MEMORIAL ARTICLE Published Assembly July
JOSEPH BARNETT ROGERS * '46
No. 15634 * 15 May 1924 - 31 Dec 2000
Died at Crofton, MD * Interred at St. Stephen's Church Cemetery,
JOSEPH BARNETT ROGERS died 31 December 2000. Survivors
include his wife, Bab, sons, Joe Jr. and Henry and brother, Richard.
His son, Robert, preceded him in death
Joe, in 1994, prepared a history of his life for his memorial
article. It is excerpted here.
"I was born in Chicago, IL. My love of classical music started
early and continued for the rest of my life. I wanted to go to
the Naval Academy but could not pass the eye exam. I joined the
Naval ROTC at the University of Michigan by memorizing the eye
charts. While at Michigan, I gained my appointment to West Point
and entered with the class of 1946.
"My three years at West Point were happy ones and I enjoyed
all things military. At branch selection, I got Infantry, which
I never regretted.
"My initial assignment was with the 53rd Constabulary Squadron
in Germany. In 1950, I returned to the States to join the 504th
Airborne Infantry at Fort Bragg, NC. In 1952, it was back to
Fort Benning, GA for the Infantry Advanced Course. There I dated
classmate Bob Douthitt's sister in - law, Gabrielle (Bab) Hunt.
After a short courtship, I made her an offer she could not refuse
and we were married 4 April 1953 in Bradenton, FL.
"I entered Korea the day after the armistice took place
and was assigned to command K Company, 15th Infantry. Then to
Japan to serve with the 187th RCT where Bab joined me. The RCT
was reassigned in 1955 and ended up at Ft Campbell, KY. Next
came C&GSC at Fort Leavenworth, KS before moving to Continental
Army Command at Fort Monroe, VA. In 1960, we moved across Hampton
roads for the Armed Forces Staff College followed by orders to
Hawaii and USARPAC.
" Back to the mainland, I became Executive Officer, 1st
Brigade, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell. By the spring
of 1965, the 1st Brigade was alerted for Vietnam. After arriving
at Cam Ranh Bay, I took command of the 1st Battalion, 327th Airborne
Infantry where I remained for 6 months before becoming G-3 Plans,
2nd Field Force. (Note: Joe received the Silver Star Medal, Legion
of Merit, Bronze Star Medal for Valor and 3 Air Medals for his
service as battalion commander.)
"Back to the States in 1966, I served my first tour in the
Pentagon in ACSFOR. I was then selected to attend the Industrial
College of the Armed Forces followed by assignment to DCSLOG
on the Army Staff. My last two assignments were in DCSLOG, Hqs.
1st Army, Fort Meade, MD and G-4, First Corps Group in Korea.
"I retired in September 1972 in Crofton, MD and went into
residential real estate sales. When the children left to start
their careers, I retired once more to enjoy my hobbies and travel.
"In May 1988, I had an accident while riding my motor scooter.
Complications caused my right leg to be amputated above the knee.
The handicap slowed me down but did not stop me. On 4 June 1994,
I have completed this so far. What more is to come, I do not
His son, Joe, Jr. completed his father's life story: "As
time went on, and after a few unplanned hospital stays, my parents
gave up traveling and spent time enjoying visits by family. They
bought an African Gray parrot, which picked up a few clever lines
thanks to Dad. In August 2000, Dad was diagnosed with small cell
carcinoma. Dad kept a good attitude. My Dad passed away 31 December
Joe's life story leaves out one important thing
- how highly he was regarded by those who knew and loved him.
The following make that point:
Classmate, Clarence McChristian, remembered: Joe
was a fine officer and leader and was admired by all. In fact,
those who knew him best loved him like a brother. It was because
he was so highly regarded that he was able to get by with his
pithy, caustic comments without generating animosity. It never
got so dark that Joe couldn't see the sunshine."
Classmate, George Hall, recalled: "Typically,
Joe claimed in his tongue-in-cheek manner that it took the loss
of a leg to inspire him to quit smoking. Joe is one of a kind
individual, a wonderful friend who will be sorely missed and
a West Pointer who exemplified the noble qualities of his alma
Sister-in-law, Allison Douthitt, remembered: Neither
during his illness nor earlier when he lost his leg, did he succumb
to self-pity nor lose his sense of humor. His favorite expression
was 'Dismount and fight as Infantry.' Their African Gray parrot
still mimics the name of a Chinese dish followed by a long laugh,
which Joe taught him. He left a good legacy."
Son, Henry, giving Joe's eulogy: "I have always
been and always will be proud to be your son. And, Dad, I'll
see you again. God has been gracious to my family and I thank
him for the 43 years I had with my father."
To these words of love and praise, the Class of
1946 is proud to say to our classmate: "Well Done, Joe;
Be Thou At Peace!"
'46 Memorial Article Project and his family