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Richard Ernest Evans


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 Squadron II, Advanced Training Group 1, South Eastern Training Center, Maxwell Field, Montgomery, AL. He was a navigation and pilot instructor until finally his request for overseas transfer was confirmed. He was transferred with Commander, Col. Fay Upthegrove, 99nth BG to N. Africa.
The 99nth BG departed West Palm Beach, FL on February 5, 1943, and arrived February 17, 1943, at Yundum Field, Bathurst, Gambia, having stopped at Puerto Rico, British Guiana (Guyana), Belem, Brazil and Natal, Brazil. It took the 99th BG 11 hours, 45 minute to fly across the Atlantic. He piloted many B-17s over N. Africa, Sicily, Italy and German occupied territories for 54 missions. Between June 13 to around August 5, 1943, Captain Evans was Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery's pilot. He flew the general at other various times until the end of 1943. The B-17E (#41-9082) "Theresa Leta" was given to Montgomery so he could travel more efficiently and safely between his staff and army.
After flying 54 missions, Richard was transferred to the states to take pilot training for the B-29. He flew his B-29 to Tinian March, 1945. He flew one mission over Japan with the 316th Bomb Wing in the Pacific.
Richard retired to the Air Force reserves months after the Japanese surrendered only to be asked to fly again when the Korean war began. He continued in the Air Force flying the B-47, B-52, and he became the B-58 Test Squadron Commander. Richard retired in 1959 from the Air Force. He passed away June 13, 2006.
Before he died Richard wrote 21 chapters with humor and humility about his experiences flying the B-17 throughout the N. African/Sicilian/Italian campaign, his relationship with "Monty," his stories about growing up in Tennessee and early USAAC flight training.
His book, "Richard Eager" A Pilots story from Tennessee Eagle Scout to General Montgomery's "Flying Fortress," is published. I am very grateful for the information that is being gathered by the AAM. Daughter, Barbara Evans Kinnear


Units served with

  • 15th Air Force

    15th Air Force

    The Fifteenth Air Force was one of two Strategic Air forces in Europe, along with the Eighth Air Force. ...

  • 12th Air Force

    12th Air Force

    The 12th Air Force was established in the USA during the Second World War to provide the Army Air Force component of Operation Torch (the invasion of French North Africa) in 1942. The Air Force initially moved to England for training before...

  • 99th Bomb Group

    99th Bomb Group

    Constituted as 99th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Jun 1942. Trained with B-17's. Moved to North Africa, Feb-May 1943, and assigned to Twelfth AF. Entered combat in Mar 1943 and bombed such targets as airdromes, harbor...

  • 346th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-29775 Wongo

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 18/2/43; Gt Falls 20/2/43; Salinas 18/3/43; Morrison 29/3/43; Assigned 341BS/97BG Chateau-du-Rhumel 16/4/43; Pont-du-Fahs 1/8/43; Depienne 15/8/43; transferred 346BS/99BG Oudna 14/11/43; Tortorella 11/12/43; 483BG Tortorella 31/3/44;...

  • 42-38201 2nd Patches

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 13/1/44; Lakeland 1/2/44; Morrison 9/2/44; Assigned 815BS/483BG Tortorella 30/3/44; transferred 346BS/99BG Tortorella 31/3/44, then 429BS; 41m two killed and 8 RTD when ship skidded on airfield PSP into railway embankment and broke up...

  • 41-9082 Theresa Leta

    B-17 Flying Fortress

Associated Place

  • Chateaudun-du-Rhumel

    Military site : airfield

  • Navarin

    Military site : airfield

  • Tortorella

    Military site : airfield

  • Oudna

    Military site : airfield

  • Bone

    Military site : airfield
    During World War II the airport was known as Bone Airfield, and was used by the German Luftwaffe. Later captured by the United States Army, the USAAF Twelfth Air Force in the Western Desert Campaign in 1942-1943. ...

  • La Senia

    Military site : airfield

  • Catania

    Military site : airfield

  • Foggia

    Military site : airfield


Event Location Date
Born Knoxville, TN 19 January 1919
Died Rolling Hill Estates, CA


Date Contributor Update
24 August 2021 06:08:48 Barbara Evans Kinnear Changes to service number, role, biography, events, unit associations and place associations

Barbara Evans Kinnear, daughter

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2016 03:45:42 Barbara Evans Kinnear Changes to biography

Notes from daughter, Barbara Evans Kinnear

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2016 08:11:03 Barbara Evans Kinnear Changes to nickname and events

1. Unpublished memoirs from Col. Richard E. Evans
2. Remembered stories from Barbara Evans Kinnear, Col. Evans's daughter
3. Photograph of Field Marshall Bernard L. Montgomery with the crew of the B-17E "Theresa Leta" with then Capt. Richard E. Evans. Photograph taken June 23, 1943 by 2nd. Lt. Wesley Hudson, given to B. E. Kinnear by Wesley J. Hudson

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2016 08:03:03 Barbara Evans Kinnear Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nickname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography and aircraft associations

1. Stories written by Col. Richard E. Evans. Unpublished memoirs
2. Stories remembered by Barbara Evans Kinnear, Col. Evans's daughter
3. Photograph of General Montgomery with the B-17E "Theresa Leta" crew with Capt. Evans taken by 2nd Lt. Wesley Hudson, June 23, 1943, provided by his son, Wesley J. Hudson