It’s been over a decade in the making, but the wait is almost over. Mary Ellen Rodgers, a resident at Keystone Villa at Douglassville, who has been adamantly seeking publication of her late husband’s wartime memoir, has a publisher.
Sharon Wells Wagner and her son Stephen Wagner, co-owners of Aperture Press LLC, a family-owned and operated independent book publisher, located at the GoogleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading, has agreed to undertake the project.
“I can’t believe this, I just can’t believe this,” said Rodgers, overjoyed. “I was always told I didn’t have a chance.”
Before his death in 2008, Mary Ellen had urged U.S. Army Air Force pilot, Francis “Frank” Rodgers to write his accounts of his service in the Pacific theater during World War II.
Readers of Frank’s memoir can expect to follow him along from Hawaii to Iwo Jima, where he flies various fighter aircraft, notably the P-38, P-39, P-40, and P-51. His narrative then moves onward through combat, with riveting details about a mission over Makin Atoll, where he is shot down and nearly lost at sea; and concludes with particulars from a surprise nighttime counterattack by Japanese infantry—in which he sustains a nearly fatal injury.
Stephen Wagner noted, “I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Frank’s prose is warm and expressive, like an old friend telling you stories over drinks. He includes plenty of interesting details about aviation and his life as a fighter pilot while keeping the narrative moving along briskly.”
Keystone Villa at Douglassville is planning to host a book-signing event that will feature Mary Ellen and Aperture Press LLC. The working title, “Fighter Pilot,” is tentatively scheduled for release by Christmas.