Instrument pilot rating, signed by Col. Laurence Kelley, for whom the 494th BG(H) was named Kelley's Kobras. (Image courtesy of the Turek family.)

Emil Turek was by all accounts an excellent multi-engine pilot. His crew led the squadron on combat missions when the brass learned of Rolf Slen's navigational skills and Vito "Dave" Nacci's performance record as bombardier. Turek was promoted quickly from 2nd Lt to 1st Lt and lastly to Captain. In the jet era, that pace would have earned him recognition as a fast burner. He was awarded at least one field commendation. He once told his daughter that "he was just the pilot, the navigators are the really smart ones".  

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