James F. Rogers

Photograph of James F. Rogers

1922 - 1978

James Frank “Pete” Rogers was born in Saratoga, Texas and grew up in Batson, Texas. He received his education from Lamar Tech and Texas A&M. Rogers joined the military in 1942 and was a fighter pilot in Europe during World War II. During his military service, Rogers was awarded three Distinguished Flying Crosses, twelve Air Medals and a Purple Heart.

Rogers joined the Department of Public Safety in 1947 as a Highway Patrolman. He became a Pilot Investigator for the DPS in 1951. In 1958 he was promoted to sergeant in the Texas Rangers and was stationed at Company A in Houston and was promoted to Captain of Company C in Lubbock in 1969. He then returned to Company A in Houston as Captain in 1972. A Ranger for twenty-four years, Rogers was a blend of the old and the new. He was a skilled horseman experienced with a lariat and a pilot with a jet rating.

Rogers’ leadership helped to end the Huntsville Prison Siege in 1974, where three inmates took eleven prison workers and four other inmates hostage in the library of the Walls Unit of the Texas Department of Corrections. After an eleven-day standoff, Rogers, assisted by Ranger Captain G. W. Burks and FBI agent Bob Wyatt, led the final assault to free the hostages. In the end, inmates Fred Gomez Carrasco and Rudolpho Dominguez were killed.  Two of the hostages, Elizabeth Yvonne Beseda and Julia Standley, were killed by their captors.

Rogers’ career also included investigations into illegal gambling primarily in the Galveston area, policing a wildcat strike at the Shell Refinery at Pasadena in 1967, and further investigation into the Huntsville Siege.  He passed away in 1978 and is buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Woodville, Texas.

Inducted during the 2023 Bicentennial year.