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Wish of a Lifetime from AARP

Lt. Col. Rodge takes flight once again

Tuskegee Airman “Rodge” served his country for 22 years on active duty during World War II. He flew 68 combat missions in Germany with the 99th Squadron “Red Tails,” escorting U.S. Bomber planes to their targets.

After retiring from the Air Force in 1983, he worked in management for NORAD and NASA and was involved in the NAACP.

Vintage photo of Ophelia's father in army circa 1942

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A story of unrelenting determination

Rodge shared that every time he returned from one mission, he was even more determined to return from the next. And decades later, his wish was to fly in a P-51 Mustang once again.

Rodge was honored in a powerful ceremony at the Camarillo Airport in California. And then, for the first time in decades, he took flight into the open skies.

Ophelia smiles while standing by World War II Memorial

“I have to live a lot longer so I can remember this for a long time.”

— Lt. Col. Marion “Rodge” Rodgers, age 92