Remembrance 2019


Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, 313 Sqd, 68 Sqd, Not Forgotton | 2 Comments

Project CzRAF100 – part II


2018 was a historic year, not only was it the 100th anniversary of founding of the State of Czechoslovakia, on 28 October 1918, but also the 100th anniversary of the formation of the RAF, and also the 100th anniversary of the Czechoslovak Air Force. To commemorate these anniversaries, we, at the Free Czechoslovak Air Force Associates ltd instigated our Project CzRAF 100 wherein we had our red, white and blue carnation bouquet – the Czech national colours – with a traditional Czech tricolour ribbon at each of the graves of the 240 Czechoslovak RAF airmen and 1 Czechoslovak WAAF who lost their lives during their WW2 RAF service, are to be found in numerous cemeteries located around the United Kingdom. We also commemorated the 149 Czechoslovak airmen, who have no known grave, were also commemorated at the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede. A challenging task, successfully completed, as the extent of this CzRAF commemoration in the UK is something that has never been achieved before.

Rok 2018 byl rokem historickým. Nejenže jsme si připomínali 100. výročí vzniku Československa 28. října 1918, ale také 100 let od vzniku československého letectva a Britského královského letectva. U příležitosti těchto výročí jsme ve Free Czechoslovak Air Force Associates, Ltd. přišli s projektem CzRAF 100, v rámci něhož jsme umístili naši červenomodrobílou květinu spolu s tradiční československou trikolórou na každý z 240 hrobů československých letců RAF nacházejících se na mnoha hřbitovech po celé Británii. Rovněž jsme si v britském Runnymede připomněli 149 československých letců, kteří žádný hrob nemají, a jejichž jména jsou uvedena pouze na deskách v tamním Air Forces Memorial. Šlo o náročný projekt, který se však podařilo dotáhnout do úspěšného konce. Vzpomínková akce podobného rozsahu, vztahující se k památce československých letců RAF, nebyla nikdy předtím v Británii uskutečněna.


For 2019, we decided to extend this task to include all the WW2 graves, or memorials, for CzRAF airmen who are buried outside the UK, namely: Azores, Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary and Poland. A total of 129 graves or memorials at 44 locations amongst those countries, with out bouquets being laid at each grave or memorial by 28 October 2019. Like our earlier project in 2018, the extent of this CzRAF commemoration in these 10 countries is something that also has never been achieved before.

V roce 2019 jsme se rozhodli rozšířit tento projekt na všechny hroby a pomníky československých letců RAF pohřbených mimo území Velké Británie. Šlo o Azory, Bahamy, Belgii, Kanadu, Egypt, Francii, Německo, Holandsko a Polsko. Celkem jsme do akce zahrnuli 129 hrobů a pomníků na 44 místech ve výše zmíněných zemích. Před datem 28. říjen 2019 byly na všechny z nich položeny květiny. Stejně jako u našeho projektu z roku 2018 šlo o vzpomínkovou akci, jejíž rozsah nemá v historii obdoby.

We are very pleased to advise that this project was successfully completed on time. Between these two projects, every Czechoslovak RAF WW2 grave in the world has now been visited and remembered by one of our team of volunteers.

Jsme velmi rádi, že můžeme oznámit dokončení tohoto projektu v době, kterou jsme si stanovili. V průběhu těchto dvou akcí byl našimi dobrovolníky navštíven každý známý válečný hrob československých letců v RAF po celém světě.

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Azores:

Lajes War Cemetery, Lajes, Azores.

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BROCHARD Dalibor, 20, W/O, 246 Sqn., Wireless Operator


* 11/05/24, Nitra

† 14/03/45, Langens, Azores


Grave ref: Row D. Grave 10.

A symbolic urn, no 5, was returned to Slovakia 1945.

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JÍLEK Václav, 28, F/O, 246 Sqn., Pilot


* 11/07/16, Písečné, Žďár nad Sázavou

† 14/03/45, Langens, Azores


Grave ref: Row D. Grave 8.

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KONDZIOLKA Ludvík, 32, W/O, 246 Sqn., Pilot


* 24/08/12, Dolní Lutyně, Karviná

† 14/03/45, Langens, Azores


Grave ref: Row E. Grave 1.

A symbolic urn, no 5, was returned to Ostrava Hrabyni in 1945.

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VOLEK Alois Jaroslav, 28, F/Lt, 311 Sqn., Navigator


* 11/05/16, Vienna, Austria

† 14/03/45, Langens, Azores


Grave ref: Row D. Grave 6.

A symbolic urn, no 5, was returned to Prague Olšanský hřbitov in 1945.

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Bahamas:

_______________________________________________________________


Nassau War Cemetery, Nassau, Bahamas.

At 15:00 7 August 1943 a B25 Mitchell aircraft, FY953, of 111 OTU, took-off on a training flight from Oakes Fields airbase. At 15:02 it had achieved an altitude of 250/350m when the nose rose very sharply, then the aircraft then dived into the ground and burst into flames. On board were the crew of six Czechoslovak airmen. There were no survivors from the crash.

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BŘÍZA Vítězslav, 23, Sgt, 111 OTU, Pilot


* 21/03/20, Brno

† 07/08/43, Nassau, Bahamas

A symbolic urn, No 3, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

Grave ref: West. A. 3.

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HADRÁVEK Jan, 25, P/O, 111 OTU, Pilot


* 11/02/18, Horní Bukovsko, České Budějovice.

† 07/08/43, Nassau, Bahamas

A symbolic urn, No 4, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

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MAREŠ Jaroslav, 39, F/Lt, 111 OTU, Wireless Operator


* 14/04/04, Batelov, Jihlava.

† 07/08/43, Nassau, Bahamas

A symbolic urn, No 6, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

Grave ref: East. A. 3.

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SALZ Karel, 31, Sgt, 111 OTU, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner


* 17/09/11, Stod, Plzeň.

† 07/08/43, Nassau, Bahamas

A symbolic urn, No 2, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

Grave ref: East. B. 1.

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ŠOTOLA Josef, 23, F/Sgt, 111 OTU, Pilot


* 11/02/20, Lipiny, Rychnov nad Kněžnou.

† 07/08/43, Nassau, Bahamas

A symbolic urn, No 5, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

Grave ref: West. A. 4.

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TURNA Jozef, 26, Sgt, 111 OTU, Wireless Operator


* 02/01/17, Čierny Balog, Banská Bystrica.

† 07/08/43, Nassau, Bahamas

A symbolic urn is also interred in Airman’s Memorial, Slovakia.

Grave ref: West. A. 5.

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In the Lych gate entrance to the Cemetery, are four bronze panels which bear the names of airmen with no known grave, who were killed while based in The Bahamas. Six Czechoslovaks, from 111 OTU, the crew of a B25 Mitchell bomber, FV952, that failed to return from a night navigational flight over the Caribbean Sea, are commemorated on these panels and are also commemorated on the Ottawa Memorial, Canada.

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FUCHS Pavel, 27, Sgt, 111 OTU, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner


* 29/05/16, Rakovník

† 23/11/43, NW New Providence, Bahamas

Grave ref: panel 2.

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KRUPICA Rupert, 26, Sgt, 111 OTU, Pilot


* 23/01/17, Chvalčov, Kroměříž

† 23/11/43, NW New Providence, Bahamas

Grave ref: panel 2.

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OPLATKA [Brdský] Adolf [Petr], 22, Sgt, 111 OTU, Wireless Operator


* 28/05/21, Prague

† 23/11/43, NW New Providence, Bahamas

Grave ref: panel 1.

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ŠIMANDL Josef, 29, F/O, 111 OTU, Navigator trainee


* 08/10/14, České Budějovice

† 23/11/43, NW New Providence, Bahamas

Grave ref: panel 4.

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STYBLÍK Miroslav, 29, W/O, 111 OTU, Pilot


* 10/06/14, Rožďalovice, Nymburk

† 23/11/43, NW New Providence, Bahamas

Grave ref: panel 4.

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TOMEK [Treulich] Hanuš, 24, Sgt, 111 OTU, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner


* 21/07/19, Pardubice

† 23/11/43, NW New Providence, Bahamas

Grave ref: panel 4.

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Belgium:

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Map key: Cemetery: Town:
1 Ypres Town cemetry extension Ypres
2 Schoonselhof Cemetery Antwerp
3 Brugge General Cemetery Brugge


1 – Ypres Town cemetry extension, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen.

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PAVLÍK Karel, 23, Sgt, 313 Sqn., Pilot


* 19/10/18, Plzeň

† 05/05/42, Kemmelberg

Shot down in combat during Circus 157.

Grave ref: 4. A. 41

A symbolic urn, No 30, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

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2 – Schoonselhof Cemetery, Antwerp, Antwerpen,

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MRTVÝ Arnošt, 28, W/O, 313 Sqn., Pilot

* 12/01/16, Hrdibořice, Prostějov

† 19/04/44, Herentals

Killed in emergency landing during combat flight.

Grave ref: IVa. C. 7

A symbolic urn, No 30, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

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3 – Brugge General Cemetery, Brugge, West-Vlaanderen.

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DONDA Zdeněk, 23, F/Lt, 312 Sqn., Pilot

* 15/08/21, Rakovník

† 31/12/44, Sevel Seget

Killed in emergency landing during combat flight.

Grave ref: Plot 63. Row 6. Grave 5

A symbolic urn, No 32, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

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Canada:

Map key: Cemetery: Town:
1 Hillside cemetery. Medicine Hat
2 Rosedale cemetery. Moose Jaw
3 Ottawa Memorial. Ottawa


Hillside cemetery, Medicine Hat, Alberta.

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PŘÍHODA Bohuslav, 29, F/Sgt, 34 SFTS., Pilot


* 03/08/14, Svratka, Žďár nad Sázavou

† 12/12/43, Medicine Hat, Alberta

During an aerobatic training flight his Harvard, 2742, dived into the ground and was burnt out.?

Grave ref: Lot 10. Block 139C. Sec. C.

A symbolic urn, is also interred at Hradec Králové, Czech Republic.

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ŠABÍK Julius, 22, LAC, 34 SFTS., Pilot trainee


* 09/07/20, Verešvár, Nitra

† 12/06/43, Medicine Hat, Alberta

Killed in a training flight accident

Grave ref: Lot 5. Block 139D. Sec. C.

A symbolic urn, No 5, is also interred in the Slovak Republic.

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Ottawa Memorial, Ottawa, Ontario,

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FUCHS Pavel, 27, Sgt, 111 OTU, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner


* 29/05/16, Rakovník

† 23/11/43, NW New Providence, Bahamas

Grave ref: panel 2. Column 2

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KRUPICA Rupert, 26, Sgt, 111 OTU, Pilot


* 23/01/17, Chvalčov, Kroměříž

† 23/11/43, NW New Providence, Bahamas

Grave ref: panel 2. Column 2

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OPLATKA [Brdský] Adolf [Petr], 22, Sgt, 111 OTU, Wireless Operator


* 28/05/21, Prague

† 23/11/43, NW New Providence, Bahamas

Grave ref: panel 2. Column 2

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ŠIMANDL Josef, 29, F/O, 111 OTU, Navigator trainee

* 08/10/14, České Budějovice

† 23/11/43, NW New Providence, Bahamas

Grave ref: panel 2. Column 2

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STYBLÍK Miroslav, 29, W/O, 111 OTU, Pilot


* 10/06/14, Rožďalovice, Nymburk

† 23/11/43, NW New Providence, Bahamas

Grave ref: panel 2. Column 2

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TOMEK [Treulich] Hanuš, 24, Sgt, 111 OTU, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner


* 21/07/19, Pardubice

† 23/11/43, NW New Providence, Bahamas

Grave ref: panel 2. Column 2

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Rosedale cemetery, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

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BLATNÝ Benedikt, 29, F/Lt, 32 SFTS, Pilot

* 21/03/14, Lovčice, Hodonín

† 08/07/43, Moose Jaw

Killed in training flight accident in Anson AS625 when it collided with Anson AS229 probably due to both pilots being blinded by the sun.

Grave ref: Lot 8. Block 10. Grave 236.

A symbolic urn, is also interred at Hodonín, Czech Republic.

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MALÝ Svatopluk, 28, LAC, 32 SFTS, Pilot trainee

* 06/12/14, Křelov, Olomouc

† 08/07/43, Moose Jaw

Killed in training flight accident in Anson AS229 when it collided with Anson AS625 probably due to both pilots being blinded by the sun.

Grave ref: Lot 8. Block 10. Grave 237.

A symbolic urn, No 3, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic.

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France:

Map key: Cemetery: Town:
1 Pihen-les-Guines Communal Cemetery Pas de Calais
2 Calais Canadian War Cemetery Pas de Calais
3 Boulogne Eastern Cemetery Boulogne
4 Etaples Military Cemetery Etaples
5 La Targette Pas de Calais
6 St. Valery-en-Caux Franco-British Cemetery Seine-Maritime
7 Bayeux War Cemetery Calvados
8 St. Brieuc Western Communal Cemetery St. Brieuc
9 Creil Communal Cemetery Oise
10 Mazargues War Cemetry Marseilles


1 – Pihen-les-Guines Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais

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FEJFAR Stanislav, 29, F/Lt, 313 Sqn., Pilot


* 25/11/12, Štikov, Jičín

† 17/05/42, Boulogne, France

Shot down, in Spitfire Vb, RY-S BL973, between Guines and Audembert, France, by fighters while escorting bombers on raid to Boulogne.

Grave ref: Row C. Grave 8.

A symbolic urn, No 45, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

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2 – Calais Canadian War Cemetery, Leubringhen, Pas de Calais

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KULHÁNEK Jaroslav, 34, F/Lt, 124 Sqn., Pilot


* 03/11/07, Prague

† 13/03/42, North France

Shot down in Spitfire Vb ON-L BL758, near Offrethun, 10km SouthEast of Boulogne, France.

Grave ref: 3. E. 3.

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3 – Boulogne Eastern Cemetery

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KAUER Jaroslav, 25, F/Sgt, 310 Sqn., Pilot


* 08/03/19, Dlouhomilov, Šumperk

† 23/12/44, Bologne, France

Shot down 5km north of Bologne, France, his Spitfire IXc F, NN-F, MH878 crashed into the English Channel. He survived the crash but badly injured and was taken to the hospital at St Omer where he died from his injuries.

Grave ref: Plot 10. Row B. Grave 14A

A symbolic urn, No 31, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

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PAVLOVIČ Matěj, 26, F/Lt, 303 Sqn., Pilot


* 07/03/15, Vlkovice, Horažďovice

† 20/04/41, English Channel

Shot down at 27,000 ft. near Le Tourquet, France in Spitfire IIA RF-V, P7859.

Grave ref: 26 Plot XIII Row A Grave 19

A symbolic urn, No 15, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

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ZAUF Miloslav, 25, Sgt, 313 Sqn., Pilot


* 01/01/15, Brodek u Přerova, Přerov

† 18/03/42, North France

Shot down, in a Spitfire VB, AA869, near Boulogne, France.

Grave ref: Plot 12. Row E. Grave 8.

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4 – Etaples Military Cemetery, Etaples – Pas de Calais

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POSLUŽNÝ Ondřej, 32, F/Lt, 32 Sqn., Pilot


* 05/08/14, Brno

† 25/06/42, Stella Beach, Calais, France

His Hurricane IIc, Z3088 GZ- Failed to return from an operational flight over France, body washed up on Stella Beach, near Touquet, France.

Grave ref: 46. D. 6.

A symbolic urn, No 48, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

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5 – La Targette, Neuville-Saint-Vaast, Pas de Calais

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BARTOŇ František, 25, lieutenant, CIC Chartres, Pilot.


* 14/08/14, Mošnov, Novy Jicin.

† 06/10/39, Chartres.

Killed on training flight in Curtis Hawk H75, lost speed and crashed near Chartres.

Grave ref: grave 143.

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BENDL Josef, 26, sergent, GC I/6, Pilot.


* 27/03/14, Miškovice, Prague.

† 07/06/40, Amiens.

Killed when his MS-406C, no. 898, fighter aircraft was shot down near Moliens whilst attacking German tanks between Formerie and Forges les Eaux.

Grave ref: grave 144

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BÍEBERLE František, 28, lieutenant, GC I/6, Pilot.


* 23/02/12, Zjoř.

† 25/05/40, Arras.

Shot down during combat flight.

Grave ref: grave 145

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ČERNÝ Jan, 25, sergent, CIB Châteauroux, Pilot.


* 25/01/15, Heřmanice, Moravsky Krumlov.

† 11/05/40, Châeauroux.

Severely wounded in air raid attack on Ste Anne airfield, died in local hospital from his injuries.

Grave ref: grave 146

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DEKASTELLO Josef, 29, lieutenant, GC I/8, Pilot.


* 24/06/10, Prague.

† 03/06/40, Thieux.

Shot down by allied anti aircraft fire.

Grave ref: grave 148

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DÝMA František, 23, lieutenant, GC III/7, Pilot.


* 28/12/16, Olomouc.

† 21/05/40, Senlis.

Shot down, suffered head injuries and died in hospital.

Grave ref: grave 147

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EICHELMAN Zdeněk, 21, sergent, CIB Toulouse, Pilot.


* 10/04/19, Rynholec, Slany.

† 29/04/40, Toulouse.

Killed in a training accident.

Grave ref: grave 149

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FLANEK Leopold, 27, sergent, GC III/2, Pilot.


* 13/12/02, Bieżanów, Poland.

† 15/05/40, Ardennes.

Killed when his MS 406 crash landed in the Ardenes.

Grave ref: grave 150

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GLEICH Jaroslav, 27, lieutenant, GC II/3, Pilot.


* 04/03/13, Kunčice, Ostrava.

† 13/06/40, Avord-Beaugi.

Killed when aircraft crashed.

Grave ref: grave 151

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HAMŠÍK Timoteus, 32, capitaine, GC I/5, Pilot.


* 31/12/07, Zádveřice, Zlin.

† 14/05/40, Sedan.

Killed after parachuting from his aircraft.

Grave ref: grave 172

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HRANIČKÁ Josef, 27, sergent, GC I/6, Pilot.


* 11/03/03, Vlašim, Benešov.

† 05/06/40, Compiègne.

Separated from the rest of his Squadron during combat, was flying alone between Creil and Mondidiere, shot down in MS 406 C.1, no 1035 at 11:40 by a Me 109 and crashed at Compiègne.

Grave ref: grave 173

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KOREC Otakar, 21, lieutenant, GC I/3, Pilot.


* 26/11/08, Nejdek.

† 05/06/40, Agrouves, Somme.

Shot down in his D520 during aerial combat.

Grave ref: grave 174

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KOŠNAR Josef, 23, caporal-chef, GC III/7, Pilot.


* 03/09/16, Pečky.

† 05/06/40, Amiens.

Shot down during combat patrol, in MS406 no 144, near Camronne.

Grave ref: grave 175

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KRÁKORA Jan, 25, caporal-chef, GC I/1, Pilot.


* 12/04/14, Lysolaje, Prague.

† 23/04/40, Senlis.

Killed during a training flight in a D520.

Grave ref: grave 178

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KRÁL Jiří, 30, lieutenant, GC I/1, Pilot.


* 15/03/10, Polanka nad Odrou, Jičín.

† 08/06/40, Montdidier.

Killed in combat. His Bloch MB 152, no 299, was shot  down about 40 km NW of Paris, bailed-out from his burning aircraft but parachute failed to open.

Grave ref: grave 176

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KRÁLÍK Antonín, 23, caporal-chef, GC I/8, Pilot.


* 16/06/16, Vranice, Kutná Hora.

† 27/05/40, Amiens.

Killed on operational patrol near Conde-Folie.

Grave ref: grave 177

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KŘÍŽEK Jaroslav, 25, sergent, CIB Toulouse, Pilot.


* 10/06/14, Dolní Sytová.

† 16/11/39, Toulouse.

Killed on training flight when his MB.200 bomber aircraft crashed near Toulouse.

Grave ref: grave 179

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KUČERA Vladimír, 29, sergent, EPP Etampes, Pilot.


* 07/05/11, Malá Černá, Ckum u Třeboně.

† 14/05/40, d’Etampes.

Killed during a training flight.

Grave ref: grave 180

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MIKOLÁŠEK Antonín, 23, lieutenant, GC II/3, Pilot.


* 06/09/06, Prague.

† 25/05/40, Remigny.

Shot down during operational patrol.

Grave ref: grave 182

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MORÁVEK Emil, 26, sergent-chef, GC I/5, Pilot.


* 08/06/14, Slepotice.

† 15/06/40, Heuilley-le-Grand.

Pilot with GC I/5, from 01/06/40 with GC I/8. Shot down and crashed behind German lines, suspected of being shot later.

Interred at grave 167

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NOVÁK Jaroslav, 24, sergent-chef, EP Istres-Miramas, Pilot.


* 08/07/15, Prague.

† 15/12/39, Villefort.

Killed in a crash during bomber pilot training.

Grave ref: grave 185

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NOVÁK Josef, 28, sergent, GC III/3, Pilot.


* 06/03/12, Zboněk Boskovice.

† 02/06/40, Portet, Toulouse.

Killed in training accident.

Grave ref: grave 184

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POPELKA Stanislav, 23, sergent, GC I/6, Pilot.


* 12/12/17, Františky, Vysoké Mýto.

† 03/06/40, Ozoir-la-Ferrière.

Killed in aerial combat in MS406, no. 693 which crashed at Ozoir-la-Ferrière.

Grave ref: grave 186

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RAJTR Miroslav, 36, sergent, CIC Chartres, Pilot.


* 26/08/03, Žerčice, Mlada Boleslav.

† 11/01/40, Chartres.

Killed in training flight in a MB151.

Grave ref: grave 168

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STOKLASA Jaroslav, 22, sergent, CIB Pau, Pilot.


* 24/03/17, Lhota, Opava.

† 04/03/40, Pau.

Killed in training flight in Potez XXV, no 841 which crashed at Pau.

Grave ref: grave 169

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VAŠEK Vladimír, 22, caporal-chef, GC I/5, Pilot.


* 08/08/14, Sedlec, Kutna Hora.

† 02/01/40, Meuse, Malancourt.

Killed in collision during combat patrol in a Curtis H75, no 13, aircraft crashed at Verdun.

Grave ref: grave 171

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6 – St. Valery-en-Caux Franco-British Cemetery, Seine-Maritime

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BOUDA František, 28, F/O, 21 Sqn., Navigator


* 06/04/16, Vienna, Austria

† 21/06/44, France

Mosquito VI. FB NT182 YH- did not return from a night offensive sortie to attack German ground targets around Mezidon, in the Normandy region of France. Exact reason for the aircraft loss is not known.

Grave ref: Joint grave B, 31-32.

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STRÁNSKÝ Josef, 29, S/Ldr, 21 Sqn., Pilot


* 10/12/14, Borová, Havlíčkův Brod

† 21/06/44, France

Mosquito VI. FB NT182 YH- did not return from a night offensive sortie to attack German ground targets around Mezidon, in the Normandy region of France. Exact reason for the aircraft loss is not known.

Grave ref: Joint grave B, 31-32.

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7 – Bayeux War Cemetery,  Calvados, Normandy

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BAUER Jiří, 20, Sgt, 310 Sqn., Pilot


* 03/11/23, Trutnov

† 28/06/44, Caen, France

Did not return from operational sortie. His Spitfire IXe LF, NH570, probably shot down by flak near Caen, France.

Grave ref: XV. M. 24.

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FAJT Linhart, 32, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Flight Engineer


* 26/11/10, Jablonné nad Orlicí

† 18/11/43, Bay of Biscay

Liberator BZ872 went missing while on patrol over the Bay of Biscay, body washed ashore. Probably shot down by fighter.

Grave ref: VIII. C. 19.

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8 – St. Brieuc Western Communal Cemetery Cotes-d’Armor

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JEŘÁBEK Jan, 22, Sgt, 313 Sqn., Pilot


* 08/11/19, Milevsko, Písek

† 15/07/42, English Channel

Spitfire Vb, AD372, shot down by fighter over English Channel about 60km South of Bolt Head, Devon.

Grave ref: Plot H. Row A. Grave 13

_______________________________________________________________

STEFAN Benignus , 24, F/Lt, 313 Sqn., Pilot


* 09/05/18, Hradec Králové

† 08/03/43, Rennes, France

Spitfire Vc, AR547, shot down by fighter near Paimpol, France.

Grave ref: Plot H. Row A. Grave 10

_______________________________________________________________

9 – Creil Communal Cemetery Oise

______________________________________

HRADIL Bohuslav, 26, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Pilot


* 24/09/15, Bolelouc, Olomouc

† 03/03/42, Paris, France

Wellington Ic, KX-Y Z1070, shot down near Creil whilst on bombing raid to Paris.

Grave ref: Plot 2. Coll. grave 341-345

_______________________________________________________________

KORMANOVIČ Imrich, 40, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Air Gunner


* 23/10/01, Krmeš, Galanta

† 03/03/42, Paris, France

Wellington Ic, KX-Y Z1070, shot down near Creil whilst on bombing raid to Paris.

Grave ref: Plot 2. Coll. grave 341-345

_______________________________________________________________

KOTRCH Jan, 24, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Pilot


* 09/06/17, Sušice, Klatovy

† 03/03/42, Paris, France

Wellington Ic, KX-Y Z1070, shot down near Creil whilst on bombing raid to Paris.

Grave ref: Plot 2. Coll. grave 341-345

_______________________________________________________________

STRACHOŇ Přibyslav, 22, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Air Gunner


* 12/12/19, Velké Pavlovice, Břeclav

† 03/03/42, Paris, France

Wellington Ic, KX-Y Z1070, shot down near Creil whilst on bombing raid to Paris.

Grave ref: Plot 2. Coll. grave 341-345

_______________________________________________________________

SVOBODA Josef, 30, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Wireless Operator/Air Gunner


* 20/01/12, Vienna, Austria

† 03/03/42, Paris, France

Wellington Ic, KX-Y Z1070, shot down near Creil whilst on bombing raid to Paris.

Grave ref: Plot 2. Coll. grave 341-345

_______________________________________________________________

TOLAR Alois, 27, P/O, 311 Sqn., Navigator


* 09/01/15, Brno

† 03/03/42, Paris, France

Wellington Ic, KX-Y Z1070, shot down near Creil whilst on bombing raid to Paris.

Grave ref: Plot 2. Coll. grave 341-345

A symbolic urn, No 43, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

10 – Mazargues War Cemetry Marseilles, Bouches-du-Rhone

_______________________________________________________________

BONK [BAK] František [Franciszek], 21, W/O, 304 Sqn., Wireless Operator/Air Gunner


* 13/10/23, Víťazovce

† 27/07/45, Chonas L´Amballan, France.

On a return flight to North Weald, his Warwick aircraft caught in a lightening storm and crashed near the village of Chon l’Amballan, killing all onboard.

Grave ref: Plot X Row A Grave 6

_______________________________________________________________

Egypt:


El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt

_______________________________________________________________

ANDERLE Leo, 29, F/Lt, 138 Sqn, Pilot



* 24/05/13, Vyškov

† 10/12/42, Missing between Malta and Egypt

Halifax NF-Y, W1002, disappeared on flight between Cairo and Malta, no survivors from crew or ten passengers found.

Grave ref: column 247

_______________________________________________________________

FRIEDL Konstantin, 31, LAC, 14 Sqn, Ground Staff



* 25/04/11, Zelená, Usti nad Orlici

† 25/06/42, Bu Ahmut, Libya

Killed in German air raid on Bu Ahmut airfield where he served as ground crew.

Grave ref: Column 264

_______________________________________________________________

HÁJEK Bohumil, 29, F/Sgt, 138 Sqn, Flight Engineer



* 25/12/12, Popovice, Beroun

† 10/12/42, Missing between Malta and Egypt

Halifax NF-Y, W1002, disappeared on flight between Cairo and Malta, no survivors from crew or ten passengers found.

Grave ref: column 249

_______________________________________________________________

KRCHA Viktor, 28, F/Lt, 138 Sqn, Navigator




* 22/07/14, Vienna, Austria

† 10/12/42, Missing between Malta and Egypt

Halifax NF-Y, W1002, disappeared on flight between Cairo and Malta, no survivors from crew or ten passengers found.

Grave ref: column 247

_______________________________________________________________

PÁNEK Václav, 27, F/Lt, 138 Sqn, Pilot



* 02/10/15, Ústí nad Orlicí

† 10/12/42, Missing between Malta and Egypt

Halifax NF-Y, W1002, disappeared on flight between Cairo and Malta, no survivors from crew or ten passengers found.

Grave ref: column 249

_______________________________________________________________

ROZPRÝM Miroslav, 22, P/O, 138 Sqn, Air Gunner



* 28/02/20, Újezd, Sokolnice, Brno

† 10/12/42, Missing between Malta and Egypt

Halifax NF-Y, W1002, disappeared on flight between Cairo and Malta, no survivors from crew or ten passengers found.

Grave ref: column 249

_______________________________________________________________

TESAŘ Josef, 23, P/O, 138 Sqn, Air Gunner



* 19/04/19, Horní Štěpánov, Prostějov

† 10/12/42, Missing between Malta and Egypt

Halifax NF-Y, W1002, disappeared on flight between Cairo and Malta, no survivors from crew or ten passengers found.

Grave ref: column 249

_______________________________________________________________

VANÍČEK František, 27, P/O, 138 Sqn, Air Gunner



* 03/11/15, Červené Pečky, Kolín

† 10/12/42, Missing between Malta and Egypt

Halifax NF-Y, W1002, disappeared on flight between Cairo and Malta, no survivors from crew or ten passengers found.

Grave ref: column 249

_______________________________________________________________

Germany:

Map key: Cemetery: Town:
1 Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Kleve
2 Sage War Cemetery Oldenburg
3 Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery Berlin


1 – Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen.

Six Czechoslovak RAF airmen are buried here, their Wellington, KX-L R1015 had taken-off from East Wretham, at 19:55, for a bombing raid on Hamburg. It was attacked by a Luftwaffe night-fighter flown by Gefr Rudolf Frank 1/NJG3 at 23:30 north-west of Meppen at 23:30. The Wellington crashed Andervenne 17km eastsoutheast of Lingen-Em, Holland.

The crew were initially buried at Neuer Friedhof and, after the war, reinterred at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Their grave ref: collective grave 27, row F, 12-15.

_______________________________________________________________

BABÍČEK Zdeněk, 21, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Air Gunner


* 07/11/19, Brno

† 15/09/41, Andervenne, Germany

A symbolic urn, No 22, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

JARNOT Alois, 23, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Air Gunner


* 16/06/18, Karviná, Český Těšín

† 15/09/41, Andervenne, Germany

_______________________________________________________________

MIKLOŠEK Ján, 25, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Pilot


* 01/02/16, Galanta, Velký Diosek

† 15/09/41, Andervenne, Germany

_______________________________________________________________

SEDLÁČEK Mojmír, 27, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Navigator


* 14/11/13, Hradec Králové, Dohalice

† 15/09/41, Andervenne, Germany

_______________________________________________________________

SOUKUP Vilém, 27, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Pilot


* 14/11/13, Hradec Králové, Dohalice

† 15/09/41, Andervenne, Germany

A symbolic urn, No 25, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

ZIMMER Antonín, 27, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Wireless Operator


* 14/11/13, Hradec Králové, Dohalice

† 15/09/41, Andervenne, Germany

_______________________________________________________________

2 – Sage War Cemetery, Oldenburg, Niedersachsen.

At 22:52 on the night of 19 July 1941, Wellington bomber, R1371 KX-F of 311 Sqn, took-off from East Wretham for a bombing raid on Hanover. During the flight radio silence was maintained and the aircraft never returned. It is assumed that the aircraft had been damaged by flak or mechanical problems. The aircraft crashed into the Zuiderzee, north of Uithuizermeeden.

Sgt Miroslav Jindra is buried at Uithuizermeeden General Cemetery, Holland.

The bodies of Sgt Pavel Babáček, Sgt Jan Čtvrtlík and Sgt Václav Valeš were never found and they are commemorated on panel’s 30, 42 and 54 respectively at the Runnymede Memorial, UK.

Some time later the body of P/O Jaroslav Partyk was washed ashore on the German island of Borkum. Initially he was buried in the local Lutherian cemetry and post war re-interred at Sage War Cemetry.

_______________________________________________________________

PARTYK Jaroslav, 24, P/O, 311 Sqn., Navigator


* 16/12/16, Rakovník

† 20/07/41, Rottum, Holland

Grave ref: 7. F. 4

A symbolic urn, No 87, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

3 – Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Berlin.

_______________________________________________________________

BLÁHA Oldřich Dennis, DFM, 21, F/O, 44 Sqn., Air Bomber


* 1922, London

† 02/01/44, Berlin

Killed in Lancaster W4831 on bombing raid over Berlin.

Grave ref: Collective grave 2. C. 7-10

_______________________________________________________________

Holland:

_______________________________________________________________

Map key: Cemetery: Town:
1 Westduin General Cemetery The Hague
2 Nieuwe Oosterbegraafplaats
[New Eastern Cemetry]
Amsterdam
3 Bergen General Cemetery Bergen
4 Nieuwe Niedorp Nieuwe Niedorp
5 Texel [Den Burg] General Cemetery Texel
6 Uithuizermeeden General Cemetery Groningen
7 Lemmer General Cemetery Friesland
8 Oldebroek General Cemetery Gelderland
9 Oosterwolde General Cemetery Gelderland
10 Apeldoorn – (Ugchelen – Heidehof) General Gelderland
11 Jonkerbos War Cemetery Nijmegen
12 Woensel General Cemetery Eindhoven
13 Gilzerbaan General Cemetery Tilburg
14 Bergen-op-Zoom War Cemetery Noord-Brabant
15 KX-B Memorial Petten
16 Harderwijk Memorial Harderwijk


1 – The Hague [Westduin] General Cemetery, Zuid-Holland

_______________________________________________________________

Wellington L7788 (KX-E), damaged by flak over Berlin, crashed near Wassenaar. All the crew survived the crash and initially mamaged to evade capture. Whilst evading capture, the crew were betrayed to the Germans. Rather than being captured, Sgt Karel Kuňka committed suicide by shooting himself with a flare gun. P/O Karel Trojáček, Sgt Arnost Zábrz, P/O Zdeněk Procházka, P/O Václav Kilián and Sgt František Knotek were captured and spent the rest of the war as PoW’s.

_______________________________________________________________

KUŇKA Karel, 27, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Wireless Operator



* 27/07/13, Oslavany, Brno

† 25/09/40, S. Gravenhage, Holland

Grave ref: Allied Plot, Grave 56.

A symbolic urn, No 1, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

2 – Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetry, Noord-Holland

_______________________________________________________________

ELBOGEN Arnošt, 24, F/Sgt, 310 Sqn., Pilot


* 08/02/20, Prague

† 11/08/44, Buurmalsen,Holland

Spitfire Vb AR441 shot down at whilst attacking a train between Culemborg a Geldermalsen.

Grave ref: Plot 69. Row A. Coll. grave 2.

A symbolic urn, No 49, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

3 – Bergen General Cemetery, Bergen – Noord-Holland

Wellington bomber T2553 (KX-B), on bombing raid to Bremen, hit by flak over target. On the return flight suffered further problems and crashed into North Sea about 60 miles from the Dutch coast. Five members of the crew managed to survive the crash and get into the dinghy. It was six days before the dinghy reached the Dutch coast, during which time two of the crew had died form exposure. Details of this incident are here.

_______________________________________________________________

MOHR Josef, 29, F/O, 311 Sqn., Navigator


* 05/10/12, Velké Hamry, Jablonec nad Nisou

† 02/01/42, North Sea West of Petten, Holland

Grave ref: Plot 1. Row D. Grave 4.

A symbolic urn, No 16, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

4 – Nieuwe Niedorp, Noord-Holland

On the night of 22/23 June 1941, 311 Sqn Wellington bomber T2990 (KX-T) was shot down at 02:13, whilst returning from a bombing raid on Bremen, by a Luftwaffe night-fighter Me 110 flown by Oblt Egmont Prinz zur Lippe-Weißenfeld, from 4./NJG1. From the Wellington, only the pilot W/O Vilém Bufka managed to bail out, he landing safely but captured by the Germans and became a PoW. The other crew members – F/Sgt. Alois Rozum, P/O Vilem Konstacky, P/O Leonard Smrcek, Sgt. Jan Hejna and Sgt Karel Valach went down with the aircraft which dived into a field at Kostverloren polder near Nieuwe-Niedorp, NE of Alkmaar. During WW2, the field used to be a muddy seabed and still was very soft ground. The aircraft dived some 17 mtrs into the ground and recovery was not possible.

The local community placed a monument on the location and every year on the 4th of May the crew is commemorated here. The five airmen are also remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, UK.

_______________________________________________________________

HEJNA Jan, 26, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Air Gunner

* 07/02/15, Jaroměř

† 23/06/41, Nieuwe-Niedorp, Holland

_______________________________________________________________

KONŠTACKÝ Vilém, 26, P/O, 311 Sqn., Navigator

* 17/11/14, Čelechovice na Hané

† 23/06/41, Nieuwe-Niedorp, Holland

_______________________________________________________________

ROZUM Alois, 28, P/O, 311 Sqn., Pilot

* 06/07/12, Plzeň

† 23/06/41, Nieuwe-Niedorp, Holland

_______________________________________________________________

SMRČEK Leonard, 25, P/O, 311 Sqn., Wireless Operator

* 29/12/15, Budišov

† 23/06/41, Nieuwe-Niedorp, Holland

_______________________________________________________________

VALACH Karel, 23, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Air Gunner

* 26/01/18, Kroměříž

† 23/06/41, Nieuwe-Niedorp, Holland

_______________________________________________________________

5 – Texel [Den Burg] General Cemetery, Noord-Holland

_______________________________________________________________

BACHŮREK Svatopluk, 27, F/Lt, 124 Sqn., Pilot


* 07/03/15, Kroměříž

† 25/04/42, de Koog, Holland

His Spitfire, W3332, shot down in English Channel during combat on Circus 137. Body washed ashore on Dutch coast on 19 June 1942.

Grave ref: Plot K. Row 6. Grave 122.

A symbolic urn, No 44, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

KOTHERA Zdeněk, 23, Sgt, 124 Sqn., Pilot


* 16/03/19, Tetín, Beroun

† 27/04/42, Texel, English Channel

Flying Spitfire, W3758, during Circus 141, escorting Boston light bombers on a raid to Lille, was involved in combat on the return journey about 5 miles north of Lille. Was shot down over the coast of NW France and his Spitfire crashed into the English Channel between Dunkirk and Mardyk. His body was washed ashore near Texel, Holland 16 June 1942.

Grave ref: Plot K, Grave 115.

A symbolic urn, No 45, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial,
Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

6 – Uithuizermeeden General Cemetery, Groningen

At 22:52 on the night of 19 July 1941, Wellington bomber, R1371 KX-F of 311 Sqn, took-off from East Wretham for a bombing raid on Hanover. During the flight radio silence was maintained and the aircraft never returned. It is assumed that the aircraft had been damaged by flak or mechanical problems. The aircraft crashed into the Zuiderzee, north of Uithuizermeeden.

The bodies of Sgt Pavel Babáček, Sgt Jan Čtvrtlík and Sgt Václav Valeš were never found and they are commemorated on panel’s 30, 42 and 54 respectively at the Runnymede Memorial, UK.

Some time later the body of P/O Jaroslav Partyk was washed ashore on the German island of Borkum. Initially he was buried in the local Lutherian cemetry and post war re-interred at Sage War Cemetry.

_______________________________________________________________

JINDRA Miroslav, 25, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Pilot


* 05/03/16, Dolní Krupá, Havlíčkův Brod

† 20/07/41, Rottum, Holland

Grave ref: Row 16. Grave 27.

A symbolic urn, No 26, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

7 – Lemmer General Cemetery, Friesland

Wellington R1718 (KX-N) shot down, at 00:50 on the night of 16/17 July 1941, by Me110 on bombing raid to Hamburg and crashed in the Zuiderzee on the island of Ijsselmeer 5km west of Lemmer. The other crewmembers of Sgt Jaroslav Nyč, Sgt Karel Šťastny, P/O Jaroslav Zafouk, P/O Otakar Černy and Sgt František Knap survived the crash and became a PoW’s for the duration of the war.

_______________________________________________________________

MAREŠ Jiří, 25, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Air Gunner


* 12/04/16, Níkovice, Písek

† 17/07/41, Ijsselmeer, Holland

Grave ref: Plot C. Row 10. Grave 261.

A symbolic urn, No 35, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

8 – Oldebroek General Cemetery, Gelderland

At 22:52 on the night of 19 July 1941, Wellington bomber, R1371 KX-F of 311 Sqn, took-off from East Wretham for a bombing raid on Hanover. During the flight radio silence was maintained and the aircraft never returned. It is assumed that the aircraft had been damaged by flak or mechanical problems. The aircraft crashed into the Zuiderzee, north of Uithuizermeeden.

The bodies of Sgt Pavel Babáček, Sgt Jan Čtvrtlík and Sgt Václav Valeš were never found and they are commemorated on panel’s 30, 42 and 54 respectively at the Runnymede Memorial, UK.

Some time later the body of P/O Jaroslav Partyk was washed ashore on the German island of Borkum. Initially he was buried in the local Lutherian cemetry and post war re-interred at Sage War Cemetry.

_______________________________________________________________

NETÍK Václav, 30, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Pilot


* 20/09/10, Dvůr Králové, Trutnov

† 20/07/41, Rottum, Holland

Shot down by night fighter while on bombing raid on Hanover.

Grave ref: 18.

A symbolic urn, No 18, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

9 – Oosterwolde General Cemetery, Gelderland

From 18:35 on 16 October 1940, three Wellington bombers from 311 Sqn, began taking-off from East Wretham, Norfolk, for a bombing raid on the naval dockyards 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.

_______________________________________________________________

JAROŠEK Hubert, 30, P/O, 311 Sqn., Navigator


* 27/09/10, Vsetín

† 16/10/40, Doornspijk, Holland

Grave ref: Plot 2. Row 2. Grave 62.

A symbolic urn, No 23, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

JIRSÁK Otto, 33, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Wireless Operator/Air Gunner


* 03/10/07, Olomouc

† 16/10/40, Doornspijk, Holland

Grave ref: Plot 2. Row 2. Grave 60.

A symbolic urn, No 5, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

KLIMT Karel, 28, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Wireless Operator/Air Gunner


* 04/10/12, Prague

† 16/10/40, Doornspijk, Holland

Grave ref: Plot 1. Row 2. Grave 59.

A symbolic urn, No 4, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

LANDA Bohumil, 43, P/O, 311 Sqn., Pilot


* 20/12/96, Kročehlavy, Kladno

† 16/10/40, Doornspijk, Holland

Grave ref: Plot 1. Row 2. Grave 61.

A symbolic urn, No 2, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

10 – Apeldoorn – (Ugchelen – Heidehof) General, Gelderland.

Flying as co-pilot in Wellington N2894 of 75 Sqn (New Zealand) on 1000 bomber raid on Cologne. On return flight shot down by Me110 night fighter at 02:25 near Hessen-Allee, 8 km southeast of Apeldorn. P/O David Johnson, F/Lt Hector Batten, F/Sgt Josiah Connor and F/Sgt John McLean also killed in crash and buried at Apeldoorn. F/Sgt Gordon Waddington-Allwright survived and became a PoW for the duration of the war.

_______________________________________________________________

JAMBOR Oldřich, 29, W/O, 75 Sqn., Pilot


* 03/05/13, Tuřany, Brno

† 31/05/42, Hessen-Allee, Holland

Grave ref: Plot 4. Grave 141.

A symbolic urn, No 28, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

11 – Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Gelderland

Wellington R1599 shot down by Me110 night fighter whilst returning from a bombing raid on Cologne, Germany. Aircraft crashed at 23:39 at Kelpen (Limburg) 9 km SouthEast of Weert, Holland. No survivors from the crash.

_______________________________________________________________

KOŠULIČ Václav, 25, P/O, 311 Sqn., Wireless Operator


* 26/09/15, Hodonín

† 17/04/41, Kelpen, Holland

Grave ref: 16. H. 8

A symbolic urn, No 12, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

KRÁČMER František, 24, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Pilot


* 21/05/16, Parník, Ústí nad Orlicí.

† 17/04/41, Kelpen, Holland

Grave ref: Coll. grave 12. A. 7-8.

A symbolic urn, No 9, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

KUBÍČEK Vladimír, 27, F/O, 311 Sqn., Navigator


* 11/10/13, Uherský Brod, Uherské Hradiště.

† 17/04/41, Kelpen, Holland

Grave ref: Coll. 12. A. 9

A symbolic urn, No 8, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

LIFČIC [LIFCZIZ] Rudolf, 30, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Air Gunner


* 29/03/11, Fryštát, Karviná.

† 17/04/41, Kelpen, Holland

Grave ref: Coll. grave 12. A. 7-8

A symbolic urn, No 10, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

SIXTA František, 27, F/O, 311 Sqn., Pilot


* 20/09/13, Česká Třebová, Ústí nad Orlicí.

† 17/04/41, Kelpen, Holland

Grave ref: Coll. grave 12. A. 7-8

A symbolic urn, No 13, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

ŠTĚTKA Václav, 26, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Air Gunner


* 16/04/15, České Budějovice.

† 17/04/41, Kelpen, Holland

Grave ref: Coll. grave 12. A. 7-8?

A symbolic urn, No 11, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

12 – Woensel General Cemetery, Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant

Wellington KX-U, Z1098, of 311 Sqn was on a bombing raid on Dortmund, aircraft damaged by flak over target and shot down by Me 110 nightfighter over Holland. Crashed at 04:00 at Boshoven, northwest of Weert, Holland. Sgt Vladimír Pará, F/O Milan Zapletal and Sgt Jaroslav Klvaňa survived the crash, were captured to become PoW’s.

_______________________________________________________________

HAVLÍK Oldřich, 25, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Pilot


* 25/10/16, Petřvald, Karviná

† 14/04/42, Boshoven, Holland

Grave ref: Plot JJ. Grave 48.

A symbolic urn, No 39, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

TALÁB Josef, 33, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Wireless Operator/Air Gunner


* 16/07/09, Hrušky, Hodonín

† 14/04/42, Boshoven, Holland

Grave ref: Plot JJ. Grave 49.

A symbolic urn, No 41, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

VARJAN Pavel, 30, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Wireless Operator/Air Gunner


* 22/06/11, Komloša, Bardejov

† 14/04/42, Boshoven, Holland

Grave ref: Plot JJ. Grave 50.

A symbolic urn, No 40, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

13 – Gilzerbaan General Cemetery, Tilburg, Noord-Brabant

Wellington KX-J, T2971, of 311 Sqn, was returning from a bombing raid on Bremen, aircraft damaged by flak over target. Flying on one engine they were forced to make an emergency landing at 22:36 north of Tilburg, Holland. Sgt Zdeněk Sichovský, Sgt Karel Batelka and Sgt Josef Šnajdr survived the crash, were captured to become PoW’s.

_______________________________________________________________

MAŠEK Rudolf, 23, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Wireless Operator/Air Gunner


* 09/09/18, Rozzářín, Brno

† 17/01/42, near Tilburg, Holland

ref: Plot A. Row 1. Grave 23.

A symbolic urn, No 21, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

SVOBODA Jindřich, 24, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Pilot


* 23/05/17, Třebíč

† 17/01/42, near Tilburg, Holland

Grave ref: Plot A. Row 1. Grave 22.

A symbolic urn, No 17, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

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BROŽ Jaromír, 25, P/O, 311 Sqn., Navigator


* 13/09/16, Jičín

† 17/01/42, near Tilburg, Holland

Grave ref: Plot A. Row 1. Grave 22.

_______________________________________________________________

14 – Bergen-op-Zoom War Cemetery, Noord-Brabant.

Wellington bomber Z8838, (KX-Z) was shot down by night fighter while returning from a bombing raid on Essen. Aircraft crashed 4.5 km east of Kolhorn, Holland. All the crew were killed and buried at Middenmeer, Holland, five in a communal grave and one in a separate grave. In 2004 the remains were re-interred at Bergen-op-Zoom.

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HRDINA Josef, 30, F/Sgt, 311 Sqn., Air Gunner


* 07/03/12, Všeň, Semily

† 11/04/42, Kolhorn, Holland

Grave ref: Coll. grave 31. A. 5-6.

A symbolic urn, No 55, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

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KALENSKÝ Josef, 25, F/Sgt, 311 Sqn., Pilot


* 17/02/17, Lískovice, Jičín

† 11/04/42, Kolhorn, Holland

Grave ref: Coll. grave 31. A. 5-6.

A symbolic urn, No 51, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

KODEŠ Karel, 21, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Pilot


* 24/05/20, Bratislava

† 11/04/42, Kolhorn, Holland

Grave ref: Coll. grave 31. A. 5-6.

A symbolic urn, No 52, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

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PEPRNÍČEK Jan, 22, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Wireless Operator/Air Gunner


* 15/12/19, Ostrožská Nová Ves, Uherské Hradiště

† 11/04/42, Middenmeer, Holland

Grave ref: Coll. grave 31. A. 5-6.

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POLITZER Josef, 28, Sgt, 311 Sqn., Wireless Operator/Air Gunner


* 17/04/13, Stupné, Povážska Bystrica

† 11/04/42, Middenmeer, Holland

Grave ref: 31. A. 11.

A symbolic urn, No 42, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

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RYCHNOVSKÝ Karel, 23, F/O, 311 Sqn., Navigator


* 09/05/18, Konice, Prostějov

† 11/04/42, Middenmeer, Holland

Grave ref: Coll. grave 31. A. 5-6.

A symbolic urn, No 53, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

HRDINA Josef, 30, F/Sgt, 311 Sqn., Air Gunner


* 07/03/12, Všeň, Semily

† 11/04/42, Kolhorn, Holland

Grave ref: Coll. grave 31. A. 5-6.

A symbolic urn, No 55, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

15 – KX-B Memorial, Petten.

The KX-B Memorial at Petten, is the location of where the dinghy with Sgt Alois Šiška, Pavel Svoboda and F/Lt Josef Ščerba reached land after six days in an open dinghy in the North Sea.

On the night of 26 December 1941, Sgt Alois Šiška piloted a Wellington bomber, KX-B, T2553, on a raid to the German docks at Wilhelmshaven. His crew were Sgt Josef Tománek – co-pilot, F/Lt Josef Ščerba – wireless operator/air gunner, F/O Josef Mohr – navigator, W/O Pavel Svoboda – front gunner, and Sgt Rudolf Skalický – rear gunner. Despite flak damage to the aircraft over the target, Šiška completed the bombing run but on the return journey the port engine caught fire and eventually fell off causing the aircraft to ditch in the North Sea. Sgt Skalický was killed in the crash with the remaining crewmembers evacuating by dinghy. They were at sea for the next six days during which time Sgt Tománek and F/O Mohr died from exposure.



_______________________________________________________________

16 – Harderwijk Memorial, Harderwijk.

The Harderwijk Memorial commemorates the 117 Allied airmen who were killed around Harderwijk in World War II. Many of their aircraft crashed in the Ijsselmeer-lake. After the crash, the victims washed ashore or remained missing. One of these aircraft was Wellington KX-N, R1718, from 311 Sqn in which crashed on the night of 16/17 July 1941. Sgt Jiří Mareš was killed, his body later being washed ashore and buried at Lemmer General Cemetery, Holland. The other crewmembers of Sgt Jaroslav Nyč, Sgt Karel Šťastny, P/O Jaroslav Zafouk, P/O Otakar Černy and Sgt František Knap survived the crash and became a PoW’s for the duration of the war.

_______________________________________________________________

Hungary:

Budapest War Cemetery, Budapest.

_______________________________________________________________

ZEIGLER [Zetland] Jindřich Otto [Henry Osbert], 41, F/O, 104 Sqn., Air Gunner


* 11/03/03, Prague

† 05/05/44, Budapest

Shot down on bombing raid

Grave ref: Coll. grave III. E. 6-10

_______________________________________________________________

Poland:

Map key: Cemetery: Town:
1 Poznam Old Garrison Cemetery Poznam
2 Cmentarz wojenny “Balonna” Dęblin
3 Opony Cmentarz Belźyce
4 Sagan Memorial Żagań
5 Legnica Memorial plaque Legnica


1 – Poznam Old Garrison Cemetery, Poznam, Poland.

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VALENTA Arnošt, 31, F/Lt, 311 Sqn., Wireless Operator


* 25/10/12, Svébohov, Šumperk.

† 05/05/44, near Liegnitz, Poland

One of the 50 RAF airmen of ‘The Great Escape‘ that were shot by Gestapo after being captured.

Grave ref: Coll. grave 9. A.

A symbolic urn, No 29, is also interred at the Airman’s Memorial, Prostějov, Czech Republic

_______________________________________________________________

2 – Cmentarz wojenny “Balonna”, Dęblin, Poland.

The Cmentarz wojenny “Balonna” [Balonna War Cemetery] is located by the Zajączek redoubt and has the graves of Polish, Austrian and Russian troops who died during WW1, Polish and Russian soldiers killed in the Polish-Soviet War of 1920, as well as Polish airmen who died between 1927 and 1938.

On 2 September 1939, the Luftwaffe mounted several large air raids on Dęblin airbase, which killed 18 airmen, who were interred at this cemetery, wounding 28 others and destroying the airbase. Czechoslovak airmen, who had joined the Polish Air Force, were at the airbase during those air raids. Four of them were amongst the wounded, whilst the following Czechoslovaks were killed:

_______________________________________________________________

KURKA Štefan, 25, Lt., Infantry Airborne Observer


* 11/12/13, Lužice, Hodonín

† 02/09/39, Deblin, Poland

Grave ref:

_______________________________________________________________

ROUS Zdeněk, 25, Lt., Airborne Observer


* 23/09/11, Bystřička, Slovakia.

† 02/09/39, Deblin, Poland

Grave ref: 20

_______________________________________________________________

ŠANDOR Ondřej, 28, Lt., Pilot


* 15/04/11, Čaňa, Košice, Slovakia.

† 02/09/39, Deblin, Poland

Grave ref: 21

_______________________________________________________________

Unidentified


* ?

† 02/09/39, Deblin, Poland

Grave ref: 22

_______________________________________________________________

Unidentified


* ?

† 02/09/39, Deblin, Poland

Grave ref: 23

_______________________________________________________________

Unidentified


* ?

† 02/09/39, Deblin, Poland

Grave ref: 24

_______________________________________________________________

3 – Opony Cmentarz
, Belźyce, Poland.

In the confusion following the German invasion of Poland, on 1 September 1939, a tragic mistake was made. On 8 September, some Czechoslovak airmen, flying in the Polish Air Force, were based at Góra Puławska, a satellite airfield for Dęblin. Their RWD-8 aircraft were short on fuel, so they flew to the nearby village of Zagórz, near Bełżyce, about 26km SW of Lublin, where there was a small airstrip where some Potez XXV were hidden and camouflaged in a nearby forest. čet. Václav Pěšička was one of these pilots. As they were in the forest, taking fuel from these aircraft, they were taken by surprise by some Polish security personnel who were searching for the aircrew of a shot down German bomber. The security men were nervous, and without challenging the identity of the Czechoslovak airmen, hastily shot first. čet. Václav Pěšička was killed in the gunfire and was buried at the Opony Cmentarz, the Municipal Roman Catholic cemetery in Belźyce.

_______________________________________________________________

PĚŠIČKA Václav, 25, čet., Pilot


* 21/09/13, Hostín.

† 08/09/39, Belźyce, Poland

Grave ref:

_______________________________________________________________

4 – Żagań Memorial
, Żagań, Poland.

The Żagań Memorial commemorates the 50 Allied airmen who were executed by the Gestapo after their recapture following the Great Escape of the night of 23/24 March 1944 from, Stalag luft III Prisoner of War camp at Sagan [now Żagań]. Some 500 Allied PoW’s at that camp were involved in the construction of three tunnels – Tom, Dick and Harry – for a planned mass escape from the camp. Some 200 were selected to escape that night, but various difficulties, only 76 actually managed to escape before the Germans found out, of those 76, 3 managed to escape to neutral countries. Of the 73 who were captured, the Gestapo executed 50 as a reprisal, one of whom was Arnošt Valenta, a 311 Sqn radio operator. The Germans at Stalag Luft III allowed the PoW’s to build a memorial to those executed, and include the names of the 50.

Ivo Toner and Bedrich Dvorak were two other Czech RAF who escaped that night, but were fortunate to be amongst the 23 not selected for execution.

_______________________________________________________________

5 – Legnica Memorial plaque
, Legnica, Poland.

The Legnica Memorial plaque
 commemorates the 10 Allied airmen whose bodies were cremated at this crematorium after they were executed by the Gestapo after their re-capture following the Great Escape of 23/24 March 1944. One of these ten was Czechoslovak 311 Sqn radio operator Arnošt Valenta.

British: F/Lt Brian Ewans, F/Lt Charles Hall, F/Lt Edgar Humphrey, F/O Robert Stewart, F/Lt Cyril Swain, Canadians: F/Lt Henry Birkland, F/Lt Patrick Langford, F/Lt George McGill and Polish: F/O Włodzimierz Adam Kolanowski.

Our sincere thanks to our team, without whom, this project would not have been possible :

Vyjadřujeme upřímný dík každému z členů našeho týmu, bez jehož podpory by něco takového nebylo myslitelné. A také řadě dobrovolníků z různých míst Velké Británie, kteří nám v rámci projektu pomáhali :

Marcin Arbuz, Paul C. Aranha, Jonny Bay, Bart Beex, Benny Ceulaers, Benoit Colin, Dick Breedijk, Scott Dreveny, Harry Doesburg, Péter Fōldvári, Franciszek Grabowski, Thierry Grier, Alex de Groot, Jos de Groot, Wiesław Grudniak, Sylvie Hancil, Lenka Hlaváčová, Dietrich Jaedicke, Joss Leclercq, Marek Lazarz, Maj Drahoslav Malík, Jean-Michel Martin, Muzeum Sił Powietrznych w Dęblinie, Col Jiří Niedoba, Benoit Paquet, Col Petr Přebinda, Roel Rijks, Délia Silva, Jane Quarmby and Jacek Zagożdżon.

Meet some of the team / Seznamte se s některými členy týmu :

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

_______________________________________________________________

If you would like to help support our project to remember the Czechoslovak men and women who served in the RAF during WW2, please consider making a donation to help. Donations can be made via the Donate button, in the right hand panel on our Home page here.

Pokud byste chtěli podpořit náš projekt připomenutí všech československých mužů a žen, kteří během 2. svět. války sloužili v řadách RAF, zvažte prosím takovou možnost dárcovské pomoci. Svůj dar můžete realizovat pomocí tlačítka “Donate”, v pravém panelu domovské stránky zde.

_______________________________________________________________




Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, 313 Sqd, 68 Sqd, Cemetries, Not Forgotton | Leave a comment

Emil Fechtner – One of the Few




Emil FECHTNER

Jeden z hrstky

………………..* 16.10.1916. Prague.

………………..† 29.10.1940. Whittlesford, UK




Pre WW2:

Emil Fechtner was born on 16 October 1916, in the Žižkov District of Prague, Czechoslovakia. The family later moved to Hradec Králové because of his father’s employment. There Emil attended grammar school, and successfully passed his school-leaving exam in June 1933, before finding work as a clerk.

Emil Fechtner, 1937

On 1 October 1935, for his compulsory military service, he was assigned to the 10th Regiment of the Czechoslovak Army, an artillery unit, from where he graduated, at the rank of podporučík (Lieutenant) which was the highest rank that could be achieved by a non-professional soldier. He was an ambitious young man and decided to become a professional soldier and in 1936 joined the Military Academy at Hranice in the Moravian region of Czechoslovakia. From there he graduated in 1937 and was posted to the 3rd Air Regiment ‘Gen. Milan Rastislav Štefánik’ which was deployed at Piešťany airbase in the Slovakia region of Czechoslovakia. There he joined the 38th Fighter Squadron which was equipped with Avia B-534 biplane fighter aircraft. In October 1937, he attended a pilot’s training course at the Military Aviation Academy at Prostějov, graduating in October 1938 as an operational pilot, and returned to the 38th Fighter Squadron in time for the general mobilisation in response to hostile demands from Nazi Germany.

Emil Fechtner, Prostějov 1937-38.

Following the Munich Agreement of 30 September 1939, the Sudeten regions of Czechoslovakia were ceded to Germany, whilst other regions of Czechoslovakia were claimed by its neighbours; Poland occupied the Český Těšín region in the east, whilst Hungary occupied the southern regions of Slovakia and the Carpathian Ruthenia. During that tense period, the squadrons of the 3rd Air Regiment Air Force in Slovakia were mobilised in readiness to face the Hungarian Air Force if required.

With the German occupation of Czechoslovakia on 15 March 1939, Slovakia became ‘independent’ from Czechoslovakia, but in reality, just a puppet State for Nazi Germany. Emil and other Czech airmen serving in the Czechoslovak Air Force in Slovakia were returned to the German Protectorate. By this time he was already an experienced flyer and had achieved 229 flying hours to his credit.

To Poland

The Czechoslovak Air Force was quickly disbanded by the Germans and all personnel dismissed; the same fate befell most of those serving in the Czechoslovak Army. Germanisation of Bohemia and Moravia began immediately. For the military personnel and many patriotic Czech citizens, this was a degrading period. Many sought to redress this shame and humiliation and wanted to fight for the liberation of their homeland. But by 19 March 1939, former senior officers of the now-disbanded Czechoslovak military had started to form an underground army, known as Obrana Národa [Defense of the Nation]. One of their objectives was to assist as many airmen and soldiers as possible to get to neighbouring Poland where Ludvík Svoboda, a former distinguished Czechoslovak Legionnaire from WW1, was planning the formation of Czechoslovak military units to fight for the liberation of their homeland. Within Czechoslovakia, former military personnel and civilian patriots covertly started to arrange for former Air Force and Army personnel to be smuggled over the border into Poland to join these newly formed Czechoslovak units.

Obrana Národa also worked in co-operation with Svaz Letců, the Airman Association of the Czechoslovak Republic. These two organisations provided money, courier and other assistance to enable airmen to escape to Poland. Usually, this was by crossing the border from the Ostrava region into neighbouring Poland. News soon began to be covertly spread amongst the former Czechoslovak airmen and soldiers and many voluntarily made their personal decision to go to Poland. Emil was one of those who decided to escape and enlist in one of those units. He successfully managed to cross the border on 19 June 1939 and reported for duty at the Czechoslovak Consulate at Kraków.

However once in Poland, the Czechoslovak escapees were to find that Poland was not permitting the formation of foreign military units on its territory. However Czechoslovak officials in Poland had been in negotiations with France, a country with which Czechoslovakia had an Alliance Treaty. Under French law, foreign military units could not be formed on its soil during peacetime. The Czechoslovak escapees, however, could be accepted into the French Foreign Legion with the agreement that should war be declared they would be transferred to French military units. The Czechoslovaks would, however, have to enlist with the French Foreign Legion for a five-year term. The alternative was to be returned to occupied Czechoslovakia and face German retribution for escaping – usually imprisonment or execution with further retribution to their families.

Czechoslovak military escapees Małe Bronowice, Summer 1939.

The Czechoslovak escapees were initially billeted at Małe Bronowice, a former Polish army camp outside Krakow, whilst arrangements were made for them to travel to France. After a short stay in Poland, Emil, along with 200 other escapees, mainly Czechoslovak airmen, travelled by train to the Polish Baltic port of Gdynia, where on 26 July they boarded the ‘SS Kastelholm’, a Swedish coastal steamer and set off for France. Part of the voyage down the Baltic Sea was very rough, even to airmen who were used to flying in turbulent conditions, and so the ‘SS Kastelholm’ stop at the Danish port of Frederikshaven to re-supply was a welcome relief for the Czechoslovaks onboard. After a five-day voyage, they arrived in Calais on 31 July.

France:

Emil Fechntner, Saint Cyr, France, 1940.

Initially, Emil and his fellow escapees were transferred to the Foreign Legion’s recruitment depot at Paris, to undergo medical checks, and the necessary documentation was made for their enlistment into the Legion pending their transfer to the Legion’s training base at Sidi bel Abbes, Algeria. During this time they attended French classes and any free time was usually spent in Paris exploring the sights and practising their newly learnt French with the girls they met.

These arrangements were still not completed by 3 September 1939 when war was declared and so Vilém was released from Legion service on 3 October to join l’Armee d’Air.Two days later he was posted, at the rank of Sgt to their training base at Centre d’Instruction de Chasse at Châtres airbase, near Paris, for re-training as a pilot on French MS 230 fighter aircraft. Amongst his colleagues there were Vilém Göth, Vaclav Bergman, Emil Foit, František Burda, František Hradil, Vladimír Zaoral and Karel Vykoukal, all of whom were destined to become Battle of Britain pilots with him in England. During this period of their training, Emil and his fellow Czechoslovak airmen also attended École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, the French Officers Military Academy at St Cyr, about 400 km west of Paris.

On 1 May 1940, he was promoted to rank of Lieutenant. On 23 May, having completed 13 hours of flying, was posted, with other Czechoslovak pilots at Chatres, to Cazaux, about 800 km away in south-west France but was not assigned to an operational unit. France capitulated before he could participate in the Battle of France. With the surrender of France on 22 June, Czechoslovak airmen were released from l’Armee d’Air service and those at Cazaux were instructed to get to Bordeaux,about 70 km away, for evacuation by ship to Britain before the advancing German army reached the port. At Bordeaux, the Czechoslovak airmen, under the command of Staff Capitan Josef Schejbal, as well as Poles and other nationalities boarded the ship ‘Karanan’, a small 395 tonne Dutch cargo ship, for the voyage to Britain. They sailed on 19 June and arrived two days later at Falmouth.

RAF:

After arriving at Falmouth, the Czechoslovak airmen were transferred to RAF Innsworth, Innsworth, Gloucestershire for security vetting. Emil was accepted into the RAF Volunteer Reserve, at the rank of P/O and, at the beginning of July, transferred to the Czechoslovak airmen’s Depot at Cosford, near Wolverhampton. On 12 July, with other Czechoslovak pilots, he was posted to the newly formed 310 (Czechoslovak) Sqn which was based at Duxford, near Cambridge. They were equipped with Hurricane Mk I aircraft and commanded jointly by S/Ldr Alexander Hess, the first Czechoslovak to command an RAF squadron. and S/Ldr George D.M Blackwood.

After rapid conversion to Hurricanes for the Czechoslovak pilots, and some basic English lessons, taught by Louis de Glehn, the squadron was declared operational on 17 August and made its first operational patrol at 14:10 that day. Emil had completed his Hurricane conversion and was passed for duties as an operational pilot. That afternoon, he and fellow Czechoslovak pilots P/O Rypl Sgt Hubáček, Sgt Řechka, led by F/Lt Jefferies made the squadron’s first operational patrol – a short 30-minute uneventful flight. It was the first operational flight in the Battle of Britain for these Czechoslovak pilots and Emil was flying Hurricane Mk NN-N, I P3148.

During the Battle of Britain, Emil made 51 operational flights and achieved combat success with 4 destroyed, 1 probable and 1 damaged Luftwaffe aircraft:

Date Time Hurricane Action
26/08/40 15:30 P3143 Me 109e, destroyed near Harwich.
31/08/40 13:30 NN-S, P3889 Do 17, destroyed North-East of London.
03/09/40 10:40 NN-M, P3143 Me 110, destroyed over Thames Estuary.
07/09/40 10:40 P3056 Me 110 damaged South-East of North Weald airfield.
18/09/40 17:15 NN-T, P8809 Do 17, destroyed over Thames Estuary.
27/09/40 12:40 NN-S, L2713 Do 17, probable over South-East London.

For these achievements, he became the 2nd Czechoslovak airmen to be awarded the DFC, with the award ceremony being held on 27 October 1940.

EF, Dx

Two days after being awarded the DFC, he was killed in a flying accident. Shortly after taking-off from Duxford in Hurricane Mk I P3889, NN-S to patrol the Maidstone area, as Green section flight leader. About 1.5 km from the airfield his aircraft was in an aerial collision, at 13:55, at an altitude of 600 mtrs with the Hurricane Mk I P3707, NN-N of F/Lt Jaroslav Malý also of 310 Sqn and crashed at Whitlesford, near Duxford. His remains were found in the crashed aircraft and initially buried at the nearby cemetery at Royston. He was 24 years old and the eighth and last Czechoslovak pilot to be killed in the Battle of Britain.

Jaroslav Malý survived the collision but was slightly injured when he force-landed his aircraft at Fowlmere near Duxford.

Jaroslav Maly’s forced landed Hurricane at Fowlmere.

P/O Emil Fechner was later re-interred in grave 28.E.1 in the Czechoslovak section of the Brookwood Military cemetery.

Medals awarded:

British:

Distinguished Flying Cross (27. 10. 1940)

1939 – 45 Star with Battle of Britain clasp

Czechoslovak:

Válečný kříž 1939 (28. 10. 1940)

Za chrabrost před nepřítelem

Za zásluhy I. st.

Pamětní medaile se štítky F–VB

France:

Remembered

Winged Lion Monument, Prague:

Czechoslovak Airmens Memorial, Dejvice, Prague.

National Battle of Britain Memorial, Capel le Ferne, Kent:

Duxford

London Battle of Britain Monument:

He is remembered in the Remembrance books at St Clements Danes Church, London and St Vitus Cathedral, Prague.




Posted in 310 Sqd, Ace, Battle of Britain, Biography | Leave a comment

Vilem Goth – 79th Anniversary – 25.10.1940.


The 25 October 2019 is the 79th anniversary of the death of Vilém Göth, the seventh Czechoslovak pilot to be killed during the Battle of Britain.

An English / Czech biography on Vilém Göth here




Posted in 310 Sqd, Anniversary, Battle of Britain, Not Forgotton | Leave a comment

Donation appeal


Prosba o pomoc

In May 2010 we, the Free Czechoslovak Air Force Associates ltd, founded the www.fcafa.com website to provide an online English language resource of information about the Czechoslovak men and women who served in the RAF during WW2.

V květnu 2010 naše společnost, The Free Czechoslovak Air Force Associates, Ltd., založila web www.fcafa.com, abychom poskytli zdroj online informací v anglickém jazyce o československých mužích a ženách sloužících za druhé světové války v řadách RAF

Since that foundation, we have published a wide range of articles – currently 814 – providing pertinent information on this subject – from personnel lists, autobiographies, biographies, research sources, historical background information, squadron histories, aircraft data, aircraft lists, locations of all the 512 fallen Czechoslovak RAF airmen and woman, to medals awarded, locations of Memorials and Memorial plaques around the world where Czechoslovak RAF personnel are commemorated.

Od jeho vzniku jsme na něm zveřejnili širokou škálu článků, dosud 814, poskytujících informace k tomuto tématu. Od jmenného seznamu příslušníků, výčtu medailí, které získali, autobiografií, biografií, zdrojů informací, zmínek o historickém pozadí, historii perutí, přes údaje o letadlech a jejich přehledu, až po místa posledního odpočinku 512 padlých československých příslušníků a příslušnic RAF a pomníků a desek připomínajících jejich památku po celém světě.

We are pleased that the website has become the leading online resource about the Czechoslovak RAF men and women, with a worldwide readership, with many of our articles now also being in Czech. Currently, the website has reached over 700,000 pages read!

Jsme rádi, že se náš web stal jedním z hlavních zdrojů informací o Čechoslovácích v RAF, který našel své čtenáře po celém světě. Mnoho našich článků je přeloženo také do češtiny. V současnosti náš web dosáhl 700 000 unikátních návštěv.

Additionally, we are pro-active in supporting Czechoslovak remembrance events, ceremonies and exhibitions, and have participated in numerous campaigns to ensure that the achievements and exploits of the Czechoslovak RAF men and women are better and correctly, known for the benefit of current and future generations. Our work has also included providing countless relatives with assistance in researching their Czechoslovak RAF relative – our respected archive is the largest resource for Czechoslovak RAF material outside the Czech and Slovak Republics.

Také aktivně podporujeme slavnosti, akce a výstavy připomínající Čechoslováky v řadách RAF, a podílíme se na mnoha kampaních. Snažíme se o to, aby jejich úspěchy a výsledky byly příštími generacemi lépe a přesněji poznány. Naše práce rovněž zahrnuje poskytování pomoci příbuzným, kteří hledají údaje o členech svých rodin sloužících v RAF. Náš archiv je největším zdrojem těchto informací mimo území České a Slovenské republiky.

This good work is all being achieved with the help of a small dedicated team of volunteers, from around the world – from researchers, translators, historians, Czechoslovak RAF relatives to photographers and graphic specialists – who assist us in many ways with their valuable time and resources.

Veškerá tato naše práce je možná díky pomoci malých a nadšených týmů dobrovolníků z celého světa, od badatelů, překladatelů, historiků a příbuzných našich veteránů, až po fotografy a grafiky, kteří nás podporují mnoha způsoby a věnují nám svůj drahocenný čas a zdroje.

So far all this has been achieved by privately funding or by donations, but to enable us to continue maintaining this high standard and to help open more avenues for our research, further financial support is needed.

Toto všechno bylo dosud umožněno pomocí soukromého financování nebo s podporou darů. Ale abychom mohli pokračovat na této vysoké úrovni a také začít výzkum v nových oblastech, potřebujeme finanční podporu.

Would you please consider donating to help us achieve this aim?

Mohli byste, prosím, zvážit Vaši možnost daru, který by nám pomohl dosáhnout našich cílů?

A donate button is in the right hand panel of this webpage.

Tlačítko “Donate” je umístěno na pravé straně našeho webu.

We thank you in advance for any support you can give!

Předem Vám děkujeme za jakoukoliv částku, kterou můžete věnovat!




Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, 313 Sqd, Information | Leave a comment

Otto Hanzlicek – One of the Few




Otto HANZLÍČEK

Jeden z hrstky

………………..* 18.06.1911. Ústí nad Labem

………………..† 10.10.1940. Ellesmere Point, UK






Pre WW2:
Před druhou světovou válkou:

Otto Hanzlíček was born on 18 June 1911 at Ústí nad Labem, in the north-eastern region of Czechoslovakia, close to the border with Germany. This region was part of the Sudetenland, with its majority population being ethnic Germans. He was the second child of Václav and Růžena Hanzlíček and had an elder sister Jiřina who was born in 1908. His father had a small shoemaking business and his mother was a housewife.

Otto Hanzlíček se narodil 18. 6. 1911 v Ústí nad Labem, na severovýchodě Československa, nedaleko hranice s Německem. Tato oblast patřila pod Sudety, většinu populace zde tvořilo německé etnikum. Otto byl druhým dítětem Václava a Růženy Hanzlíčkových. Měl starší sestru Jiřinu narozenou v roce 1908. Jeho otec vlastnil malou ševcovskou dílnu a matka pracovala jako služebná.

Otto Hanzlíček, Czechoslovak Air Force, 1936.
Otto Hanzlíček, příslušník Československého letectva, rok 1936.

On leaving school, he trained to be a locksmith but was already developing an interest in aviation. In 1930, When aged 18, he volunteered to join the Czechoslovak Air Force. He was sent to the Military Aviation Academy at Prostějov where he undertook pilot training. He graduated from there on 1 October 1932 and was posted to the 4th Observation squadron of the 4th Air Regiment based at Hradec Králove as an operational pilot with the 15th Observation squadron of that Regiment, flying two-seater Letov Š-328 biplane reconnaissance aircraft.

Po ukončení základní školy se vyučil zámečníkem, ale už v té době se zajímal o letectví. V roce 1930, když dosáhl věku osmnácti let, vstoupil do řad československého letectva. Pilotní výcvik v Letecké škole v Prostějově ukončil 1. října 1932. Po jeho absolvování byl odeslán k leteckému pluku 4 v Hradci Králové, kde nastoupil službu pilota u 15. pozorovací perutě. Zde létal na dvousedadlovém průzkumném dvouplošníku Š-328.

There he undertook further pilot training in 1934 and was posted to the 3rd Air Regiment ‘M.R. Stefanik’ which was deployed at Vajnory, in the Slovak region of the country, for fighter pilot training. He completed this training in August 1935, and now with a rank of četař (Sgt.) returned to the 4th Air Regiment and was posted to its 37th Fighter Squadron which was equipped with Avia B-534 biplane fighter aircraft and deployed at Vajnory and Piešťany airbases in the Slovakia region.

Prošel tam i pokračovacím leteckým výcvikem a v roce 1934 byl umístěn u leteckého pluku 3 „M. R. Štefánika“ sídlícího tou dobou ve Vajnorech na Slovensku. Tam v srpnu 1935 absolvoval také výcvik stíhače. V hodnosti četaře se pak vrátil k leteckému pluku 4 a byl umístěn u 37. stíhací perutě vybavené dvouplošníky Avia B-534, která sídlila ve Vajnorech a Piešťanech na Slovensku.

Letov Š-328 biplane reconnaissance aircraft.
Letov Š-328, průzkumný dvouplošník.

At the time of the German occupation of Czechoslovakia on 15 March 1939, he was stationed at Piešťany airbase in Slovakia and had achieved 812 flying hours. When the Germans occupied Czechoslovakia in March 1939 it became a German Protectorate and Slovakia became a German ‘puppet’ state. As a Czech, he was returned to Czechoslovakia, now the German Reich Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

V době německé okupace Československa, 15. března 1939, byl umístěn na základně v Piešťanech na Slovensku a měl nalétáno 812 hodin. Po okupaci vznikly na území Československa dva oddělené celky – Protektorát Čechy a Morava a na Slovensku vznikl samostatný loutkový stát podporovaný Německem. Jako Čech byl Otto Hanzlíček navrácen do části Protektorát Čechy a Morava.

After the German occupation, the Czechoslovak military was quickly disbanded by the Germans and all personnel dismissed. For the military personnel and many patriotic Czech citizens, this was a degrading period. Many wanted to redress this shame and humiliation and sought the liberation of their homeland. Germanisation of Bohemia and Moravia began immediately. But by 19 March 1939, former senior officers of the now-disbanded Czechoslovak military had started to form an underground army, known as Obrana Národa [Defence of the Nation]. One of their objectives was to assist as many airmen and soldiers as possible to get to neighbouring Poland where Ludvík Svoboda, a former distinguished Czechoslovak Legionnaire from WW1, was planning the formation of Czechoslovak military units to fight for the liberation of their homeland. Within Czechoslovakia, former military personnel and civilian patriots covertly started to arrange for former Air Force and Army personnel to be smuggled over the border into Poland to join these newly formed Czechoslovak units.

Po okupaci Československa 15. 3. 1939 byla Československá armáda rozpuštěna a její příslušníci byli uvolněni ze služby. Pro československé vojáky a vlastence to bylo období ponížení. Mnoho z nich se snažilo o odčinění tohoto pokoření a osvobození své vlasti. Okamžitě po okupaci začala snaha o poněmčení Čech a Moravy. Už 19. března začali bývalí vysocí důstojníci Československé armády formovat podzemní armádu známou jako Obrana národa. Jedním z jejích cílů bylo pomoci co největšímu množství letců a vojáků uniknout do sousedního Polska, kde Ludvík Svoboda, bývalý slavný československý legionář z dob první světové války, plánoval založení československých vojenských útvarů usilujících o osvobození vlasti. V Československu začali bývalí vojáci a vlastenci tajně připravovat převádění bývalých vojáků a letců do Polska, aby se mohli k těmto jednotkám přidat.

To Poland:
Do Polska:

Obrana Národa also worked in co-operation with Svaz Letců, the Airman Association of the Czechoslovak Republic. These two organisations provided money, courier and other assistance to enable airmen to escape to Poland. Usually, this was by crossing the border from the Ostrava region into neighbouring Poland. News soon began to be covertly spread amongst the former Czechoslovak airmen and soldiers and many voluntarily made their personal decision to go to Poland. Otto was one of those who decided to escape and enlist in one of those units. On 8 June 1939, with two colleagues, Hanzlíček successfully managed to cross the border to Poland and reported for duty at the Czechoslovak Consulate at Kraków.

Obrana národa také pracovala ve spolupráci se Svazem letců, sdružením letců Československé republiky. Tyto dvě organizace poskytly peníze, převaděče a další podporu potřebnou k útěku letců do Polska. Ti většinou přecházeli hranici na Ostravsku. Mezi československými letci a vojáky se brzy tato informace rozšířila a mnozí z nich byli odhodláni dobrovolně odejít. Otto byl jedním z těch, rozhodl se pro útěk a vstup do těchto jednotek. Hranici do Polska překročil spolu se dvěma kolegy 8. června 1939 a přihlásil se ke službě na Československém konzulátu v Krakově.

However once in Poland, the Czechoslovak escapers were to find that Poland was not permitting the formation of foreign military units on its territory. However Czechoslovak officials in Poland had been in negotiations with France, a country with which Czechoslovakia had an Alliance Treaty. Under French law, foreign military units could not be formed on its soil during peacetime. The Czechoslovak escapers, however, could only be accepted into the French Foreign Legion with the agreement that should war be declared they would be transferred to French military units. The Czechoslovaks would, however, have to enlist with the French Foreign Legion for a five-year term. The alternative was to be returned to occupied Czechoslovakia and face German retribution for escaping – usually imprisonment or execution with further retribution to their families.

Když se dostali za hranice, zjistili, že Polsko nepovolilo vznik vojenských jednotek cizího státu na svém území. Čechoslováci však již jednali s Francií, spojencem Československa. Podle francouzských zákonů nebyl v době míru ani zde povolen vznik cizích vojenských jednotek. Nicméně, Čechoslováci byli přijati do Cizinecké legie s dodatkem o tom, že pokud by došlo k vyhlášení války, budou převeleni k francouzským vojenským jednotkám. V té době však Čechoslováci museli přijmout pětiletý závazek u Cizinecké legie. Jedinou alternativou byl návrat do okupovaného Československa a čelit německému trestu za nelegální opuštění země. Šlo by pravděpodobně o odsouzení k vězení nebo trestu smrti s dalšími následky pro jejich rodiny.

Czechoslovak military escapees, Małe Bronowice, Summer 1939.
Českoslovenští uprchlíci v obci Male Bronowice, léto 1939.

The Czechoslovak escapees were initially billeted at Małe Bronowice, a former Polish army camp, on the outskirts of Kraków, whilst arrangements were made for their departure to France. When those arrangements were completed, Otto, with other escaped Czechoslovak airmen, travelled by train to Gdynia, Poland, where, on 26 July a total of 188 Czechoslovak airmen and 190 soldiers, including Otto, boarded the Swedish steamship SS ‘Kastelholm’ and sailed to France. Part of the voyage down the Baltic Sea was very rough, even to airmen who were used to flying in turbulent conditions, and so the ‘Kastelholm’ stop at the Danish port of Frederikshaven to re-supply was a welcome relief for the Czechoslovaks onboard.

Českoslovenští uprchlíci byli zpočátku ubytováni v obci Małe Bronowice v bývalém polském vojenském táboře na předměstí Krakova. Tou dobou již probíhala jednání o jejich odjezdu do Francie. Jakmile skončila, vydal se Otto spolu s ostatními uprchlíky vlakem do Gdyně, kde se 29. července 1939 spolu se 188 letci a 190 vojáky nalodil na švédský parník SS „Kastelholm“ a odplul do Francie. Při plavbě po Baltském moři čekalo na cestující velmi špatné počasí, které působilo potíže i letcům, zvyklým na vzdušné turbulence. „Kastelholm“ tedy zakotvil v dánském přístavu Frederishaven, aby doplnil zásoby a poskytl Čechoslovákům na palubě potřebný odpočinek.

France:
Francie:

On arrival to France,. Otto and his fellow airmen were taken to the Legion’s recruitment barracks near Paris pending their transfer to the Legion’s training base at Sidi-bel-Abbès, Algeria. Before that move could take place war was declared and Hanzlíček was transferred to l’Armee d’Air and assigned to Centre d’Instruction de Chasse at Chartres for re-training on French fighter aircraft.

He completed his re-training on 2 December 1939 and was posted to GC II/5 which was equipped with Curtis H-75 fighter aircraft and based at Toul-Croix-de-Metz airfield. With l’Armée de l’Air he achieved his first combat success on 24 April 1940, when he shared in the shooting down of a Luftwaffe Dornier Do 17P near Sarrelouis.
.

Po příjezdu do Francie byli Čechoslováci vyzváni ke vstupu do Cizinecké legie se závazkem na pět let. Měli však také dohodu, že v případě vypuknutí války budou převeleni k francouzským vojenským jednotkám. Otto a další uprchlíci byli umístěni ve francouzských kasárnách poblíž Paříže a čekali na přesun do výcvikového střediska Cizinecké legie v Sidi-bel- Abbès v Alžíru. Ještě než k tomu došlo, vypukla válka, a Hanzlíček byl převelen k l’Armee d’Air a umístěn v Centre d’Instruction de Chasse v Chartres k přeškolení na stíhací letouny francouzského letectva.

He completed his re-training on 2 December 1939 and was posted to GC II /5 who were equipped with Curtiss H-75 fighter aircraft and based at Toul-Croix-de-Metz airfield. With l’Armée de l’Air he achieved his first combat success on 24 April 1940, when he shared in the shooting down a Luftwaffe Dornier Do 17P near Sarrelouis.

Toto ukončil 2. prosince 1939 a byl přidělen k GC II /5, vybavené stoji Curtiss H-75, umístěné na základně v Toul-Croix-de-Metz. U l’Armée de l’Air dosáhl 24. dubna 1940 svého prvního vítězství, když se podílel na sestřelu německého Dornieru Do17 poblíž Sarrelouis.

Otto Hanzlíček, by his GC II /5 Curtiss H-75.
Otto Hanzlíček u svého Curtissu H-75 od GCII/5.

More success was achieved after 10 May when Hitler commenced Operation Fall Gelb, his invasion of Western Europe. The following day Otto shared in the shooting down of a Heinkel He IIIH of 2/KG 53 (Kondor Legion) at Bar le Duc, south-east of Reims. On 18 May, at 17:40, with French pilot Lt. G. Ruchouxem, he had a shared kill of a Me 109e near Stockholz, but after that, in the ensuing combat, was shot down by another Me 109, flown by Gunter Rall of 8/JG 52, a future Luftwaffe ace, for whom this was his first kill. Otto was forced to bail out of his Curtis H-75 but landed safely near Metz.

Dalších úspěch dosáhl po 10. květnu, když Hitler spustil operaci Fall Gelb, invazi do západní Evropy. Následujícího dne Otto sdílel sestřel Heinkelu He 111 od 2/KG 53 (Kondor Legion) v Barle Duc jihovýchodně od Reims. 18. května v 17:40 sdílel spolu s francouzským pilotem Lt. G. Ruchouxem sestřel Me 109e poblíž Stockholz, ale v následném souboji byl sestřelen dalším Me109 pilotovaným Gunterem Rallem od 8/JG 502, budoucím esem Luftwaffe. Šlo o první Rallovo vítězství. Otto vyskočil ze svého Curtissu H-75 na padáku a bezpečně dosedl na zem poblíž Mét.

With the French Armistice imminent, GC II /5 left France on 20 June 1940 and flew its aircraft to Maison Blanche airbase in Algeria. When France capitulated, the Czechoslovak airmen were released from their l’Armée de l’Air service. On 4 July 1940, Hanzlíček and other Czechoslovak airmen departed from Maison Blanche and travelled by train for four days to Casablanca, Morocco. From here, on 4 July, they boarded the ‘Royal Scotsman’ and were taken to Gibraltar where they boarded the ‘David Livingstone’ which sailed on 21 July 1940 to Cardiff, arriving on 5 August 1940.

S hrozící kapitulací Francie opustila GC II/5 zemi a 20. 6. 1940 přelétla své stroje na základnu Maison Blanche v Alžíru. Po kapitulaci byli českoslovenští letci zproštěni svého závazku ve francouzské armádě. Otto Hanzlíček a další opustili Maison Blanche a vydali se na čtyřdenní cestu vlakem do Cassablancy v Maroku. Zde se 4. července nalodili na „Royal Scotsman“ a odjeli do Gibraltaru, odkud vypluli 21. června na lodi „David Livingstone“ pak vypluli do Cardifu, kam dorazili 5 srpna 1940.

During the Battle of France, Otto flew 113 sorties, totalling over 100 hours, for the l’Armée de l’Air for which he was awarded the Croix de Guerre avec Palmes.

V průběhu bitvy o Francii nalétal Otto ve službách l’Armée de l’Air 113 bojových letů v celkové délce přes 100 hodin, za což byl oceněn Croix de Guerre avec Palmes.

RAF:

Shortly after he arrived in England, he was accepted into the RAF VR with the rank of Sgt. On 19 September 1940 he was posted to the newly formed 312 (Czechoslovak) Sqn which was then deployed at Duxford and equipped with Hurricane Mk I aircraft.

Krátce po příjezdu do Anglie byl přijat do RAF VR v hodnosti Sergeant a 19. září 1940 byl odeslán k nově vzniklé 312. peruti umístěné v Duxfordu, létající na strojích Hurricane Mk I.

312 Sqn redeployed to Speke, near Liverpool on 26 September with its primary role being the defence of Liverpool’s docks.

312. peruť byla 26. září přesunuta do Speke poblíž Liverpoolu a jejím úkolem se stala obrana liverpoolských doků.

On 10 October Hanzlíček was to make his last flight. At 13:30 that day, he took-off in Hurricane Mk I L1547, the first production Hurricane built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd in RAF service, for a local combat training exercise with fellow 312 Sqn pilot Sgt Bedřich Dvořák, At 14:15, Hanzlíček’s Hurricane was seen banking around by Ellesmere Port as it returned to Speke; smoke was observed coming from around its engine and Hanzlíček was seen to bail out. It was at low altitude and the wind blew him over the River Mersey in which he landed about 300 to 400 mtrs from the north bank. Hanzlíček was seen to be struggling with his parachute in the water but by the time helpers reached the scene, some 10 minutes later, he was no longer visible

10. října vykonal Otto Hanzlíček svůj první let. Ve 13:30 odstartoval s Hurricanem Mk I. L1547. Šlo o první produkční typ Hurricanu postavený společností Hawker Aircraft zařazený do služeb RAF. Startoval k prvnímu cvičnému bojovému střetnutí spolu s pilotem 312. perutě Sgt. Bedřichem Dvořákem. Ve 14:15 byl jeho Hurricane spatřen, jak se při návratu na RAF Speke stáčí k Ellesmere Port. Z jeho motoru vycházel kouř a Hanzlíček byl viděn, jak vyskakuje na padáku. Bylo to však v malé výšce a vítr ho zanesl nad řeku Mersey, kde dopadl přibližně 300-400 metrů od severního břehu. Svědci ho zpozorovali, jak zápasí ve vodě s padákem, ale když na místo asi po 10 minutách dorazili záchranáři, už ho nenalezli. Jeho tělo bylo objeveno 1. listopadu 1940 přibližně 8 km východně od Speke.

Sgt Alan Davie, a British ground crew member of 312 Sqn, who was on duty that day at Speke had vivid recollections of the moment the aircraft crashed into the Mersey river: “I had just returned from lunch when I heard the sound of engines approaching. I thought it was the Germans as they had flown in a few days earlier and tried to bomb the airfield, but our lads had shot them down. When I realised what was happening, I just put my hands together and said a prayer. I saw the Hurricane and pilot falling from the sky. If the wind had been kind to him, he could have landed in Ellesmere Port and survived., instead, he fell into the river and his parachute was falling from the sky behind him. As he went into the water he went under but then came back to the surface. As he did, his parachute came down on top of him. I witnessed some horrific sights during my time in the RAF, but that particular day is one I will never forget.”

Sgt. Alan Davie, britský příslušník pozemního personálu 312. perutě, si živě vybavuje ten den, kdy stroj havaroval do řeky Mersey. “Právě jsem se vrátil z oběda, když jsem uslyšel zvuk motorů blížícího se stroje. Myslel jsem, že to byli Němci, protože o několik dní dříve se pokoušeli bombardovat letiště. Naši kluci je sestřelili. Když jsem si uvědomil, co se děje, sepnul jsem ruce k modlitbě. Viděl jsem Hurrican a jeho pilota řítící se z oblohy. Kdyby foukal přívětivý vítr, dosedl by na zem v Ellesmere Port a přežil. Místo toho však dopadl do vody, a jeho padák skončil na něm. Ponořil se, ale zase se objevil. Jeho padák však klesl na něj. Za své služby jsem viděl hodně strašlivých scén, ale tento den si budu pamatovat navždy.“

Aerial view of Hanzlíček’s crashed Hurricane, taken 11 October by fellow Czech 312 Sqn pilot, Sgt Tomáš Kruml.
Letecký pohled na Hanzlíčkův Hurricane po havárii. Foceno 11.října jeho spolubojovníkem od 312. perutě, Sgt. Tomášem Krulem.

On the 4 November 1940 the inquest into the cause of his death was held at Widnes, the finding of which was “Death due to asphyxia from drowning”. He was the first 312 Sqn member to be killed in WW2, and the 6th Czechoslovak pilot to be killed during the Battle of Britain. He was 29 years old.

4. listopadu 1940 proběhlo ve Widnes vyšetřování jeho smrti. Výsledkem byla „smrt udušením při utopení“. Stal se prvním příslušníkem 312. perutě, který zemřel za druhé světové války, a šestým československým pilotem padlým v bitvě o Británii. Bylo mu 29 let.

Sgt Otto Hanzlíček was buried on 5 November 1940 at grave 392 at West Derby Cemetery, Liverpool. It is a communal grave that he now shares with fellow Czech 312 Sqn airman F/O Jindřich Bartoš who was later interred there in February 1941.

Sgt. Otto Hanzlíček byl pohřben 5. listopadu 1940 v hrobě č. 392 na hřbitově Derby Cemetery v Liverpoolu. Jedná se o společný hrob, který sdílí se spolubojovníkem od 312. perutě, F/O Jindřichem Bartošem, který zde byl pohřben v únoru 1941.

Medals awarded:
Medaile, kterými byl oceněn:

British:
Britské::

1939 – 45 Star with Battle of Britain clasp

Defence Medal

Czechoslovak:
Československé:

Válečný kříž 1939

Za chrabrost před nepřítelem

Za zásluhy II. st.

Pamětní medaile se štítky F–VB

France:
Francouzské:

Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 avec palme

Remembered
Je připomínán

Memorial at Žatec
Památník na Žatci

Street at Ústí nad Labem
Ulice vÚstí nad Labem

London Battle of Britain Monument:
Památník bitvy o Británii v Londýně:

National Battle of Britain Memorial, Capel le Ferne, Kent:
Národní památník Bitvy o Británii, v Capel le Ferne, Kent:

Winged Lion Monument, Klárov, Prague:
Památník Okřídleného Lva, Praha Klárov:

Czechoslovak Airmens Memorial, Dejvice, Prague:
Památník československým letcům, Praha Dejvice:

He is remembered in the Remembrance books at St Clements Danes Church, London and St Vitus Cathedral, Prague.

Je také zanesen v Remembrance books v kostele St.Clements Danes v Londýně a katedrále sv. Víta v Praze.




Posted in 312 Sqd, Battle of Britain, Biography, France, Not Forgotton, Poland | Leave a comment

Jaroslav Hlavac – One of the Few




Jaroslav HLAVÁČ

Jeden z hrstky

………………..* 11.10.1914. Petřvald.

………………..† 10.10.1940. Wareham, UK








Pre WW2:

Jaroslav Hlaváč was born 11 October 1914 at Petřvald, a village, about 10 km east of Ostrava, in the Moravia region of Czechoslovakia. He attended the local school until he reached the 4th grade and then he moved on to the secondary school at Jistebník, about 30 km away. On completion of his education, he trained as a metal turner at Vítkovice, about 9 km from Petřvald.

In 1933, aged 19, Jaroslav commenced his compulsory military service and was selected for the Czechoslovak Air Force. He attended the Military Aviation School at Prostějov between 1934 and 1936, from where he graduated as a fighter pilot.

Jaroslav Hlaváč, Prostějov 1934-1936.

His first posting, at the rank of sergeant, was to the 7th Squadron of the 2nd Air Regiment based at Vyškov, as an operational pilot in Letov Š-328 biplane reconnaissance aircraft. He later returned to Prostějov where he attended a fighter pilot training course, graduating in 1938. Jaroslav was then posted to the 35th Squadron of the 2nd Air Regiment, based at Olomouc airbase, and was equipped with Avia B-534 biplane fighter aircraft. He remained here until the German occupation of Czechoslovakia on 15 March 1939, by which time he had achieved 295 flying hours.

To Poland

After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia on 15 March 1939, the Czechoslovak Air Force was quickly disbanded by the Germans and all personnel dismissed. The same fate befell most of those serving in the Czechoslovak Army. For the military personnel and many patriotic Czech citizens, this was a degrading period. Many sought to redress this shame and humiliation and sought the liberation of their homeland. Germanisation of Bohemia and Moravia began immediately. But by 19 March 1939, former senior officers of the now-disbanded Czechoslovak military had started to form an underground army, known as Obrana Národa [Defense of the Nation]. One of their objectives was to assist as many airmen and soldiers as possible to get to neighbouring Poland where Ludvík Svoboda, a former distinguished Czechoslovak Legionnaire from WW1, was planning the formation of Czechoslovak military units to fight for the liberation of their homeland. Within Czechoslovakia, former military personnel and civilian patriots covertly started to arrange for former Air Force and Army personnel to be smuggled over the border into Poland to join these newly formed Czechoslovak units.

Obrana Národa also worked in co-operation with Svaz Letců, the Airman Association of the Czechoslovak Republic. These two organisations provided money, courier and other assistance to enable airmen to escape to Poland. Usually, this was by crossing the border from the Ostrava region into neighbouring Poland. News soon began to be covertly spread amongst the former Czechoslovak airmen and soldiers and many voluntarily made their personal decision to go to Poland. Jaroslav was one of those who decided to escape and enlist in one of those units. In early May 1939, he successfully managed to cross the border to Poland and reported for duty at the Czechoslovak Consulate at Kraków.

However once in Poland, the Czechoslovak escapees were to find that Poland was not permitting the formation of foreign military units on its territory. However Czechoslovak officials in Poland had been in negotiations with France, a country with which Czechoslovakia had an Alliance Treaty. Under French law, foreign military units could not be formed on its soil during peacetime. The Czechoslovak escapees, however, could only be accepted into the French Foreign Legion with the agreement that should war be declared they would be transferred to French military units. The Czechoslovaks would, however, have to enlist with the French Foreign Legion for a five-year term. The alternative was to be returned to occupied Czechoslovakia and face German retribution for escaping – usually imprisonment or execution with further retribution to their families.

The Czechoslovak escapees were initially billeted at Małe Bronowice, a former Polish army camp, on the outskirts of Kraków, whilst arrangements were made for their departure to France. When those arrangements were completed, Jaroslav, with other escaped Czechoslovak airmen, travelled by train to Gdynia, Poland, where, they boarded a ship, which took them to France.

Czechoslovak military escapees at Małe Bronowice, Summer, 1939.

France

On arrival in France, the Czechoslovak airmen were required to enlist into the French Foreign Legion and were first taken to the Legion’s recruitment barracks at Place Ballard, near Paris, for medical examination and recruitment documentation to be completed for their acceptance into the Legion. This time was to serve as a familiarisation period to learn the ways of the Legion and to study in crash French courses which continued after their acceptance whilst they waited for transfer to Sidi-bel-Abbis, the Legion’s training camp in Algeria.

However, before that process could be completed, war was declared, on 3 September 1939, and instead the airmen were transferred to l’ Armée d’Air recruitment centre at Dugny, near Paris. Upon acceptance by the l’ Armée d’Air, Jaroslav, was transferred to their training base at Centre d’Instruction de Chasse at Chartres about 75 km west of Paris, for conversion onto French aircraft. Jaroslav arrived there on 11 September 1939 and completed his training on 8 March 1940. He was then posted, as an operational pilot with the rank of Caporal Chef (Sgt) to GC III/7, based at Vitry le François near the Swiss-German border and equipped with MS-406 fighter aircraft.

Jaroslav Hlaváč, Chartres, March 1940.

When the Germans invaded France, the rapidity of their Blitzkreig – lightening war – caused GC III/7 to have to change their airfields frequently as they retreated westward. On 17 June 1940 Jaroslav and other Czechoslovak airmen were transferred to GC I/6 based at Ussel which was also equipped with MS-406 fighter aircraft. Three days later, France capitulated. GC I/6 was now at Clermont-Ferand airbase, and its Czechoslovak airmen were released from Armée de l’Air service; Jaroslav had flown 68 operational hours in that service. They made their way to Port Vendres and on 24 June, boarded the ‘General Chanzy’ which took them to Oran, Algeria. They then travelled for four days by train to Casablanca, Morocco, where they boarded a ship which took them to Gibraltar, where they transferred to a ship which brought them to England.

RAF

Shortly after arrival to England, he was accepted into the RAF VR and on 12 July was posted, at the rank of Sgt, to the newly formed 310 (Czechoslovak) Sqn at Duxford near Cambridge, where he was assigned to the squadron’s reserve pool of pilots who were awaiting conversion training on Hurricane fighter aircraft. When 310 Sqn becoming operational on 17 August 1940, it was no longer possible for re-training to be undertaken within the squadron due to shortages of aircraft and instructors. The reserve-pool pilots were assigned to 6 OTU at Sutton Bridge, near Spalding, Lincolnshire, on 17 August to complete their re-training. Jaroslav completed this, on 10 September and the following day, along with fellow Czechoslovak pilot P/O Jaroslav Himr, was posted to 79 Sqn (Madras Presidency) which was equipped with Hurricane Mk I fighter aircraft and based at Pembrey, South Wales. Whilst with 79 Sqn both Czech pilots made only a few training flights.

On 8 October 1940, Jaroslav and P/O Jaroslav Himr were posted for operational flying to 56 Sqn (Punjab), who at that time were based at Boscombe Down, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, and also equipped with Hurricane Mk I fighter aircraft. With 56 Sqn he participated in the final weeks of the Battle of Britain.

On 10 October, Jaroslav made his first operational patrol when six Hurricanes took-off at 09:20 for a patrol over Warmwell, Dorset, returning at 09:40, thus making him one of the 88 Czechoslovak pilots who flew in that battle. Later that morning, at 11:55, six of the squadron’s Hurricanes were scrambled to intercept Luftwaffe aircraft approaching Portland, Dorset. Jaroslav was flying a Hurricane Mk I P3421. Forty-five minutes later, Jaroslav was killed in action, when he was shot down at 12:40 by a Me 109, flown by oberleutnant Julius Meimburg of 4/JG2, over Wareham; his Hurricane crashed at Manor Farm. He was 26 years old and had become the fifth Czechoslovak pilot to be killed in the Battle of Britain.

Jaroslav Hlaváč was buried in the South part of the Holy Trinity Churchyard at Wareham, Dorset

Medals awarded :

British:

1939 – 45 Star with Battle of Britain clasp

Czechoslovak:

Válečný kříž 1939 x 2

Pamětní medaile se štítky F–VB

France:

Croix de Guerre 1939-1945

Remembered :

Český Těšín

Havířov

Winged Lion Monument, Klárov, Prague:

Czechoslovak Airmens Memorial, Dejvice, Prague.

Battle of Britain Monument, London:

National Battle of Britain Memorial, Capel le Ferne, Kent:

He is remembered in the Remembrance books at St Clements Danes Church, London and St Vitus Cathedral, Prague.




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Josef Frantisek – 79th Anniversary – 08.10.1940.


The 8 October 2019 is the 79th anniversary of the death of Josef František who, at the time of his death, was the most successful Allied pilot of the Battle of Britain.

His untimely death, in a flying accident, came one day after his 27th Birthday and was the 4th Czechoslovak Battle of Britain pilot to be killed in that Battle.

A English / Czech biography on Josef František here




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68. nocni stihaci perut – 15.10.19.







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Karel Vojtisek – 28.09.2019 – Mukarov


On 28 September 2019, a memorial plaque was unveiled for F/Lt Karel Vojtíšek, 311 Sqn Engineering Officer, at his family home at Mukařov.

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