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General Bernard Montgomery inspects the American crew of his B-17 Flying Fortress "Theresa Leta" in June 1943.

Major General Bedell Smith, General Eisenhower's Chief of Staff, bet that British forces would not capture Sfax by 15 April 1943. Montgomery won the wager when Sfax fell on 10 April, and was assigned a B-17 Flying Fortress and its crew to use as his personal transport as a result.

The first pilot of "Monty's" American B-17 crew was First Lieutenant Frank Burton Evans. He flew the general from 4/15/43 to 6/15/43. The second pilot with a new American crew was Captain Richard Ernest Evans, who flew the general from 6/15/43 to 8/5/43 and at other times until the end of the year, 1943. Since both American pilots were named Evans, some of the history is confusing. Captain, later Colonel Richard E. Evans, wrote a book titled, "Richard Eager" A Pilots Story from Tennessee Eagle Scout to General Montgomery's "Flying Fortress."



  • Richard Evans

    Military | Colonel | Pilot, instructor in navigation and flight
    Richard Ernest Evans grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. He started his flying career graduating from the Primary Flying School, Love Field, March 21, 1940, Class of 40-E. He continued his flight training, transferred to Flight #8 Advanced Training...



Date Contributor Update
24 August 2021 06:27:31 Barbara Evans Kinnear Changes to caption

Barbara Evans Kinnear, daughter of Colonel Richard Ernest Evans

Date Contributor Update
18 November 2016 11:09:25 Emily Created entry with collection, caption, person associations and aircraft associations

National Army Museum Collection

NAM 1988-09-30-05

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