The four Czechoslovak RAF airmen interred at Oosterwolde General Cemetery, Holland, were remembered in a service held there on 15 April 2019.
The event was organised by the Oldebroek Municipality, the Oosterwolde Orange Committee, the Oosterwolde Village Association and the “De Broeklanden” Archaeological Association and was attended by numerous officials, local dignitaries and well-wishers. Representing the airmen’s homeland was Jana REINIŠOVÁ Czech Ambassador to Holland, and Roman Bužek, Slovak Ambassador to Holland.
Video courtesy and © of Henk Tabois.
From 18:35 on 16 October 1940, four Wellington bombers from 311 Sqn, began taking-off from East Wretham, Norfolk, for a bombing raid on the shipyard at Bremen, Germany. The last to leave, at 18:50 was Wellington KX-T, L7844, was Captained by P/O Bohumil LANDA,43, co-pilot Sgt Emanuel NOVOTNÝ, navigator P/O Hubert JAROŠEK,30, wireless-operator Sgt Karel KLIMT, 28, front-gunner Sgt Otto JIRSÁK, 33, rear-gunner Sgt Augustin ŠESTÁK, 22, but was shortly due to become the squadrons first loss due to a night fighter attack.
At 21:25 it was shot down, over the Zuiderzee, Holland by a Luftwaffe Dornier Do 17Z-10 night fighter, piloted by Oberleutnant Ludwig BECKER with unteroffizier Josef Staub, radar-operator/air-gunner of 4./NJG 1. It was a short combat; a five to six-second burst from the Dornier’s machine guns hit the Wellington, causing its starboard engine to catch fire, then spinning as it dived out of the sky, crashing North-East of Oosterwolde, near Grote Woldweg, Holland.
Three of the crew, Sgt Emanuel NOVOTNÝ, P/O Hubert JAROŠEK, and Sgt Augustin ŠESTÁK, managed to bail-out of the stricken Wellington. NOVOTNÝ and ŠESTÁK landed safely but were captured and spent the remainder of the war as Prisoners of War, but JAROŠEK was killed in the jump.
The remains of P/O Bohumil LANDA, P/O Hubert JAROŠEK, Sgt Karel KLIMT, and Sgt Otto JIRSÁK were interred at Oosterwolde General Cemetery.