The Story of the American Expeditionary Forces
Pvt. Kenneth N. Rogers, #128602
Btry. "B" 12 th Field Artillery
2nd Division A.E. F. France.
Pvt. Kenneth Norman Rogers
Contributed by His Son Kenneth N. Rogers
My father, Kenneth Norman Rogers, was born in Troy, New York on Sept.1, 1896. His father was William Eugene Rogers, who was a music teacher at the Troy Conservatory of Music. He also played piano and organ at the silent movies at Proctor's Theatre in Troy. His mother was Sarah Lemmon Rogers, daughter of John Lemmon. (The family name was originally Lamont, or La Mont-"mountain'') That name has been restored as Eugene Lamont Rogers was so named, my older brother, and his second son Richard Lamont Rogers. The family was Huguenot ( Protestant ) French, and left France due to Catholic persecution. They went to England and became Anglicans. They left Birmingham, England in 1854 and settled in Troy. John Lemmon was a carpenter and stone carver. My father told that the name was Anglicized to avoid anti- French sentiment in England.
My father attended Troy Public Schools and Troy High School where he was an athlete in baseball and track. The family lived at 3282 Sixth Ave. (Lansingburgh) Troy. After high school, he was a motion picture operator and worked at the Fritz Hembold Pork Store. He enlisted in the U.S. Army at Fort Ethan Allan (Rutland) Vermont. His basic training was at Fort Meyer, Virginia. On his Army Pay Book, his civilian occupation is listed as Motion Picture Operator.
Here are his awards for his service in the AEF:
Dad's Decorations [Description Below]
Dad also kept a regular diary during his service.
Click Here To Read The Diary
After WW 1, my father was employed at the US Postal Service in New York City at the Railway Mail Service Terminal, Grand Central Station. Eventually, he moved back to Troy and worked at the Albany Terminal of the RMS. For many years he served on mail trains from Albany to Montreal, Canada and later from Albany to Binghamton, NY where he bought a saxophone. He became the Chief Clerk in Charge at the Albany hub until his sudden death in Troy on Armistice day, November 11,1954 of a heart attack. (He had a heart attack in 1945, on the day of the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and probably another in July, 1953. At the time of his death, I was in the Navy, stationed in Yokohama, Japan having just completed a long assignment in Pusan, Korea. I was able to get home for his burial. He was very proud of his Army service. He often listened to a radio program. "The Army Hour", and was very active in veterans' activities, such as the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, The Veterans of Foreign Wars, and The Military Order of the Purple Heart. He was President of the Troy, New York Chapter of MOPH. He received the Purple Heart Medal in 1934. It is numbered #621 Thus it is documented that he was the 621st person to have received that decoration since the Revolutionary War.
My mother, Marguerite Anne McAuliffe was born on January 12, 1896, in New Baltimore, NY, on the west side of the Hudson River, about 16 miles south of Albany. She had one sister and several brothers, all now deceased. She died on Halloween Day, 1945. They are buried in Oakwood Cemetery, in Troy.
Two Views of My Father from the War
My parents first lived at # 2 Thomas Street in south Troy. Early in their marriage, they bought a home at 1220 Jacob Street in the Beman Park Section of Troy. Of that marriage were born Eugene Lamont Rogers on August 4, 1926 and Kenneth Jr. on October 21, 1931. Eugene died January 16, 1993.
Both sons attended Public School 17 on Hutton St. through the sixth grade. That school was demolished in 1968. Eugene "Skippy" attended Public School 14, for the 7th and 8th grades.
My Fathers Decorations
- 1st. row: Purple Heart engraved with his name and number 621, World War 1 Victory Medal with battle clasps: Aisne, Aisne Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse Argonne, & Defensive Sector: Army of Occupation (Germany); New York State Conspicuous Service Cross engraved with his name and number 6552, New York State World War 1 Medal; City of Troy, New York, World War 1 Medal
- 2nd. row: Croix de Guerre, with bronze palm (France), Medaille de St. Mihiel number 2992 (France), Verdun Medal (France), World War 1 Victory Medal (France) Order of the Compassionate Heart (Tsarist Russia), Chateau Thierry Medal (France), British World War 1 Victory Medal
- 3rd. row: Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans
miniatures of six in rows 1 & 2 above
- 4th. row: miniatures of the three veterans' organizations in 3rd. row, above, his cloth Indian Head insignia of the US Second Division, City of Dijon (France) Medal
- Along top and sides is the French Criox de Guerre fouragiere with metal insignia of the United States Army Second Division and the 12th Field Artillery. On the right are lapel pins: six of Masonic organizations, the Purple Heart and the Railway Mail Service.
- On lower right is a photo of the Kenneth Norman Rogers in uniform, and his metal identification discs "dog" tags. On lower left is a clipping from the "Troy Record" newspaper stating that Kenneth Rogers is the first person from Troy, New York to receive the Purple Heart medal, "…for wounds and meritorious service…"
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