Written by Morgan Rogers
Capt. Edward Brien Rogers Jr., U.S. Navy, retired, was a graduate of Coronado High School Class of 1943, where he was captain of the football team and student council president. He received his Navy commission with the U.S. Naval Academy class of 1948.
His first naval duty assignment was to USS Norris (DD-859) until receiving orders to Submarine School in 1951. He then served on USS Aspro (SS- 309) and USS Spinax (SSR489) in San Diego. In 1953, while serving on Spinax, he met and married the love of his life, Gail Wesley, a teacher in Coronado. After his time on Spinax, Rogers attended Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and served on USS Queenfish (SS-393) as Operations Specialist, then Executive Officer. He also taught at Submarine School in Groton, Connecticut, attended the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and served as the Commanding Officer of USS Catfish (SS-339) until 1964.
After a tour on the Chief of Naval Operations Submarine Operations in 1966, he was transferred to Yokosuka, Japan, as Operations Officer on the ComSubFlot 7 staff, then assigned as Division Commander of ComSubDiv72 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 1968. He returned to San Diego as Commanding Officer of USS Estes (LCC-12), then of USS Passumpsic (AO-107) in 1969-1970. In 1972, following German language and attaché training, he assumed the duties of U.S. Naval Attaché to West Germany.
In 1976, Capt. Rogers returned to Washington, D.C. for his final naval tour as a NAVSEA Program Manager responsible for the Mark 48 Torpedo development. He retired in June 1977 after 30 years of service in the U.S. Navy.
Following retirement, Capt. Rogers developed real estate in Virginia that included designing and building his own home. In 1987, Capt. Rogers and his wife moved back to Coronado to live in what had been his parents’ home on First Street. Not content to sit idle, he promptly added a second story and expanded the kitchen and family room. Capt. Rogers died in his Coronado home in October 2011 at the age of 86.
The Hometown Banner program is a military service recognition program sponsored by the City of Coronado. Introduced in 2014, the program has honored 206 hometown heroes. On May 21, another 11 will be honored. The City funds all the costs for the program. City staff and volunteers from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2422, the Coronado Historical Association and the Third and Fourth Streets Neighborhood Association oversee its operation. The inspiration for the program came spontaneously with the movement of two Navy SEALs to their final resting place. News spread quickly in Coronado. The local Rotary Club passed out American flags. People lined Fourth Street to honor the fallen service members. As the procession approached the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, a lone Navy SEAL stood at attention, saluting as he waited for the passage of his comrades. At that moment, it was clear that Third and Fourth streets were already an Avenue of Heroes. From that spontaneous beginning, the program was launched in May 2015 with 18 banners. Ceremonies are held twice yearly and men and women with ties to the community have been recognized from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The Hometown Banner program is a reminder that Coronado has a rich history and legacy of service to country.