“Remembering Forgotten Fliers, Their Survivors” republished in a new anthology from Potomac Books

Fighter pilots.

I’ve written about them often over the years. About their hell-raising good times at the Officers Club, living life to the fullest…on the edge of the envelope at a speed faster than the rest of us.

I’ve written about them at other times, too, when they have slowed down to a snail’s pace. When a hush goes over a squadron of men like a black veil because earth and sky have collided and one of their brothers isn’t coming home. A young wife is widowed, a child left fatherless, an older couple wandering around confused, their future of grandchildren and the good life destroyed in a fireball. “Weren’t we supposed to go first?” they ask.

So when my essay “Remembering Forgotten Fliers, Their Survivors” first appeared in the pages of Air Force Times, March 16, 1992, I felt a sense of joy mixed with sadness. Joy because I was happy to have another byline in a national publication that treated me like a professional, but the sadness came from the fact that once again I had written about loss­­––the loss of fighter pilots dying in peacetime training missions. This subject would be the driving force behind my debut novel, The Final Salute, first published in 2008.Remembering Forgotten Fliers in AF Times & Red, White & True anthology kathleenmrodgers

Fast-forward twenty-two years later and the republication of my essay in a prestigious new anthology titled “Red, White, & True,” released from Potomac Books, an imprint of the University of Nebraska Press. Edited by Tracy Crow, a former Marine Corp officer and an award-winning military journalist and author nominated for three Pushcart Prizes, this provocative and powerful collection presents thirty-two true stories about the enduring impact of U.S. military service from WWII to present. The writers include a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a novelist with a New York Times Notable book award for 2012, and a writer seeing his name in print for the first time.

Today, I take pride in the fact that my story made the final cut as it “passed for review” in front of Tracy Crow and her editors at the University of Nebraska Press. Sometimes my job as a writer is to give a voice to those who are no longer living. In my own small way, I help keep their legacies alive. In Chapter 3 on pages 16 – 20 of “Red, White, & True,” I give a voice to the names of too many good men who flew west before their time.

This collection of powerful true stories would make a great gift.

To order, please visit potomacbooksinc.com or call 800-775-2518


Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble online and in some bookstores around the country:headlines from anthology and origianl




Published by


Author of the novels The Final Salute, Johnnie Come Lately & Seven Wings to Glory. Former contributor to Family Circle Magazine and Military Times. Future work represented by agent Diane Nine, Nine Speakers Inc.

6 thoughts on ““Remembering Forgotten Fliers, Their Survivors” republished in a new anthology from Potomac Books”

    1. Dearest B.J.,

      It is always an honor to hear from you. Thank you for your many years of approval and support. I am honored to help continue the legacy of your late husband. I hope you are well and that life is good for your beloved son.



  1. I am glad your piece made the final cut! Continued good fortune in your career.
    My best wishes to you and your family.

  2. I’m proud of you, too, Kathleen. You are an important voice for women and families who have fighter pilot husbands and fathers. And now you’ll have so much to offer women who have sons in the service. We need the feminine side of this experience, the side of the ones left behind. Your pieces are getting out there where they need to go. Congratulations. I know you work hard to make this happen. I look forward to Johnnie Come Lately.

    1. Elaine,

      You are so supportive! Thank you for reminding me how important it is to tell the other side of the story, the story about those left behind to copy on the home front.
      Hug Willow for me. I’m getting excited about the upcoming release of your book!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *