Beaufighter aircraft of 68 Sqn


Listing of Beaufighter aircraft operated by 68 Squadron RAF and flown by Czech aircrew during WW2.

Squadron code letters ‘WM’

Abbreviations in use:

ATA Air Transport Auxiliary
Del. Delivered
FP. Ferry Pool
Flt. Flight
MTO Motor Transport Officer
OTU Operational Training Unit
PRU Photographic Reconnaissance Unit
Sqn. Squadron
Trans. Transfer

Abbreviations in use for personnel (k) = Killed; (m) = Missing, (i) = Injured; (dli) = Died later of injuries; (pow) = Prisoner of War; (s) = safe.

Serial No: Mk: Unit Detail: Operational Information:
R2091
‘Y’
IF Trans from 604 Sqn to 68 Sqn then back to 604 Sqn This aircraft was flown on patrol between August 1941 and April 1942, by various Czech crews.
R2099
‘Y’
IF Crashed near High Ercall, whilst returning from a night sortie on 23.10.41. The pilot, 83971 F/O Josef Kloboucnik (k) and 78784 Sgt Josef Klvacek (k) the radar operator (R/O) both perished. The aircraft came down at Poynton Green, Salop.
R2139

‘L’
IF Trans from 604 Sqn to 68 Sqn then to TFU then back to 68 Sqn then to 51 OTU This aircraft was operated by various Czech crews between May 1942 and January 1943.
R2148
‘T’
IF Trans from 89 Sqn to 68 Sqn then to 51 OTU Between July 1942 and December 1942 this aircraft was flown by various Czech crews
R2248
‘S’
IF Trans from 29 Sqn to 68 Sqn then to 141 Sqn This aircraft was used by Czech crews between August 1941 and August 1942. P/O Miloslav Mansfeld (Pilot) and Sgt Slavomil Janacek (R/O) claimed two Ju.88s as shot down and one Ju.88 as damaged, whilst on patrol in this aircraft on the night of 12/13.10.41. Mansfeld and Husar were later credited with the shooting down of Heinkel He.IIIH-6 of 8/KG40 (no 4260 code F8+AS), which crashed into the sea off Holyhead Anglesey at 2335 hours. Hptmn P Romisch was listed as killed and the other members of the crew, Lt W Kreutzer, Uffz H Leitner and Fw. E Uredal were listed as missing.

P/O Josef Vopalecky (pilot) and Sgt Rudolf Husar (R/O) claimed one Do.217 as damaged when flying this aircraft on 1.5.42.
R2256 IF Trans from 600 Sqn to 68 Sqn then to 256 Sqn This Beaufighter was used by Czech crews from November 1941 to April 1942. One of its patrols took place on 15.4.42. with a Czech/British crew of S/Ldr Howden (pilot) and Sgt Husar (R/O).
R2261
‘K’
IF Del to 68 Sqn then to 256 Sqn. This aircraft was operational during April 1942 with several different Czech crews. It was damaged by return fire from a He.III on the night of 1.5.42. Neither of the crew of Flt/Lt Frantisek Sykora (pilot) and P/O J Oakley (R/O) were injured.
T4627 IF Trans from RAE to 68 Sqn then to 256 Sqn. This aircraft carried out an operational patrol during April 1942 crewed by P/O Frantisek Chabera (pilot) and Sgt Karel Bednarik (R/O).
T4631 IF Trans from 141 Sqn to 68 Sqn. This aircraft flew a patrol during April 1942 with a crew of W/O Ladislav Bobek (pilot) and Sgt Bohuslav Kovarik (R/O). This aircraft hit a target drogue wire and spun into the ground near Coltishall on 27.4.42. Both crew survived the incident.
T4644 IF Del to 68 Sqn then to 51 OTU. This aircraft first operated in November 1941, with a crew of P/O Mansfeld (pilot) and Sgt Janacek (R/O). It was still operational in April 1942.
V8246
‘H’
IF Del to 68 Sqn (WM-H) then to 301 FTU This aircraft was flown by Czech crews between April and October 1942. It suffered slight damage as a result of return fire from a Do.217 on 1.5.42. The crew of P/O Mansfeld and Sgt Janacek were unharmed. They claimed two He.IIIs as destroyed (around 0200 hours off the East Anglian coast) and a Do.217 as shared destroyed (with Beaufighter V8253 – see below) on this sortie.
V8249
‘J’
IF Del to 68 Sqn then to 141 Sqn. On the night of 23.7.42. W/O Bobek (pilot) and F/Sgt Kovarik (R/O) claimed a Do.217 as destroyed off Lowestoft at 2324 hours, whilst on patrol in this aircraft. On 17.8.42 a joint Czech/British crew (Flt/Lt Frantisek Sykora and P/O J Oakley) carried out a patrol. The aircraft was in used by Czech crews up to November 1942.
V8252
‘U’
IF Del to 68 Sqn then to TFU then back to 68 Sqn then to 141 Sqn. On 29.4.42. Sqn/Ldr Vlastimil Vesely (pilot) and F/O J F Montgomerie (R/O) claimed a Ju.88 as damaged off the Norfolk coast at 0400 hours approximately, whilst on patrol in this aircraft. The aircraft continued to be operated by Czech crews up to September 1942.
V8253
‘W’
IF Del to 68 Sqn to 141 Sqn. Operated by Czech crews from April 1942 through to June 1943, during which time it was a regular ‘mount’ for Flt/Lt Mansfeld and P/O Janacek. This aircraft suffered slight damage caused by return fire from a Do.217 on 1.5.42. The enemy aircraft was claimed as shared destroyed with Beaufighter V8246 (see above). The crew of Sqn/Ldr Vlastimil Vesely (pilot) and F/O J F Mongomerie (R/O) were unharmed.

On 28.7.42. W/O Ladislav Bobek (pilot) and F/Sgt Bohuslav Kovarik (R/O) claimed one Do.217 destroyed and a second Do.217 as probably destroyed off the Norfolk coast at 0100 hours approximately, whilst flying this aircraft.

On 11.12.42. Flt/Lt Mansfeld and P/O Janacek claimed one Do.217 as destroyed some fifty miles off Cromer, whilst on patrol in this aircraft.
V8254
‘V’
IF Del to 68 Sqn then to 141 Sqn. Operated by Czech crews between May and December 1942. Whilst flying this aircraft on 24.7.42. Sqn/Ldr Vlastimil Vesely (pilot) and Sgt Zbysek Necas (R/O) claimed one He.177 as destroyed, over the North Sea at 0130 hours approximately.

On 1.8.42. P/O Ladislav Bobek (pilot) and W/O Bohuslav Kovarik (R/O) claimed one Do.217 as destroyed.

On 19.10.42. Sqn/Ldr Vesely and Sgt Necas (R/O) claimed a Do.217 as probably damaged off Cromer Knoll at 1040 hours approximately, whilst operating in this aircraft.
V8255
‘F’
IF A joint Czech/British crew (P/O Welch and F/O Karel Juchelka) flew a patrol in this aircraft on 29.7.42.
V8256
‘M’
IF Del to 68 Sqn then to 141 Sqn This aircraft operated with Czech crews during the period May to July 1942.
V8283
‘M’
IF Del to 68 Sqn then to 141 Sqn. W/O Bobek (pilot) and Sgt Kovarik (R/O) claimed a Ju.88 damaged off Hornsea, whilst on patrol on 29.5.42.

The aircraft suffered slight damage as the result of return fire from a Do.217, which was claimed as damaged on 16.9.42. The crew of P/O Bobek and W/O Kovarik were unharmed.

On 19.9.42. this aircraft was on patrol and was once again crewed by P/O Bobek and W/O Kovarik and they claimed a Do.217 as damaged. It remained in use by Czech crews until January 1943.
V8287
IF Del to 68 Sqn then to CGS. This aircraft was flown by Czech crews between December 1942 and January 1943. On 17.12.42. it was flown by a joint Czech/British crew (Flt/Lt Sykora/P/O Oakley).
V8562
VIF Del to 68 Sqn. In use by Czech crews between March and September 1943. On 15.3.43. Flt/Lt Mansfeld and P/O Janacek claimed a Ju.88 as destroyed whilst on patrol in this aircraft. It is recorded as crashing on landing at Coltishall on 11.9.43.
V8567
‘B’
VIF Del to 68 Sqn The aircraft was seen to spin into the ground out of cloud at Castle Farm,Swanton Morley shortly after 2000 hours on 22.4.43. It broke up at a height of 500 feet, probably through being overstressed as the pilot attempted to recover from the spin. The port engine was seen to fall off during the incident. The crew of 787663 F/O Josef Mensik and 141980 P/O Rudolf Sliva were both killed. (Whilst flying with 313 Sqn in 1941 Mensik had been shot down over France he evaded capture and managed to return to the Uk via Spain and Gibraltar).
V8569/G VIF Del to 68 Sqn then to 406 Sqn. This aircraft was used by Czech crews during February to April 1943 and again in early 1944. On 18.2.43. between 0050 and 0245 hours, it was involved (with other 68 Sqn aircraft) in attacking ‘E’ Boats some 70 miles east of Yarmouth.
V8592
‘E’
IF Del to 68 Sqn. Operated by Czech crews between April 1943 and February 1944. On 14.4.43. it was involved in hunting ‘E’ Boats with a mixed Czech/British crew (Flt/Lt Sykora/P/O Oakley). It is recorded as crashing on landing at Fairwood Commmon on 27.4.44. The aircraft had burst a tyre on take off and had to circle for some 80 minutes whilst other aircraft landed before making an attempt at a forced landing. The crew of Standera and Bednarik were uninjured.
V8594
‘M’
VIF Trans from 604 Sqn to 68 Sqn. This aircraft operated with Czech crews during April and May 1944. It was shot down in error when the guns of another aircraft were fired during a camera gun practice at Fairwood Common on 28.5.44.
V8613
‘G’
VIF Trans from 604 Sqn to 68 Sqn then to 54 OTU.
V8618
‘T’
VIF Del to 68 Sqn then to 406 Sqn This aircraft was in regular use by Czech crews between March and October 1943.
V8619
VIF Del to 68 Sqn In use by Czech crews of the squadron between May and October 1943. It was later shot down in error by a Mosquito over Stowmarket, Suffolk on 10.12.43.
V8620
VIF Del to 68 Sqn then to 54 OTU. Used by a variety of Czech crews between March and October 1943.
V8640
VIF Del to 68 Sqn then to 51 OTU. Used by Czech crews between April and August 1943.
V8643
VIF Del to 68 Sqn then to 54 OTU. Used on a number of occasions by Czech crews from May 1943 to April 1944.
V8656/G
‘U’
VIF Del to 68 Sqn On 11.3.43. P/O Josef Vopalecky and Sgt Rudolf Husar claimed a Ju.88 as destroyed, whilst on patrol in this aircraft. Again on 28.3.43 the same pair claimed a Ju.88 as damaged, whilst on patrol. Whilst returning to base with the same crew this aircraft struck Beau’ V8737 (see below) on landing at Coltishall on 30.5.43. after the starboard engine failed and the aircraft skidded on the wet grass. P/O Vopalecky was uninjured and Sgt Husar suffered slight head injuries.
V8737/G
VIF Del to 68 Sqn. This aircraft flew at least one patrol with a Czech crew (Adam and Gemrod) on 15.3.43. It was struck by Beau’ V8656 whilst on the ground at Coltishall on 30.5.43. (see above).
V8740
‘Z’
VIF Del to 68 Sqn. This aircraft was in use by Czech crews from June 1943. It crashed into a woodland clearing after take off (following the failure of the starboard engine when only some 20 feet in the air) from Fairwood Common on 18.4.44. The crew of P/O Miroslav Standera and W/O Karel Bednarik were uninjured.
V8742
‘Q’
VIF Del to 68 Sqn then to 406 Sqn This aircraft carried out at least one patrol with a joint Czech/British crew (F/O Russell and F/Sgt Kanovsky) on 7.9.43.
V8749
‘Q’ and ‘G’
VIF Del to 68 Sqn then to No.I OADU This aircraft first operated with a Czech crew (P/O Bobek and W/O Kovarik) on 12.3.43. It was heavily damaged by return fire from a Ju.88. on 28.3.43. The enemy fire struck the starboard engine and the aircraft’s rudder and elevators. P/O Bobek made a forced landing at Coltishall and he and his R/O W/O Kovarik were uninjured. The enemy aircraft was claimed as destroyed some 60 miles east of Lowestoft at 2230 hours.
The aircraft was again damaged on 18.8.43. when it was struck on the leading edges of the wings by wreckage from a Dornier 217, which was claimed as shot down together with a second Dornier also claimed as destroyed to the north east of Cromer. The crew on this occasion W/O Adam and his R/O F/Sgt Gemrod, were uninjured. The aircraft continued in use until February 1944.





Serial No: Mk: Unit Detail: Operational Information:
X7540
‘S’
IF Trans from 600 Sqn to 68 Sqn then to 141 Sqn This aircraft was used by Czech crews for patrols on at least three occasions in January 1943.
X7547
IF Del to 68 Sqn then to 29 Sqn This aircraft first operated in March 1942 with a crew of P/O Chabera (pilot) and Sgt Bednarik (R/O). It continued to be used by Czech crews through to March 1943.
X7551
‘R’
IF Del to 68 Sqn then to 25 Sqn. This aircraft was operated by P/O Mansfeld with Sgt Janacek and later by F/Sgt Prchal (pilot) and Sgt Husar (R/O) during October 1941.
IF X7553
‘D’
IF Del to 68 Sqn then to 51 OTU Operated by Czech crews between June 1942 and January 1943.
X7555
‘H’
IF Del to 68 Sqn then to 29 Sqn This aircraft flew two patrols during April 1942 with different Czech crews Chabera/Bednarik and Vopalecky/Gemrod).
X7558
‘U”
IF Trans from 141 Sqn to 68 Sqn then to 51 OTU. This aircraft operated on at least one occasion, with a Czech crew (Adam/Gemrod) on 5.2.43.
X7572
‘X’
IF Del to 68 Sqn then to No.I ADF This aircraft was flown by various Czech crews between March and August 1942.
X7583
‘G’ and ‘E’
IF Del to 68 Sqn then to 105 OTU. Operated by Czech crews between March and November 1942.
X7703
‘B’
IF Del to 68 Sqn. Crashed on approach to Coltishall 13.9.42. after the pilot was dazzled by searchlights during a searchlight co-operation exercise. 120078 P/O Frantisek Glauder, the pilot, and 787053 Sgt Frantisek Vasata were both killed.
X7751
IF Del to 68 Sqn then to 141 Sqn. Operated by Czech crews between September and December 1942.
X7611
IF Trans from 141 Sqn to 68 Sqn then back to 141 Sqn. This aircraft operated at least once with Czech crew (Bobek/Kovarik) on 7.2.43.
X7842
IF Del to 68 Sqn Caught fire four minutes after take off at 11:40 hours and crashed Frettenham Norfolk on 5.9.42. The fire was possibly caused by fuel vapour trapped in the wing igniting. The two crew, 788029 W/O Karel Richter and 787852 F/Sgt Jaroslav Kovanda were both killed.
EL182
‘H’
VIF Trans from TFU to 68 Sqn then to 96 Sqn. Flown by Czech and Czech/British crews during August 1943 (Capka/Cupak and Russel/Kanovsky).
KV965
‘M’
VIF Del to 68 Sqn then trans to Med’ Operated by Czech crews during January and February 1944. On 4.2.44 F/O Karel Seda and P/O Drahomir Hradsky claimed one Ju.88 destroyed off Southwold at 05:50 hours.
KV974
‘R’
VIF Del to 68 Sqn. Used by Czech crews between November 1943 and June 1944. This aircraft was shot down in error by a USAAF B.24 over Norfolk on 27.6.44. F/Lt Josef Capka suffered serious wounds to his head, but managed to make a forced landing near Cochester. His R/O F/Lt G Williams had earlier been ordered to bale out of the stricken aircraft.
MM844
‘A’
VIF Del to 68 Sqn then to 543 OTU Operated by Czech crews between January and April 1944.
MM846
‘X’
VIF Del to 68 Sqn then to 108 Sqn Used by Czech crews between August and December 1943.
MM850
‘L’
VIF Del to 68 Sqn then to 406 Sqn. Czech crews operated with this aircraft between June and October 1943. Sqn/Ldr Sikora and F/O J Oakley claimed a Ju.88 as damaged on 12.7.43. P/O Jan Serhant and F/Sgt Zbysek Necas, his R/O claimed a Do.217 as destroyed whilst flying this aircraft on 7.10.43.
MM851
VIF Del to 68 Sqn then trans to Med’. Operated by Czech crews between August and December 1943.
MM866
VIF Trans from 409 Sqn to 68 Sqn then trans to Med’. This aircraft operated with a Czech crew on at least one occasion (12.5.44.).
ND211
‘K’
VIF Del to 68 Sqn then to 54 OTU Operated by Czech crews from October 1943 to May 1944. Sqn/Ldr Mansfeld and F/O Janacek, claimed two Do.217s as destroyed on 15.5.44. over the Channel at 0200 hours approximately, whilst operating in this aircraft.
ND239
VIF Del to 68 Sqn then to 406 Sqn. This aircraft was flown by a Czech crew (Adam/Gemrod) on at least one occasion on 18.1.45.
ND268
VIF Trans from 409 Sqn to 68 Sqn then to 406 Sqn. Operated by Czech crews between May and June 1944.
ND269
‘W’
VIF Trans from 604 Sqn to 68 Sqn then to 406 Sqn. F/Lt Josef Capka and F/O Vladimir Cupak his R/O, claimed a Ju.88 as probably destroyed on 29.4.44. off Morlaix at approximately 0400 hours, whilst operating in this aircraft.



© John Rennison. Flt.Lt. Ret’d




This entry was posted in 68 Sqd, Aircraft. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Beaufighter aircraft of 68 Sqn

  1. Nigel John Wills (son of D.B.Wills) says:

    I have been researching my fathers war time career(Flt LT D.B.Wills). He was the pilot of V8594 with his navigator Peter Ledeboer shot down in an unfortunate accident at Fairwood Common on the 28th May 1944. Peter Ledeboer unfortunately died of his injuries. Your site was a great help in clarifying what happenend to that aeroplane. I am trying to find any wartime pictures of either 68 Squadron Beaufighters or Mosquitos during WW11. Can anyone help?

  2. Martin Vrana says:

    Dobrý den. Pokud máte zájem, mohu Vám zaslat fotografie a životopis Ladislava Bobka, DFC, pilota 68. perutě.
    Martin Vrána, Brno, vnuk Ladislava Bobka

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