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    ORDERS AND DECORATIONS for Lieutenant-General R.H.D. Rogers, South African Air Force


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    ORDERS AND DECORATIONS for Lieutenant-General R.H.D. Rogers, South African Air Force


    The remarkable Second World War DSO, DFC and Bar Group of twenty-five to

    Lieutenant-General R.H.D. Rogers, South African Air Force, a very gallant and

    Distinguished Squadron Commander in the North African and Italian campaigns.

    He subsequently served with distinction in 2 Squadron SAAF in Korea.



    Order of the Star of South Africa (Military Division)

    Grand Cross set of insignia, comprising of: Collar Chain and Badge, Sash Badge and Star, (gold and enamel), all hallmarked, with a single diamond set in the centre of the Star and both Badges, the reverses of which are both officially numbered '3', with full sash riband in South African Mint case of issue.

    Southern Cross Medal (Eliz.II) (silver and enamel) '84'

    South African Korea Medal Capt. R.H.D. Rogers

    Pro Patria Medal '52'

    SADF Good Service Medal (gold and silver-gilt) '15'

    SADF Good Service Medal (silver) '19'

    Union Medal (silver) '1062'

    Chief of SADF Commendation Medal (bronze) '169'



    Distinguished Service Order (Geo.VI) reverse of suspension bar officially dated '1945’

    Distinguished Flying Cross (Geo.VI) with bar for Second Award the reverse of the Cross is officially dated '1942' and the bar '1944'.

    The following five medals are all officially named: 102299 R.H. Rogers

    1939-45 Star

    Africa Star

    Italy Star

    War Medal MiD oak leaf

    Africa Service Medal



    Distinguished Flying Cross

    Air Medal with Oak Leaf cluster

    U.N. Korea Medal (Capt.)



    Order of Military Merit (3rd Class) breast Badge with silver star on riband (silver-gilt, enamel) '19002'

    South Korea Service Medal (bronze)



    Order of Military Merit

    Commander's neck Badge (gold and enamel)



    Order of Military Merit

    Grand Cross set of insignia, comprising of: sash Badge and breast Star, (silvered-bronze, gilt centres) with full sash riband, in case of issue.


    DSO LG 21 August 1945

    DFC LG 6 October 1942

    bar LG 25 January 1944

    DSO London Gazette 21.8.1945:

    “Lieutenant-Colonel Rogers assumed command of 40 Squadron, SAAF, in August 1944. Since then he has carried out 56 operational missions involving 80.30 hours flying. Every one of these missions, which consisted of Tactical, Photographic and Artillery Reconnaissance, was carried out with great skill and determination and produced first class results.


    On 23 March 1945, Lieutenant-Colonel Rogers was briefed to carry out a shoot with 54th Super Heavy Regiment on some heavy A.A. guns near Massa Lombarda. On approaching the target area, these guns opened up on his aircraft. He commenced immediately to range our own guns onto the enemy and through his skill, coolness and presence of mind, scored in a very short space of time, five rounds between the four gunpits, one of which actually landed in a gunpit, destroying the gun and starting a cordite fire. He then proceeded effectively to engage and destroy two camouflaged field guns in the immediate vicinity.


    Again, on 18 April 1945, a request was received from 8th Army for an oblique line overlap of ten miles of the Canale Bianco between the Po and Adige rivers. This mission had to be

    performed at 5000 feet, flying straight and level through what was known to be a heavily

    defended area, at a constant speed of 230 m.p.h. Lieutenant-Colonel Rogers decided to carry out this mission himself, knowing it to be a dangerous one, and by his skilful flying brought back excellent photographs of the whole area required. As a leader, he was magnificent, and on many occasions he persevered with Artillery Reconnaissance missions in the face of intense Anti-Aircraft fire. If ever there was a difficult task to be performed, Lieutenant-Colonel Rogers invariably did it himself, and never failed to complete it, whatever the opposition. It is true to say that all ranks of the Wing have tremendous  admiration for his steadfast courage and devotion to duty, and his untiring efforts in the air and on the ground are greatly responsible for the efficiency of the Squadron which he commands. I cannot speak too highly of the ability of this Officer both as a Tactical Reconnaissance Pilot and Squadron Commander, and strongly recommend him for a non immediate award of the DSO”


    DFC London Gazette 6.10.1942:

    “Lieutenant Rogers, 208 Squadron, was detailed on 15.8.1942 to carry out a Tactical

    Reconnaissance on the Front from the coast to Siba Depression. The enemy has for some time been energetically denying reconnaissance of the area and strong fighter opposition was to be expected. This Officer had one Hurricane accompanying him. Towards completion of the task these two Hurricanes were intercepted by four Me. 109s. In the ensuing engagement the accompanying Hurricane was quickly hit in the engine and forced to land.


    Lieutenant Rogers then fought the four enemy fighters who attacked him repeatedly. One shot severed the throttle control at the same time shooting away the Pilot's little finger and the top joint of the third finger of his left hand. In spite of these injuries and with only half the throttle control remaining he continued to fight and in the end successfully outmanoeuvred the enemy and landed at his aerodrome. There in spite of injuries and loss of blood, he completed a most valuable report before reporting for medical attention. Lieutenant Rogers displayed fighting skill and courage of the highest order and set a fine example of devotion to duty”.


    Bar to DFC London Gazette 25.1.1944:

    'This Officer has completed 102 Tactical Reconnaissance flights during two tours of duty. In August 1941 he joined 208 Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron RAF and during his tour with the Squadron did 46 operational flights. In an engagement with enemy fighters during the 46th operation, while over Alamein he was wounded and his aircraft badly damaged. He managed to bring his aircraft safely home and landed successfully with valuable information. He was then sent back to the Union to rest and recover from his wound. For his courage, determination and devotion to duty on this first tour he was awarded the DFC.


    In January 1943, Lieutenant Rogers returned to the Middle East and joined 40 Squadron at

    Marble Arch. During the advance to Tunis, the invasion of Sicily and recently in Italy, he has completed a further 56 operational flights. The oblique Photographic Reconnaissance done by him of the East Coast of Sicily, and subsequently of the West Coast of the toe of Italy, at extremely low level, have been of outstanding value to the Army and have earned for him the personal thanks and congratulations of the 13th Corps Commander.


    On 12 August 1943, during a heavy enemy bombing raid at Francesco, a petrol dump was set on fire. Major Rogers collected several N.C.Os and Air Mechanics and with complete disregard for danger or injury to himself and commenced rolling away petrol drums from the fire while the raid was still on. His prompt action and initiative resulted in the major portion of the petrol being saved.


    On 20 August 1943, he did some brilliant spotting for H.M.S. Uganda, which enabled her to put out of action a Coastal Defence gun position South of Reggio, Calabria. This Officer was promoted to Flight Commander on 8 March 1943 and acted, very ably, as Commanding Officer during a month's period of domestic trouble in the Squadron during the C.Os and 2nd l.Cs absence. He was promoted to 2nd in Command in August 1943. His magnificent example and leadership during the present tour has been a source of pride and inspiration to his Pilots”.


    Lieutenant-General Robert Harry Rogers, DSO, DFC was born in Warden, Orange Free State

    in November 1921 and educated at Marchiston and Maritzburg College. His subsequent studies at Witwatersrand University as a Medical Student were interrupted in June 1940 by his joining the South African Air Force, in which Service he qualified as an Air Gunner prior to training as a Pilot in Southern Rhodesia.


    As evidenced by the above Recommendations, he went on to serve with distinction in 208 and 225 Squadrons, RAF, and 40 Squadron, SAAF, participating in numerous operations over North Africa, Sicily and Italy. In addition to the DSO and DFC with bar, he was Mentioned in

    Despatches and awarded the Polish Flying Badge by the Commander-in-Chief, Polish Air Force. Accepting a permanent Commission in the South African Air Force after the War, Rogers was back in action in Korea as a Fighter Bomber Pilot in No. 2 Squadron, flying Mustangs and F 86 Sabres, receiving among other awards the American DFC and Air Medal, with Oak Leaf Cluster, and South Korean Order of Military Merit.


    On returning to South Africa, he held various commands and Staff posts, culminating in his

    appointment as Chief of Staff of the South African Air Force in March 1975. He was then

    awarded the Order of the Star of South Africa. He finally retired from the SAAF in 1979 as a Lieutenant-General. In retirement Rogers was active in civic affairs and in 1988 was elected Deputy Mayor of Knysna. In the following year he was elected local Chairman of the Democratic Party and in September 1989 successfully fought the election as the Party's candidate in Walmer, Port Elizabeth. He did not stand for re-election in 1994. He died in 2000 aged 78.


    DSO (dated 21.8.1945); Order of the Star of South Africa (dated 18.6.1976); Southern Cross

    Medal (dated 13.5.1960); SADF Good Service Medal, silver (dated 29.7.1977) and bronze

    (dated 29.7.1977); Union Medal (dated 8.5.1959); SADF Commendation Medal (dated

    2.4.1976); Pro Patria Medal (dated 19.8.1977); Mention in Despatches Certificate (dated





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