Col. Jerry Flicek, former mayor, Air Force officer, dies

By Chuck Kajer

Col. Jerry Flicek, retired Air Force officer and former mayor of New Prague, died Thursday, Aug. 5, 2004, at Mala Strana Health Care Center in New Prague. He was 86.

Flicek served for 30 years in the U.S. Army Air Corps and Air Force, and was a pioneer of the U.S. guided missile program. He served as base commander at Churchill, Manitoba, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and at a NASA space communications station in Australia.

In 1954, he was assigned to the Pentagon, where he was put in charge of planning for all missile activity for the Air Force.

He helped develop infrared guidance systems and other systems, some of which are still used today.

Flicek was also assigned to work with the British on their missile program, and later in his career he was based in Boston and Australia. During his career he met Winston Churchill, Presidents Truman, Ford and Kennedy, famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, and Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

He was decorated on several occasions, and received the Legion of Merit Medal in 1958, for his work that uncovered and rectified potentially serious flaws in guided aircraft rocket systems.

He attended Yale University and later earned a degree from the University of Maryland. He earned a master's degree from George Washington University, a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and another, at age 70, from California Western University.

After retiring from the military in 1971, he returned to New Prague and shortly after his return, served a two-year term as mayor. He was later elected mayor in 1987 and served in that post until 2000.

During his years as mayor, he helped pave the way for the city’s growth in recent years. He worked to streamline city government and during his tenure, the city passed a new charter.

Jerry always had the community as his first concern

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