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Miles Rudolph - Departed on Dec 29, 2017 - Green Bay, Wisconsin
Miles Rudolph - Departed on Dec 29, 2017 - Green Bay, Wisconsin

Miles Rudolph

Born in Fredonia, Wisconsin on May 30, 1921

Died on Dec 29, 2017 and resided in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Miles J. Rudolph, age 96, died on Friday, December 29, 2017, in Green Bay. He was born May 30, 1921, to the late Oscar and Christine (Wilmes) Rudolph, in the town of Fredonia, Wisconsin. Miles graduated from Port Washington High School in 1939.  While Miles assisted his family with farm duties and the family threshing business, he wanted to participate in the war effort.  At age 19, he volunteered for military service in the Army Air Corps, on August 12, 1940, in Milwaukee, WI.  He attained the rank of Sergeant after serving as an aircraft engine mechanic in Illinois and Oklahoma where he worked on virtually every type of airplane.  He was selected for flight training school in San Antonio and later at Sikeston, MO, and Enid OK, and then advanced flight training in Victoria TX and West Dover Field in MO.

On August 30, 1943, he entered active service, where he was a flight leader responsible for 12 aircraft and 12 officers.  By March 1944, he was in Woodchurch, Kent and flew sorties over the English Channel. Miles flew on D-Day providing fighter support to the ground forces on the coast of France.  He was a pilot in the 378th and the 410th Fighter Squadron, flying P-47 Thunderbolts.  On the last of his 81 missions, after successfully bombing a German airfield, his fellow wingman signaled that a bomb on his plane had not been released and was hanging on the rear of the plane; he aimed to go back and drop it on the airfield but a German Luftwaffe pilot in a Focke-Wulf FW190 arrived and shot his plane and him.  After successfully parachuting out of the plane, on December 23, 1944, he landed in a field and was taken prisoner. Miles was in the hospital, and then later transported to Stalag Luft I, a POW camp for pilots and officers on the Baltic Sea. His camp was liberated by Russians on horseback, May 2, 1945.  He arrived back in the states in late May. He separated from the service as a Captain, in May 1946.  Miles was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 15 Oakleaf Clusters, Purple Heart and eight additional medals.

He met his wife through his Aunt Lizette, and married the lovely Doris Olson, on May 3, 1947.  At that time, Miles was a crop duster and stunt pilot.  After his two children, Richard and Barbara were born, he gave up flying and started working as a mechanic for American Can in Milwaukee.  Miles and family moved, in 1956, to Green Bay where he also worked as a mechanic and in quality control for National Can Corporation until retirement at 60.

Throughout his life, he enjoyed being active in sports, bowling, waterskiing and golfing to name a few. He had a knack for carpentry and remodeling and built homes and cottages for the family.  He was an active and engaged father with his children, and a respectful and loving husband.  As a devout Catholic, he never missed Mass, whether at home, at the cottage, or on vacation.  And, of course, he was a Green Bay Packers fan.

He is survived by his children, Richard Rudolph, Pembine, WI., and Barbara Rudolph, Madison; two grandchildren, Rene’ Rudolph, Green Bay, and Braden (Cristin) Rudolph, Chicago, IL; one great grandchild, Ethan Rudolph, Chicago, IL; his brother, Wallace Rudolph, Denver, CO; nephews: Robert Habich , Thomas Habich and Richard Habich, Grafton, WI; two nieces, Karen Dable, Brookfield, WI and Jill Habich, Grafton, WI.

Miles was preceded in death by his wife Doris, a brother Eugene Rudolph, Saukville, WI, and a sister MaryAnn Habick, Grafton, WI. 

Friends may call at St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church, 312 Victoria St., on Friday, January 12, after 9:30 am until time of Mass. Funeral Mass 11:00 am at the church with Rev. Bill Hoffman officiating. Burial in Saukville Union Cemetery. Online condolences may be sent to the Rudolph family at www.prokowall.com. In lieu of floral expressions a memorial fund has been established in his name.

 Miles enthusiasm for life, charm, generosity and storytelling will be missed by family and friends.  He was truly a member of the “Greatest Generation” serving his country and family.

 


Funeral Mass: Friday Jan 12, 2018, 11:00 am at St. Philip the Apostle

Visitation: Friday Jan 12, 2018, 9:30-11:00 am at St. Philip the Apostle

Served by Proko-Wall Funeral Director: Bob Walczyk Jr

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