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Miles J. Rudolph PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 16:31

Miles J. Rudolph, age 96, died on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, in Green Bay.
He was born May 30, 1921, to the late Oscar and Christine (Wilmes) Rudolph in the Town of Fredonia.
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 Aug. 12, 1940, in Milwaukee. 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 Okla., and then advanced flight training in Victoria, Texas, and West Dover Field, Mo.
On Aug. 30, 1943, he entered active service and was a flight leader responsible for 12 aircraft and 12 officers.  By March 1944, he was in Woodchurch in Kent, England, 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 Squadrons, 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 Dec. 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 on 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 Oak Leaf 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 Corp. 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 he was 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 of Pembine and Barbara Rudolph of Madison; two grandchildren, Rene’ Rudolph of Green Bay and Braden (Cristin) Rudolph of Chicago; one great-grandchild, Ethan Rudolph of Chicago; his brother Wallace Rudolph of Denver; nephews Robert Habich, Thomas Habich and Richard Habich, all of Grafton; and two nieces, Karen Dable of Brookfield and Jill Habich of Grafton.
Miles was preceded in death by his wife Doris, brother Eugene Rudolph of Saukville and sister MaryAnn Habick of Grafton.  
Friends may call at St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church, 312 Victoria St., Green Bay, on Friday, Jan. 12, after 9:30 a.m. until the funeral Mass at 11 a.m. The Rev. Bill Hoffman will officiate.
Burial will be in Saukville's Union Cemetery.
Online condolences may be sent to the Rudolph family at
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.

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