Hi, my name is Roger XIII, I’m the cuddly one the other one is Neal Siebenbruner, my ball turret gunner. I was adopted by the crew of “Sky’s Delight”, a B-24 Liberator piloted by Lt Meyer, in early 1944. Clint Rutherford, our bombardier, went to California to become engaged to Nita who later became his wife. He purchased me thinking I would make a good mascot for the crew and introduced them to me in Tonopah, Nevada. They made me Captain of the plane as command pilot and gave me my own dog tags with my name and serial number which was the number of our plane we flew most of our missions in (44040673). My religion was nondenominational and my blood type was ‘S’ for sawdust. I flew 40 missions with the same crew except John Roberts our engineer and top turret gunner who was wounded on one of our missions and taken off our crew. I received the same Medals as the crew, the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters, American Defense Medal, Asiatic-Pacific with 3 Battle Stars, Good Conduct Medal and the Victory Medal. In December of 1944 after our 20th Mission we went to Hawaii on Flak leave where the Red Cross Girls pinned a Red Cross pin on me. After we finished our missions in April 1945 the Officers held a party in their tent and we put all our names in a hat to see who would adopt me. Neal Siebenbruner's name was drawn and I have been in his care since we were discharged in October 1945. I was just adopted by the 26th Aggressor Squadron (our old 26th BS). I hope to serve them as well as I served the 11th BG. I just reached my 71th Birthday and am doing quite well.
I was told the XIII (13) after my name is not because I was the 13th Roger but because the crew claimed they were not superstitious. The following story makes you wonder.
On one of our missions we were #3 to take off and the radio operator called the co-Pilot to see if I was on board and to their amazement discovered someone had forgotten me. So the pilot pulled off the line into a revetment and called the tower to send a jeep to our plane as we had an emergency. One of the officers went back to the tent area with the jeep driver and returned with me. We were the last to take off but we caught up with our group and finished our bombing mission. They wouldn`t fly without me along.
This is Roger XIII in his new home with the 26th Space Aggressor Squadron still looking over his crew of "Sky's Delight". In June of 2015 the 26th SAS had a formal adoption ceremony for Roger.