Michael F. Rogus, 92: World War II pilot, launched high school aviation club
HARPSWELL — Michael F. Rogus, 92, died Nov. 10 at his home.
Born in New York City on Oct. 16, 1921, the son of Stephen and Ethel Rogus, he graduated from Croton High School in 1943.
Rogus enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Jan. 5, 1944, and served his country honorably during World War II as an aviator. He flew both land- and carrier-based missions. His squadron, flying from Recife, Brazil, was involved in the capture of the German U-boat U505, now on display at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. During his naval career, he piloted a variety of aircraft including air ships, TBM Avengers, P2V Neptunes and various naval seaplanes.
Rogus also frequently flew planes carrying U.S. representatives and senators from Maine, including Edmund Muskie and Margaret Chase Smith. In addition, he was a certified radio operator and served during 1962 as a member of the Navy’s F4H Phantom II Project High Jump team. He attained the rank of lieutenant commander and retired from the Navy in June 1964 while stationed at Brunswick Naval Air Station.
After his retirement from the Navy, Rogus attended the University of Maine and received his undergraduate and master’s degrees. He began his second career as an instructor at Brunswick High School in 1966. Over the next 17 years he taught a variety of subjects including history and economics. He also launched and ran an innovative “flying club” that prepared students to pursue careers in aviation and weather forecasting.
With lifelong interest in aeronautics, he built an ultra-light aircraft and flew single-engine land and amphibious aircraft well into his retirement. He liked playing chess and was an avid reader of science, ancient history and archeology publications. After retiring from teaching and flying, his attention turned to golf, a pastime in which he enjoyed the company of his many civilian and naval buddies.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Patricia Ann. They were married at the Church of St. John in New York on Feb. 22, 1945.
He is also survived by his sister, Elizabeth McRann, of Topsham; two sons, Michael Peter and Mark Stephen; daughter; Jeannie Marie; and six grandchildren, Natalie, Charlotte and Emma Rogus and Patrick, Michael and Emily Dashiell.
A committal service with full military honors will be held Nov. 20 at 10 a.m. in the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery Chapel, 163 Mt. Vernon Road, Augusta.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, Memorial and Honors Gifts, P.O. Box 1000, Memphis, TN 38148-0142.
Arrangements are by Stetson’s Funeral Home, 12 Federal St., Brunswick.