The Awards of Canadian Cpt. G.C.Rogers MC, Royal Flying Corps
Captain George Clarence Rogers, Royal Flying Corps, who was "attacked" while flying, by superior forces of Germans; severely wounded, and died, October 1917. Military Cross, G.V.R., unnamed as issued; 1914-15 Star, impressed (77256 L/CPL G.C. ROGERS 7-CAN.INF.BN.); British War Medal, impressed (CAPT. G.C. ROGERS); Victory Medal (Unnamed). Military Cross, London Gazette, 26 September 1917: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on several occasions. He has rendered valuable service to the artillery in ranging them on hostile batteries. In order to carry out the shoots successfully he has flown long distances over the line under very heavy anti-aircraft fire, returning nearly in every case with his machine badly damaged by pieces of shell, and although frequently attacked by hostile aircraft, he engaged and drove the off with scarcely any interruption of the shoot." George Rogers was born on September 21, 1892 in Brandon, Manitoba to parents Mr. and Mrs. Elias Rogers. His father was the president of the Crows Nest Coal & Coke Company and also held extensive lumber interests in Barrie, Ontario. Just prior to the war, George had moved to Lethbridge, Alberta where he was employed as a clerk at the Bank of Nova Scotia. When war broke out, he traveled east and completed an aviation course. On November 6, 1914, George Rogers enlisted with the 30th Battalion CEF. Lance Corporal Rogers proceeded directly to France and upon his arrival on May 4, 1915 was taken on strength by the 7th Battalion CEF. He served with distinction on the frontlines in France and Belgium for a total of 18 months, rising to the rank of Lieutenant. On November 21, 1916, Lieutenant Rogers realized his dream when he was taken into the ranks of the 52nd Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps and commissioned with the rank of Flying Lieutenant. A very capable aviator, Flying Lieutenant Rogers performed observational duties and range finding missions for various BEF artillery batteries. He was also believed to have been the flyer responsible for bringing down the famous German fighter pilot Immelman The Falcon. In August 1917, he was promoted to Captain and a month later, he received the Military Cross for bravery. On October 27, 1917, while flying over enemy lines, Captain Rogers came under heavy fire and was severely wounded. He managed to bring his badly damaged plane back 20 miles to his airfield and land safely. On October 30, 1917, Captain Rogers succumbed to his wounds. He was laid to rest at Zuydcoote Military Cemetery. In addition to the Military Cross, George Rogers received the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. His mother received the Memorial Cross and death plaque in honour of her son. Captain George C. Rogers of Winnipeg and Lethbridge, Alberta flew BE2e's and RE8's with one of the corps squadrons, No. 52. Rogers joined the RFC overseas from the CEF and accompanied No. 52 Squadron to France from Britain in November 1916. The BE2e, a modification of the BE2c, was not much of an improvement and was equally defenceless. The RE8, a replacement of the BE2 types, went into service in 1916 and its first appearance in France was with No. 52 Squadron. A two-seater, it was armed with a synchronized forward-firing machine-gun operated by the pilot, and the rear-positioned observer had at first one and later two Lewis guns. Rogers had an oustanding career with No. 52 Squadron and his name appeared often in RFC communiques. The descriptions of his work lacked the colour and excitement found in the reports of those who had shot down enemy aircraft but represented successful and vital observations of great importance. Typical of his artillery observation work were flights described in RFC communiques for August 13 and September 21, 1917 respectively: The 264th Siege Battery obtained five direct hits on a hostile battery, destroying one pit and damaging another with observation by Lieut. Rogers, who also ranged the Third R.M.A. on to another hostile battery where a gun pit was destroyed. The 69th Siege Battery, with the same observation, destroyed two gun pits and damaged a third, six O.K.'s being obtained........Seven direct hits were obtained on a hostile battery where two gun pits were destroyed by the 69th Siege Battery with observation by Lieut. Rogers, No. 52 Squadron. This officer also ranged the 64th Siege Battery on to another hostile battery where a direct hit was observed. Rogers was wounded on October 27th, 1917 but managed to bring his machine back 20 miles to his airfield. He died of his wounds three days later. He was buried at Zuydcoote Military Cemetery, France. Sold with his British Columbia Regiment, Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles cap badge of his original unit, three photographs and copies of his Attestation Paper, Service Records, London Gazette Citation and reseach papers.