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Welcome to the memorial page for

Rodger A. Rawleigh

September 27, 1937 ~ December 26, 2017 (age 80)

The Piano Brothers

Chief Master Sergeant Rodger A. Rawleigh, USAF (ret.)

Chief Rodger A Rawleigh retired 26 September 1997 as the Superintendent of the 452 Logistics Group, March Field, CA. The group was composed of four squadrons and some 1,400 personnel. He had assumed this position 22 August 1993.

Chief Rawleigh was born September 27, 1937, in Camden, New Jersey. He grew up in South Bend, Indiana; attended Howe Military School for four years during grade school, achieved the position of Cadet Company Commander and his last year, played the role of Hiawatha in the annual Indian pageant. For a number of years, he was the Camp Bugler. He used to set his alarm clock and go to the Camp Office and play Reveille on the sound system; likewise taps in the evening. He was the pitcher on the school soft ball team. He won the School-wide Decathlon in his last year @ Howe. At the Age of 14, he played lead trumpet in a school swing band. In 1955 he graduated from Washington-Clay High School in South Bend Indiana, having traveled with a Youth for Christ, Int'l music team for two of his High School years. He sang Baritone in various area quartets. He attended Wheaton College and TCU. In 1968 he received an appointment as an honorary Electronics Aero systems Engineer at General Dynamics Corporation, Fort Worth, Texas. Chief Rawleigh completed the USAF Inspector General School in 1982, the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy in 1986, and numerous management schools from the Air Force, U.S. Civil Service, and private sources. He was a Facilitator in Total Quality Management.

His active military career began in May 1956 when he joined the U.S. Navy. During basic training, he was chosen as Cadet Company Commander. He also was a member of the famous U.S. Navy Blue Jacket Choir and traveled widely with them, including singing in the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago. They sang music from the Broadway musical South Pacific Afterwards; he was stationed for a year on the USS Hawk, a minesweeper, (known as ships of wood men of steel) and their homeport was in Charleston, South Carolina. It had an "E painted on the bridge. After they taught him how to shower with a minimal amount of water. He took his turn mess cooking. He then was a Bo swain's Mate Striker and handled the Nr Four Mooring line. He wiped down the mask's rigging in a Bo swains mate chair suspended high above the deck. He learned that: if ii moves, salute it, if it doesn't, then paint it. Later he was a Quarter Master Striker and navigated on the open bridge with the Captain. He also did blinking signal light, signal flags and semaphore flags. His Battle Station was the 20MM Antiaircraft gun. He almost fell overboard off the ship’s upper deck but a shipmate gapped his ankle as he upended while leaning against a rail that gave way...He grabbed his glasses in midair but lost his hat. They steamed all over the Caribbean. When on shore leave, used to go to the USO in Charleston and for one dollar they would give him a place to sleep. A towel, a bar of soap, and a razor. He appreciated this so much that he later included them in his will.
In 1957 he then completed an extensive in-residence Navy Electronics School, which was the equivalent of three years of electronics engineering. He was then assigned to Rota Naval Air Station, Spain. He became the Lead Electronics Technician in the Operations Center until his honorable discharge in 1959.

Chief Rawleigh then worked in U.S. Industry starting with CTS Corp. in 1959, Bendix Corp. 1960 to 1963 (Talos and Typhoon missiles), LTV Corp. 1963 to 1965 (F-8s and VTOL Aircraft), and General Dynamics, Corp. 1965 to 1969 (Heavy Land-based radar, airborne radar, F-111 sand F-16s). He then successfully conducted his own home-building business in Texas until 1973 when he became an Air Reserve Technician.

Chief Rawleigh joined the 301st Tactical Fighter Wing, Carswell AFB, Texas as a Radar Technician on F-105 and F-4 Fighter-Bomber aircraft and exercised with and in many NATO nations. In 1978, he joined the DCM staff as a Quality Assurance Specialist. He represented the 301 TFW during many SAYs, conferences, visits to numbered Air Force and HQ AFRC. He was the team chief during numerous activity inspections

In March of 1986, he became the Avionics Branch Chief on C-130 aircraft (they brought back dictator Noreiga from Panama on one of the C-130s!) at the 943rd Tactical Airlift Group, March AFR CA. He went fishing in the Panama Canal and four of them caught 103 striped bass and this is a story all its own.

 In September 1988 when he was assigned to the 445 Airlift Wing at Norton AFB, CA. While at Norton, he held the positions of Maintenance Superintendent in the Avionics Maintenance Squadron, the Component Repair Squadron, and the Equipment Maintenance Squadron, all on C-141 B aircraft, until the wing moved to March AFB and he assumed his present position. Later, they merged into the first Air Mobility Wing in the history of the Air Force, the 452 AMW. Both their C-141Bs and KC-135s provided strategic airlift and refueling operations for numerous operations including Operation Just Cause in Panama, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the Middle East (he received two medals for this), airdrops in Somalia, airlift to South Korea, and preparation for the invasion of Haiti. They participated in nearly every humanitarian airlift effort including the Oklahoma City bombing. Likewise, they supported operation Deny Flight in the skies over, near, and in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, and airlift/airdrops to Bosnia. They did a weekly Baghdad run to Iraq.

His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Navy Excellence Award, Navy Good Conduct Medal, Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster and Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, National Defense Service Medal with Device, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Device, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon, and the NATO German Bronze Sharp shooting Medal.

He was promoted to Chief Master Sergeant on 1 January 1989.

Chief Rawleigh is a past president (and Director Ex Officio) of the 31st Bombardment Squadron Association; a member of the board of directors of the 5th Bombardment Group Association, his father's WWII outfits (B-24s in the South Pacific). He was appointed by The Assistant Secretary of Defense as a Member of the Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Chief Rawleigh has a Commercial Multi-Engine Pilot rating. He also has logged 1.5 hours both in a F-I05F Fighter-Bomber (The Thud) and 1.5 hours in a F-4D Fighter-Bomber, The Phantom (with a Heads-Up display which he helped develop for GE). Both times hurdling his 250-pound white body at earth at the speed of a 45-caliber bullet out of a handgun pulling 6 G’s as He did so.

 He is a serious lay Bible student; studies the Alignment of Nations in conjunction with the Sequence of Biblical Prophetic Events, and teaches Eschatology in various area study groups. He sings for special events in various local choral groups, has sung vocal solos at certain official USAF Group gatherings and was the Designated Chaplain for numerous Group/Wing functions. He made three CDs while with the Lakeside Morning Worship Choir and Orchestra. He is a past member, of the 44 Chiefs in the 452 AMW, in the March Field Chiefs Group, and a past president of Norton AFB Chiefs Group.

Chief Rawleigh is retired and resides in Hemet, CA with Paquita, the former Francisca Macias of Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain, and his wife of 59 years. They have two  daughters, & one  son. They have nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren, with two on the way, one baby boy due about Feb 4th and a baby girl due about April.  


 Service Information

Graveside Service
Friday
January 12, 2018

9:30 AM
Riverside National Cemetery
22495 Van Buren Blvd.
Riverside, CA 92518


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