Alois Sedivy DFC DFM
Susan M Sedivy
Alois Sedivy (Lou) came from humble beginnings and was orphaned at the age of three. He lived in a subsistence lifestyle on a farm in Zlesice, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia with his maternal grandparents until he completed his schooling in Malenice and Volyne. He trained as a mechanical locksmith and later as a mechanic but at the age of 18 he joined the Czechoslovak Army Airforce where he undertook pilot training. Following the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia on 15th March 1939 he escaped by train using the underground movement and fled to Poland where he joined the French Foreign Legion. Here he experienced the cruelest discipline of a Legionnaire’s life under the blazing heat of the desert. Relief came with the declaration of war and secondment to the French Air Force, but when France was over-run Lou stole a petrol tanker and fled to the South of France where at Bordeaux he joined a group of Czech Airmen on a ship bound for England.
On arrival in England, Lou joined the RAF and was posted to the newly formed 311 (Czech) Bomber Squadron. He flew Wellington bombers MK IC until late April 1942, when it was transferred to coastal command and given a general-reconnaissance role. He was one of the essential members of 311 Czechoslovak Bomber Command with an accomplishment of more that 40 night bomb attacks on Germany and occupied countries. In 1941, he was awarded a Distinguished Flying Medal for a dangerous mission involving the bombing of a fighter plane. In 1945, he flew a Liberator EV955 (PP-D) at night and participated in the action called Chilli II (an attack on the German submarines and other crafts in their training spaces around the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea). These successes brought him the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), the officers equivalent of the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM). Following the end of World War II, he returned to Czechoslovakia but the Russian communist regime soon meant he once again had to flee his home country and seek shelter in England. Following his return to England,he once again joined the RAF, where he had a long and distinguished flying career before retiring to South Australia.
On 1st January 1957 he received the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Services in the AIr, in 1989 he was rehabilitated as a free citizen of the Czech Republic.
Lou was an accredited multi engine pilot with a long and successful flying career during World War II and the Cold War. He was the only Czechoslovak skipper to attack a Japanese submarine and only one of five to have the confirmed sinking of a German U-boat to his credit.
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