An Accomplished Life

L. Rodger Currie, 88, of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, and Palm Beach, Florida, who was a dentist and real estate developer, was “one of the youngest Marine Corps dive bomber pilots in World War II” and “became one of the oldest recipients of the Carnegie Medal for Heroism after rescuing six people from a burning boat on Cape Cod 60 years later,” according to the family-prepared obit published in the Boston Globe on Aug. 28.

The obit offers these details of his military service: “Currie served in Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 243, also known as the Flying Goldbricks.”

“He flew 105 combat missions bombing and strafing Japanese Forces in the Solomon Islands, Bismark Archipelago, and the Philippine Islands. Currie was awarded 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses for heroism and extraordinary achievement as well as 13 Air Medals. The 19-year-old's exploits included a daring touch-and-go landing under fire on an enemy-occupied airfield to pick up a wingman who had been shot down.”

After purchasing a summer home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts in 1957, the son of a Scottish immigrant orphanage custodian became a campaign worker for his famous neighbors, the Kennedys. He “traveled as an advance man for the campaigns in West Virginia for John F. Kennedy in 1960, to Indiana for Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 and to Iowa for Edward M. Kennedy in 1980.”

His list of impressive accomplishments continues in the obituary.

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This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer. She was the director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers before she passed away in 2015.

Originally published September 2011