 carton, 1 document-box, 1 oversize box, 1 specimen multi-compartment box, 1 newspaper box)
Date (inclusive): 1942-2015
Date (bulk): bulk
Abstract: This collection contains correspondence written to Captain Joseph Rogers of the United States Army Air Force during the Second World War as well as military documents, photographs and realia belonging to Rogers. Items in this collection pertain, for the most part, to Rogers' military career in both the United States and China, where he served for a period as a member of the Army Advisory Group in an advisory role to the Chinese Ministry of Defense.
Language of Material: The materials in this collection are primarily in English. Series 3 contains materials written in Chinese.
Physical Location: Leatherby Libraries, Special Collections, CAWL Archives


This collection is arranged by material type, subject, and date. Series 1: Correspondence--Series 2: Hankow, China (Sub-Series 1: Chinese Air Force--Sub-Series 2: Personal Papers)--Series 3: United States Army Air Force--Series 4. Flight/Aviation Training and Instruments--Series 5: Photographs--Series 6: Books--Series 7: Personal Papers--Series 8: Periodicals--Series 9: Realia

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Terry Curington. Received from Andrew Carroll 7/15/2015.

Content Description

This collection contains correspondence, documents, and personal items belonging to Joseph Rogers, a captain in the United States Army Air Force during the Second World War.
In addition to correspondence written to Joseph Rogers from various senders, this collection also includes Rogers’ military records, various military documents (U.S. Army Air Force and Chinese Air Force), awards received by Rogers for his service both in the U.S. and China, navigational instruments and aeronautic charts, photographs, books, periodicals, realia, and personal papers belonging to Rogers.

Preferred Citation

[Item title, Box number, Folder number], Joseph Rogers Second World War correspondence (2015.103.w.r), Center for American War Letters Archives, Chapman University, CA.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

World War, 1939-1945
Correspondence -- World War, 1939-1945
United States -- Air Force.
United States -- Army -- Air Forces -- Bombardier
China -- Air Force
Rogers, Joseph, March 18, 1923-March 28, 2015
Curington, Terry

carton 1, folder 1-23

Series 1. Correspondence to Joseph Rogers 1942-2008

Scope and Contents

This collection contains approximately 130 correspondence written to Joseph Rogers between 1942 and 2008, the bulk of the materials being dated between 1942 and 1948. These correspondence reveal the day-to-day goings on of Roger’s friends and family both at home and in the military.
Many of the individuals with whom Rogers was in correspondence were, like Rogers, serving in the United States Army Air Force. Their letters touch on various facets of their military experience: training, testing, where they will be deployed to and when, achieving rank, and aircraft safety. In a letter dated Mar. 24, 1944, Joseph Salem describes eight plane crashes having taken place as well as several planes having had to come in with two engines out. Before putting the letter into the envelope, Salem adjusts his original numbers—a ninth plane has crashed.
One subject of particular interest among the servicemen seems to be, what one of Rogers’ friends refers to as, the “girl situation” (M. T. McMullen, letter postmarked Jun. 27, 1946). They report to one another the availability of girls in a given town as well as their success within said population. Rogers himself seems to have been something of a ladies’ man. There is also a distinct anti-Semitic/anti-Yankee tone apparent in several of the letters, specifically those written by his military pals: “I’ll not pick up this damn ‘yankee brogue.' I’m so damn sick of these Jews and wops, and ‘youse guys’ . . . .” (Joe R. Uhler, letter dated Nov. 22, 1942)
carton 1, folder 24-29

Series 2. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) 1942-1951

Scope and Contents

This collection contains various documents and realia pertaining to Rogers’ career in the United States Army Air Force including his service records, flight log, and awards.
In March 1945, First Lieutenant Rogers was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for “extraordinary achievement while serving as lead bombardier of division, group, and squadron formations on heavy bombardment missions against the enemy.” Rogers was also awarded the Air Medal.
Also included in this series are a notebook and copy of the “Pilot’s Information File” book used by Rogers while in flight school, as well as two copies of “Preflight,” a publication series commemorating each class of the USAAF Corps of Aviation Cadets Pre-Flight School for Pilots. The June and July issues for 1943 cover the events and experiences of classes 44A and 44B of which Rogers was a graduate.
Later in his career (1948-49), Rogers volunteered on several occasions to escort the remains of fallen soldiers from the front back home to their grieving families. The letters granting authorization for these requests and the instruction booklet, “Escorting American War Dead,” with which Rogers was furnished, as well as the obituaries of two of the soldiers whose remains Rogers escorted are also contained within this series.
carton 1, folder 30-34

Series 3. Hankow, China 1946-1948

Scope and Contents

From September 1946, to January 1949, Captain Rogers was stationed in Hankow, China, serving with the Air Division of the Army Advisory Group, a group established during the Second World War to provide assistance in an advisory role to the Chinese Ministry of Defense. The Air Division was implemented in order to provide technical advice with the goal of modernizing the Chinese Air Force.
This series contains various documents, correspondence, and realia from Rogers’ time in China.
carton 1, folder 30-33, box Specimen 1, drawer compartment 1

Sub-Series 1. Chinese Air Force (CAF)

Scope and Contents

Rogers’ role as an advisor, as part of the Army Advisory Group, was to provide instruction on bombardiering and navigation to members of the Chinese Air Force. This sub-series contains several copies of various directives for instruction, designed for the CAF Unit Staff Course, which cover a wide range of topics from “Introduction to Photo Interpretation” to “Enemy Capabilities.”
For his work, Rogers was presented with multiple honors including a pair of Chinese Flying Wings “as a token of the gratitude of the Chinese Air Force,” as well as the Chinese Mai Chi Decoration, awarded by Lieutenant General C. J. Chow, Commanding General of the Chinese Air Force. Accompanying documentation in both English and Chinese are also included.
This sub-series also includes other military pins as well as patches representing the 8th Air Force and the China-Burma-India Theater (like those on Rogers’ dress tunic in Series 9).
carton 1, folder 34, box 3

Sub-Series 2. Personal Papers, Hankow

Scope and Contents

Contained within this sub-series are various correspondence, invitations, cards, and mementos (in both Chinese and English) received and acquired by Rogers while stationed in Hankow.
One of Rogers’ more illustrious correspondents was Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, President of the Republic of China (1948-75), who, with his wife, sent Christmas greetings to Rogers on more than one occasion.
Not at a loss for entertainment, Rogers seems to have been entertained on a fairly regular basis, having received invitations to various engagements including a reception at the home of the American Consul General, the wedding of one Major S. H. Kwang to Miss Pou Kong, a dinner-dance put on by the H. B. M. Consul-General and the English Community of Hankow in honor of St. George’s Day, and a Bastille Day celebration with La Communauté Française de Hankeou.
document-box 2, folder 1-3

Series 4. Flight Navigation Instruments and Charts

Separated Materials

This series contains several instruments and aeronautic charts used by Rogers throughout his career, both as a bombardier and as an instructor with the Army Advisory Group to the Chinese Air Force.
Also included are two catalogs containing illustrations/photographs and detailed descriptions of various ships and aircraft.
document-box 2, folder 4-5

Series 5. Photographs 1943-1954

Scope and Contents

This series contains 64 photographs and 15 slides showing Joseph Rogers both in and out of uniform. Some of the photographs have been separated into two separate envelopes: “Lt. Joseph Rogers” and “Capt. J. Rogers.” The photographs in the envelope labeled “Lt. Joseph Rogers” are from Rogers’ time in China and include a picture of his house in Hankow as well as several taken with and of his Chinese colleagues. The “Capt. J. Rogers” photographs are mostly of Rogers with his flight crew. Other photographs in this series include a group of aerial shots of bombs being dropped and another group of Chinese airplanes labeled with the name of each aircraft (e.g., Frank, Tabby, Ida, etc.).
Uncontainered E206.B6 1830, Uncontainered U410.H35 1971

Series 6. Books 1830-1971

Scope and Contents

This series consists of two books. The first, “American military biography,” printed in 1830, highlights several illustrious personages in America’s early military history, including Daniel Boone, Benedict Arnold, and George Washington. Engraved portraits accompany several of the biographies.
The second book in this series is the “Register of Graduates and Former Cadets of the United States Military Academy.” This book provides the name, date of birth, appointment, and arm of the service as well as important assignments for all academy graduates starting from 1895 to the time of publication, 1971 (for the years 1802-94, only class and graduation numbers are provided).
“American military biography” (Special Collections, Catalog no.: E206.B6 1830); “Register of Graduates and Former Cadets of the United States Military Academy” (War Letters Reading Room, Catalog no.: U410.H35 1971).
document-box 2, folder 6-7, box 71

Series 7. Periodicals 1943-2009

Scope and Contents

This series contains various periodicals (newspapers, magazines, etc.) — both Chinese (in English) and American — among which is an issue of the “Tyndall Target,” printed by and for those serving at Tyndall Field, Panama City, Fla. In addition to providing news, listing the week’s events, and entertaining service men with cartoons and games, the paper also recognizes certain individuals who have distinguished themselves. Rogers himself is included among the “Gunners of the Week” highlighted at the end of the paper.
"The Tyndall Target," Vol. 2, No. 47 (Saturday, December 18, 1943) - Tyndall Field, Panama City, FL "Alabama Journal," Vol. LVII, No. 228 (Monday, May 7, 1945) - Montgomery, AL "Nebraska State Journal" (Wednesday, August 15, 1945) - Lincoln, NE "The Call Bulletin," Vol. 189, No. 52 (Thursday, April 19, 1951) - San Fransisco, CA "The China Press," Double Tenth Supplement (Sunday, October 10, 1948) "Aerospace Historian," Vol. 16, No. 4 (Winter 1969) "Ocala Star-Banner" (Sunday, July 26, 2009)
document-box 2, folder 8-9

Series 8. Personal Papers 1948-1980

Scope and Contents

This series contains government documents relating to Rogers’ post-military work with the Foreign Operations Administration. His work with the F.O.A. took him to New Delhi, India, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Also included are several miscellaneous papers (transcripts from Stanford University, tax form copy, receipt, etc.) belonging to Rogers.
document-box 2, folder 10, box Specimen 1, drawer compartment 1, box 3

Series 9. Realia

Scope and Contents

Included in this series are several clothing items belonging to Joseph Rogers. Among the items are several uniform uniform dress peices: gloves, hat, and Rogers’ winter service dress tunic (jacket). A patch over the inside breast pocket of the tunic bears Rogers’ initials and patches representing the 8th Air Force and the China-Burma-India Theater are located on the left and right shoulders, respectively (loose 8th Air Force and CBI Theater patches are located in Series 3, Sub-series 1). Rogers’ pilot wings are pinned over the left breast pocket.
Also included in this series are dog tags, a set of headphones, leather mittens, a leather briefcase embossed with the words “Aircraft Inspector’s Kit,” a pair of brown leather boots, a pair of cuff-links, two brass buttons (identical to those on Rogers’ dress tunic), Rogers’ class ring, a green cloth sack, a leather arm guard, and several calendars ranging in date from 2012 to 2015.