Bud Rogers was born on November 16, 1928, in Chicago, Illinois. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on January 24, 1946, and was trained as a Fireman before attending the Submarine School at New London, Connecticut, graduating in March 1948. FN Rogers served aboard submarines until leaving active duty on January 25, 1949. He then attended Indiana University, and was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force through the school's Air Force ROTC program on May 28, 1954, going on active duty beginning September 7, 1954. Lt Rogers next graduated from pilot training and was awarded his pilot wings at Webb AFB, Texas, in November 1955, and then completed F-86 Sabre Combat Crew Training in April 1956. His first flying assignment was as an F-86 pilot with the 85th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Scott AFB, Illinois, from April 1956 to February 1959, followed by service as an F-89 Scorpion pilot with the 59th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Goose Bay, Labrador, from February 1959 to May 1960. Capt Rogers next attended the Weapons Controller course at Tyndall AFB, Florida, from June to July 1960, and then served as a weapons controller with the 728th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron at Shaw AFB, South Carolina, from August 1960 to April 1962. He attended C-130 Hercules upgrade training from April to May 1962, and served as a C-130 pilot with the 61st Troop Carrier Squadron at Sewert AFB, Tennessee, from May 1962 to October 1963, followed by service as a C-130 instructor pilot with the 4447th and 4448th Combat Crew Training Squadrons at Sewert AFB from October 1963 to June 1965. His next assignment was as an A-1 Skyraider pilot with the 603rd Air Commando Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida, from June to November 1965, and then as an A-1 pilot with the 4409th Combat Crew Training Squadron at Hurlburt from December 1965 to December 1966. Maj Rogers then deployed to Southeast Asia, where he served as an A-1 pilot with the 1st Air Commando Squadron at Pleiku AB, South Vietnam, from December 1966 until he was killed in action on May 4, 1967. His remains have never been recovered.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
Major Charles E. Rogers distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an A-1E Pilot in Southeast Asia on 4 May 1967. On that date, Major Rogers was performing armed reconnaissance over an infiltration route used extensively by the North Vietnamese to shuttle critical war supplies into South Vietnam. Though the area was heavily defended, Major Rogers led his flight in search of hostile activity and was successful in locating a major supply concentration. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Major Rogers has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force