Some scenes from the events at Biggin Hill on 21 July at St Georges Chapel, the Sptifire Heritage Hangar, the London Battle of Britain Memorial and the RAF Club, London.
Biggin Hill arrival
Biggin Hill arrival of the Czech Air Force CASA C-295
Brig. Gen. Libor Stefanik, Chief of the Czech Air Force, leads the party from the aircraft.
Gen Emil Boček.
Cardinal Dominik Duka, Archbishop of Prague, and of a Czech RAF airman.
With Martin Ježek – Omnimedia’s PR Manager and media co-ordinator.
Geeting by Will Curtis, Managing Director at Biggin Hill Airport.
At St George’s Chapel
The four Czechoslovak pilots commemorated at St Georges Chapel.
Cardinal Duka, Jiří Stanislav, of
Křížovníci s červeným srdcem Cyriaci Mezinárodní nevládní organizace and Laurie Chester of St George’s Chapel with the replica Infant Jesus of Prague statue.
Cardinal Duka leads the bi-lingual mass and blessing of the Infant Jesus of Prague statue with Paul Wright, Archdean of Beckenham and Bromley.
So finally, following our article on St George’s Chapel, there is now a Czech presence in the Chapel
Photo shoot by the Spitfire gate-guard.
Presentation of Remembrance painting to St Georges Chapel by artist Jiří Soukup.
At Spitfire Heritage Hangar, Biggin Hill.
Where ninety-four year old Gen Emil Boček will realise his dream of flying a Spitfire.
Two seater Spitfire MJ627, piloted by Don Sigournay, which will be used for the flight.
Being escorted to the Spitfire by Brig. Gen. Libor Stefanik.
Final photo’s before take-off
About to depart
Flypast alongside Harvard camera aircraft.
With Harvard camera airctaft.
Hmm….now to face the media again!
Joe Vochyan, Gen Emil Boček and Brig. Gen. Libor Stefanik remember 310 (Czechoslovak) Sqn.
With the BBC.
yet and another interview with Brig. Gen. Libor Stefanik observing.
With his pilot Don Sigournay.
And also while at the Heritage Hangar.
Brig. Gen. Libor Stefanik has the opportunity to sit in a Spitfire.
..so how do I start her up asks Brig. Gen. Libor Stefanik.
H.E. Libor Sečka, Czech Ambassador to London, Jiří Soukup and Jiří Svatos, Czech Defence Attaché, London having been presented with pictures of the ‘Alsterufer‘ sinking by artist Jiří Soukup.
And a birthday surprise for Brig. Gen. Libor Stefanik.
Hurricane coin from new coin set by Česká mincovna depicting aircraft flown by the Czechoslovak RAF squadrons in WW2.
The Liberator coin.
The Spitfire coin.
The Wellington coin.
At London’s Battle of Britain Memorial.
Wreath laying ceremony.
Presentation by Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, Chief of the RAF to Gen Boček
Joe Voychan from the Czech Spitfire Club being interviewed about the 88 Czechoslovak pilots who flew in the Battle of Britain.
At the RAF Club, London.
Presentation of two paintings by Jiří Soukup to the RAF Club, London.
Group Captain Michael Longstaff, British Defence Attaché to Prage, Jiří Soukup and Brig. Gen. Libor Stefanik, Chief of the Czech Air Force.
The next day, 22 July.
Bomber Command Memorial.
Despite this Memorial being less that 100 metres away from the RAF Club, there was no official visit here to remember the 153 Czechoslovak airmen of 311 Sqn who died whilst the squadron served Bomber Command. The squadron lost a total of 273 airmen during WW2. This was a very surprising and disappointingly omission to the visits itinerary.
left to right Joe Vochyan, Vladimíra Horváthová and Zdeněk Sádecký
Congratulations to Czech Spitfire Club representatives Joe Vochyan and Zdeněk Sádecký who with Vladimíra Horváthová representing Promedica Praha, one of their sponsors and Jiří Soukup who took it upon themselves to pay their respects at this Memorial. The Spitfire Club’s motto of ‘My nezapomínáme’ ‘We don’t forget’ had been truly upheld!
At the Polish Airmen’s Memorial, Northwood.
Laying a wreath to commemorate the four Czechoslovak pilots who were killed whilst flying with Polish forces in WW2.
Many thanks to the Czech Air Force, Česká mincovna and Promedica Praha whose sponsorship enabled this trip to the UK to happen.