2nd Lt. Cornelius G. Rogers was a pilot attached to the 301st Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group based at Ramitelli Air Base. On June 9, 1944 he was flying a Republic P-47 Thunderbolt as part of a bomber escort, but his plane was plagued by mechanical trouble.
"Lt. Rogers failed to catch up with his flight on course out (of Ramitelli) and attached himself to someone else's flight. After having encountered enemy aircraft over the Alps mountains, we started on our course back to base. When we arrived over Pola, Italy (subsequently ceded to Yugoslavia, now Croatia), I heard Lt. Rogers call in to the group leader and state that he was having engine trouble. I also heard Lt. Ulyses S. Taylor call him on the radio and asked about his position. He said that he was approximately 10 miles southwest of Pola. This was the same position of our squadron at the time he called in. He told Lt. Taylor that he thought he could make it back to home base," wrote 1st Lt. Armour G. McDaniel in his after action report.
"There was no other transmission on B channel to my knowledge. It is unknown just which flight he had attached himself."
On Jun 12 his body was recovered and and he was interred at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial in Nettuno, Italy, and he was posthumously promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Excerpted and edited from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch