Colonel (Ret.) Rogers Porter, in 1946, took a flight in a surplus Army Stearman, which ignited a passion for flying. A local flying school let him fly for the price of gas, giving him an opportunity to earn his private pilot license. Once he had his license, he applied for the Aviation Cadet program.
A command pilot with more than 18,000 flying hours in 15 aircraft, Porter got a quick start as top gunner in his F-84D class. He was initially assigned to F-100s before a surplus of pilots sent him to a radar site and desk duty. This did not deter him from pursuing his love; by 1960, he was back flying transport aircraft the C-47, C-135 and C-141.
During Vietnam, Porter served in the Rescue Coordination Center in Thailand aiding in rescues of downed Airmen while also flying C-47 and HC-130 missions.
In 1974, Porter transitioned as an aircraft maintenance officer and maintained various positions in the maintenance field before retiring in 1982.
Although Porter transitioned in the maintenance field while in the Air Force, he was not through with flying or service. He continued instructing new pilots and became an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner providing check rides at all levels for the last 30 years.
He served in management roles from Aircrew Standardization Officer to Group Commander. He has countless hours with CAP flying fire patrol, disaster reconnaissance and counter drug missions, and capturing imagery as an aerial photographer.
In 2012, he was recipient of the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award that recognizes pilots who have demonstrated professionalism, skill and aviation expertise by maintaining safe operations for 50 or more years. He joined in Civil Air Patrol in 1994 and continues to share his love of flight with all ages.