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First Name: John

Last Name: Rodgers

Birthplace: Washington, DC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Date of Birth: 15 January 1881

Date of Death: 26 August 1926

Rank or Rate: Commander

Years Served:
John Rodgers II

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1903

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


John Rodgers II
Commander, U.S. Navy

John Rodgers II was born on 15 January 1881 in Washington, DC, although the Rodgers' home was at Havre de Grace, MD. Born to one the most famous families in U.S. Navy history, he was the son of Rear Admiral John Augustus and Elizabeth Chambers Rodgers. He was the great grandson of John Rodgers [1773-1838], who was one of the first of the name to attain renown as an American naval officer. Sarah Perry Rodgers, daughter of Admiral Matthew C. Perry, was his grandmother.

Rodgers graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1903 and was assigned to air duty in 1911, after attending the Wright Brothers flying school. He was the second Naval Officer to qualify as a Naval Aviator.

During World War I, he commanded Submarine Division 1 of the Atlantic Fleet. From 1922-25, he was Commander of the Naval Air Station at Pearl Harbor, HI. As Commander of the San Francisco-Hawaiian flights, he gained wide acclaim. In recognition of his qualities as an aviator and his ability as a seaman and navigator, he was appointed Chief of the Bureau of Naval Aeronautics.

In 1926, he was placed in command of a new experimental scouting seaplane squadron and established the Naval Air Station at San Diego, CA. On 26 August, Rodgers was on a flight from Naval Air Station, Washington, DC, to Philadelphia, where he was to inspect some new planes at the aircraft factory of the Navy Yard. When nearing the city, his plane fell from a comparatively low height into the shallow water of the Delaware, and Rodgers was pinioned in the cockpit. After an hour of intense suffering he was released and taken to the Naval Hospital, where he died. At the time of his death, he was listed for promotion to Captain.


The destroyer USS Rodgers honors the naval service of the father, son, and great grandson for whom the ship is named.


His wife, from whom he was divorced in 1924, was Ethel Greiner Rodgers.

Death and Burial

Commander John Rodgers II died on 26 August 1926 at the Naval Hospital. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 3015   Created by: MHOH




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