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Untold Story of Colonel Rudolph "Rudy" Emil Flack

Discussion in 'Heavy & Very Heavy Bombers' started by RickFlack, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. RickFlack

    RickFlack New Member

    Never before seen photos of B-17's and their crews in England and North Africa (1942-1943).

    I am nearing completion of a book about my father's (Colonel Rudolph "Rudy" Emil Flack) life focused on his WWII military flying career. I have created a "mini-series" of 16 publications that provides excerpts from the book. Each publication (2-16) serves as "This Date" or "This Period" in history. Each of these events occurred in 1942 and 1943, which marks the 75th anniversary of each of these events in 2017 and 2018. The following is a brief comment about each one of the 16 publications. Refer to the following Facebook ONEDRIVE link to access each of the 16 publications:


    Part 1 of 16 presents the source book’s Cover Page, Copyright, Dedication, Acknowledgement, Preface, Table of Contents and List of Figures pages; thereby, providing an overall perspective of the entire contents of the main source book. Note, Rudy is the first Commanding Officer of the 414th Bomb Squadron (BS), which is part of the 97th Bomb Group (BG), and serves as such from 1-Feb-42 thru 5-Mar-43.

    Part 2 of 16 begins on July 26, 1942 with Rudy’s mission for the day, which is to fly from Reykjavik, Iceland to Grafton Underwood in England. This is Captain Rudy Flack’s final destination as part of Operation BOLERO.

    Part 3 of 16 recounts the first 16 days of August 1942 preparing for the historic August 17, 1942 mission … the first All American Flying Fortresses Bombing Mission over German occupied territory in Europe.

    Part 4 of 16 covers in detail the first All American Flying Fortresses Bombing Mission over German occupied territory in Europe on August 17, 1942. The story of Peter Hurd’s assignment with Rudy's 414th Bomb Squadron (July thru November 1942) is provided including Peter’s paintings.

    Part 5 of 16 covers the 97th Bomb Group’s Mission #2 (8/19/42) and #4 (8/21/42). Upon returning from Mission #4, Rudy flew an Emergency Mission (Grafton ► Horsham) to bring back the crew and B-17E Johnny Reb that was forced to land at RAF Horsham airfield.

    Part 6 of 16 begins with the 414th BS flying from Grafton ► Bovingdon ► Grafton to swap out their B-17E’s for B-17F’s on August 24, 1942. Photos of both models B-17’s and crews, many never before published, are included. A dedication to the last surviving officer to fly on Mission #1 is presented plus 414th BS Group photos.

    Part 7 of 16 provides details for Missions #6 and #8 to close out August 1942. All of Rudy’s missions for the month of September 1942, which includes 97th BG Missions #9 thru #12, are presented. Rudy also flew a Combat Mission not recorded in The Hour Has Come book that is referred to as Mission #8.5.

    Part 8 of 16 is where Rudy flew on Missions #13 and #15 and a Training mission on 13-Oct-42. To close out the month of October 1942, the last mission flown by the 97th BG out of England, Mission #16 was carried out on October 21, 1942 before transferring to North Africa as part of Operation TOURCH.

    Part 9 of 16 is the beginning of the transfer of the 97th BG from the 8th Air Force in England to the 12th Air Force in North Africa as part of Operation TOURCH. In particular, the chronology of the transfer of Rudy and his 414th Bomb Squadron is revealed.

    Part 10 of 16 begins with Rudy and his 414th BS flying their first Combat Mission (#20) in North Africa on November 23, 1942. Rudy next flew on Missions, #21, #24, #26, #30, #32 and lastly #33 on December 22, 1942. Between #26 and #30, Rudy flew four Operational missions in early Dec’42.

    Part 11 of 16 starts off with a couple of quotes from The Hour Has Come book about Christmas 1942. December 26, 1942 was a tragic day for the 97th BG and in particular the 414th BS. Rudy is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroic actions taken on 26-Dec-42. Rudy flies on three more Combat Missions to close out Dec’42.

    Part 12 of 16 is where Rudy flew on Missions #38, #40, #42 and #44 during the first two weeks of January 1943. Rudy spent the third week of January 1943 (including one Training mission) preparing for his upcoming historic Mission #47 on January 22, 1943.

    Part 13 of 16 details January 22, 1943 where Rudy flew as the Mission Commander, 414th BS CO and Flight Leader for one of the most historic combat missions flown by the Army Air Force during WWII. Rudy had Margaret Bourke-White onboard his Flying Fortress, the B-17F (41-24400) LITTLE BILL, as an observer for the combat mission to El Aouina Airdrome in Tunis, Tunisia (97th BG Mission #47).

    Part 14 of 16 reveals Rudy’s missions and activities from the last week of January thru the middle of February 1943. Included herein is the most famous photo of a B-17 Flying Fortress in flight taken on February 1, 1943 upon its return to base after completing the 97th BG’s Mission #55; the B-17F All American (41-24406) from Rudy's 414th BS.

    Part 15 of 16 includes the first 97th BG mission (#60) to bomb targets in Sicily, Italy on February 15, 1943. Major Flack flew as the Pilot, Flight Leader and Mission Commander with General Jimmy Doolittle onboard as his Copilot. Other notable combat missions are flown by Rudy to close out the month of February 1943.

    Part 16 of 16 contains many photos of Rudy’s 414th Bomb Squadron B-17F Flying Fortresses in North Africa. Seven photos that were taken in late February 1943 in Chateaudun du Rhumel, Algeria vicinity are shown. On March 5, 1943 Major Rudy Flack relinquished command of his 414th Bomb Squadron as he was promoted to Commanding Bombardment Officer of the XII Bomber Command, North Africa Strategic AF (NASAF) under the Command of Major General Jimmy Doolittle. Major Flack would serve in this capacity from 5-Mar-43 through 10-Aug-43.

    Additional mini publications for the remainder of Chapter 9 from March 5, 1943 thru the end of August 1943 will be posted at a later date once the main book has been completed. If would like to view draft copy of the entire book, please provide me with your email address (my email address is RFlackAttack@Hotmail.com).
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
    Raphaël likes this.

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