Soaring Speech at the MClub

By Richard Mineards   |   April 9, 2024
John Kinnear, Maria McCall, speaker Bobbie Kinnear, Andrea McFarling, and Luke Swetland (photo by Priscilla)

Santa Barbara resident and fellow MClub member Bobbie Kinnear gave a riveting talk at the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum about her father, Col. Robert Ernest Evans, a highly decorated B-17 and B-29 pilot, who flew more than 50 combat missions over Europe and Japan in World War II.

In 1943 he famously served as British general Sir Bernard Montgomery’s personal pilot as the result of a bet between the Field Marshall and future president Dwight Eisenhower.

Nicknamed “Richard Eager” for his gung-ho attitude, Evans squired Monty through the Mediterranean Theater and had a close-up view of his complex personality, which has been recounted in myriad books and documentaries.

Afterwards he flew B-47s, B-52s and B-58s for the Air Force, retiring in 1959. From 1990 to 1993, at the encouragement of his family, he wrote down his experiences, which were published as a book Richard Eager: A Pilot’s Story from Tennessee Eagle Scout to General Montgomery’s “Flying Fortress, co-written with his daughter, who has lived in our Eden by the Beach since 1973, becoming Director of Nursing at the Santa Barbara Medical Foundation Clinic.

Among those turning out for the lecture after an al fresco lunch were Maria McCall, Katherine Murray-Morse, Hiroko Benko, Erin Graffy, Luke Swetland, Dan and Meg Burnham, Robert Luria, and Brendon Twigden.


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