Wayne P. Rothgeb served in the US Army Air Corps from 1941 to 1945. In 1943 he was assigned to the 39th Fighter Squadron in New Guinea, where he flew 139 combat missions in aircraft including the P-38, P-39, and P-47. He was a flight leader and assistant operations officer in the squadron, and he received the Air Medal with four clusters and a unit citation. Rothgeb received in B.S. from Purdue in 1948, then for two years held the position of assistant county agricultural agent for Jay County. From 1951 to 1985, he was the farm director for WKJG-TV in Ft. Wayne. He was named National Farm Broadcaster of the Year in 1984.