Jindrichuv Hradec – 24. 2. 2017.

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Frantisek Truhlar

Video biography of F/Lt František Truhlář who was to suffer sever burns in two separate aircraft crashes during WW2. The first when he was an air-gunner with 311 Sqn when Wellington N2771 crashed at Bentley Priory 16 October 1940. His extensive burns caused him to become one of two Czechoslovak RAF airmen who required plastic surgery treatment at Dr Archibald McIndoe’s specialist burns unit at East Grinstaed – the Guinea Pig Club.

Video životopis F/Lt Františka Truhláře, který utrpěl spáleniny ve dvou oddělených haváriích letadel během 2. světové války. První, když byl střelcem 311 perutě, kdy Wellington N2771 havaroval u Bentley Priory 16. října 1940. Jeho rozsáhlé popáleniny způsobily, že se stal jedním ze dvou československých RAF letců, kteří potřebovali chirurgický zákrok a plastickou operaci u specialisty na popáleniny Dr. Archibalda McIndoe v Grinstead – Guinea Pig Club.

Despite the severity of his burns, he recovered sufficiently to be able to volunteer and be selected for fighter pilot training. However fate struck a tragic blow for him on 11 June 1944 when, in poor weather conditions, his Spitfire hit and obstacle and crashed, resulting in the aircraft catching fire and for the second time František Truhlář was badly burnt and having to Dr Archibald McIndoe for treatment for his new burns.

Bez ohledu na těžké popáleniny, se zotavil natolik, aby mohl nastoupit jako dobrovolník a být vybrán pro výcvik stíhacích pilotů. Nicméně osud mu zasadil další tragickou ránu. Dne 11. června 1944, za špatných povětrnostních podmínkách, se jeho Spitfire zavadil o překážku a havaroval. V letadle začalo hořet František Truhlář opět utrpěl zlé popáleniny. Dr. Archibald McIndoe musel opět ošetřit jeho nové popáleniny.

Video is in Czech with English subtitles.

Posted in 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, Biography | 4 Comments


We are very pleased and proud to announce that today this site has now reached the milestone of :

500,000 pages read

A big ‘Thank you’ to all our readers, from all around the world, for their support in enabling this significant achievement to be accomplished.

We consider that this half million achievement has contributed some way to ensure that the activities, achievements and hardships of the Czechoslovak men and women who served in the RAF during WW2 are better known.

We very much value the support, encouragement and assistance we have received from the numerous relatives of those men and women in our quest to provide an accurate online resource of information about those Czechoslovak RAF men and women.

It has been very much a team effort and we take this opportunity to thank all our dedicated volunteer team of researchers, contributors, translators, supporters, graphic designers and many other roles without whom this significant achievement would not have been accomplished.

A special mention and thanks to all our readers who have kindly donated funds to help finance the running costs of this site to ensure that this online resource of information continues.

Thank you all.

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Spitfire AR501 restoration latest

Spitfire AR501 is the only potentially airworthy Spitfire in Europe which has a genuine Czechoslovak RAF pedigree. For the past few years she has been undergoing a major restoration program at the Shuttleworth Collection but before too long should be flying again.

As can be seen from these recent photo’s, the restoration is nearing completion :

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Czech Pilots of WW2

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A královskou korunu měly

A královskou korunu měly :

stručný pohled na službu čs. žen v jednotkách britské armády za 2. světové války


Ivan Procházka

A královskou korunu měly: stručný pohled na službu čs. žen v jednotkách britské armády za 2. světové války.

A brief insight into the role of Czechoslovak women who served in the WAAF’s, British Army and Royal Navy during WW2.

Publisher: Vojenský historický ústav
ISBN: 978-807-278-6794
Format: Hardback, 255 pages, illustrated some BW,
Language: Czech
Published: 2016

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Mirko Janecek

With much sadness that we must advise the death on 9 January 2017 of Mirko Janeček, aged 90.

Mirko was not a Czechoslovak RAF airman but a journalist, who like many others escaped from his homeland after the Communist take-over in February 1948. From Mississauga, Ontario, Canada he founded and was editor of ‘Kanadské listy’ a Czech language newspaper for the ex-pat community in particular for the former Czechoslovak RAF and Army personnel who had also escaped following that Communist take-over and were now in exile around the world. His work over many years with ‘Kanadské listy’ provided a valuable resource for that Czechoslovak ex-pat community.

Our Condolences and thoughts are with his family.


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Czechoslovak RAF Uniform Insignia

A guideline to insignia worn by Czechoslovak RAF personnel on their uniforms during WW2.



Upper sleeve rank insignia:

Usually had a curved fabric ‘Czechoslovakia’ brevet worn on both upper shoulder sleeves:

However that was not always the case as these 1942 photos of W/Cmdr František Doležal illustrate:

or P/O Viktor Kašlík, 4th from left, with other 312 Sqn personnel here:

There were numerous variations to this shoulder brevet for both Officers and enlisted men:

Officers :
Stitched, on a blue background.
Stitched on a black background – Air Transport Auxiliary.
Stitched on a blue background.
Stitched on a blue background.
Enlisted men:
Stitched on a blue background.
Printed on a blue background.

Lower sleeve rank insignia:


Other Ranks Sleeve Insignia :

Like with their Officer counterparts, there were numerous variations to be seen on Other Ranks uniforms:

Further variations on Other Ranks shoulder badges include :

Czechoslovak recruits from Canada :

Czechoslovak recruits from the USA :


Aircrew brevet badges

Worn on left breast of uniforms above any medals or medal ribbons.


Pilots’ Flying Badge (Kings Crown) :

Adopted in 1918 by modifying the Royal Flying Corp [RFC] badge, replacing the letters RFC with RAF.

Wings of drab silk embroidery with monogram ‘RAF’ in centre, surrounded by laurel leaf of brown silk and surmounted by a crown – on dark blue melton cloth.



Originally adopted in 1915 by the Royal Flying Corps [RFC], its use was continued by the RAF until superseded by the Navigators’ and Air Bombers’ badges in 1942


Adopted in April 1942 when the role of Observer was abolished and split into the two new categories of Navigator and Air Bomber.

The letter ‘N’ of drab silk surrounded by a laurel leaf of brown silk with an outspread drab silk wing 21⁄2″ (6.35 cm) long – on dark blue melton cloth.


Air Signaller:

With the increasing complexities of airborne electronic equipment, the role of wireless operator was finally separated from that of air gunner in 1943. However, it was January 1944 before this new badge was introduced.

The letter ‘S’ of drab silk surrounded by a laurel leaf of brown silk with an outspread drab silk wing 21⁄2″ (6.35 cm) long – on dark blue melton cloth.


Radio Observer:

Introduced in 1941, the Radio Observer badge (later to become known as Observer Radio badge) was a security name for airborne radar operators.

The letters ‘RO’ of drab silk surrounded by a laurel leaf of brown silk with an outspread drab silk wing 21⁄2″ (6.35 cm) long – on dark blue melton cloth.


Air Gunner:

Adopted in 1939 when the role of Air Gunner became a full-time aircrew category. Wireless Operators / Air Gunners the Wireless Operators sleeve badge as well as this badge

The letters ‘AG’ of drab silk surrounded by a laurel leaf of brown silk with an outspread drab silk wing 21⁄2″ (6.35 cm) long – on dark blue melton cloth.

Aircrew who were Wireless Operators / Air Gunners wore the Wireless Operators sleeve badge as well as their Air Gunners badge on their upper right arm. This badge was originally introduced in September 1918, but ceased at the end of WW1. Was re-introduced in 1920 and is used to the current day.


Flight Engineer:

Badge introduced in 1942 following the introduction of four-engined heavy bombers into the RAF which required an additional crew member.

The letter ‘E’ of drab silk surrounded by a laurel leaf of brown silk with an outspread drab silk wing 21⁄2″ (6.35 cm) long – on dark blue melton cloth.


Lapel badges



RAF Volunteer Reserve badge


Medical Branch

Worn by RAF personnel serving in the Medical Branch.



Worn by RAF Chaplains personnel serving in the Chaplain Branch.



Worn by RAF personnel serving in the Dental Branch


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Remembered 2016

Belgium :

Ypres – Karel PAVLÍK


Czech Republic :

Bělkovice-Lašťany – Josef BRYKS

Bratčice – Vilém JAKŠ

Budišov – Leonard SMRČEK

Dolní Břežany – Eduard PRCHAL

Havlíčkův Brod – Karel KUTTELWASCHER

Chocenice – Vladimír VANĚK

Kladno – Jan VELLA

Kuroslepy – Stanislav REJTHAR

Lomnice nad Popelkou – František TRUHLÁŘ

Lubenec – Ondřej ŠAMBERGER

Moravec – Bedřich SCHÄFFER

Morkůvky – František PEŘINA

Prague – Winged Lion monument



Prague – Karel JANOUŠEK

Plzeň – Josef BRYKS

Plzeň – Karel PAVLÍK, Václav ŠINDELÁŘ, Alois ZÁLESKÝ

Ševětín – Václav HOŘEJŠÍ

Štěnovice – Oldřich KESTLER

Turnov – Ludvík KOŠEK

Velešín – Prokop BRÁZDA

Vitova – Oldřich DOLEŽAL

Životice – Václav BREJCHA


France :

Calais – Jaroslav KULHÁNEK


Great Britain :

Brookwood, Surrey – Rudolf NEDOMA

Brookwood, Surrey – Eduard PRCHAL

Brookwood, Surrey – Jaroslav ŠTĚRBÁČEK

Capel le Ferne, Kent – National Battle of Britain Memorial.

Catterick 313 Sqn

Catterick – Josef GUTVALD

Chippenham, Wiltshire – Jan KLOS, Antonín MIKOLÁŠ, František SEĎA

Duxford, Cambridgeshire

London – Battle of Britain Memorial



London – Bomber Command Memorial

London, Pinner – Karel KUTTELWASCHER

London – St Clement Danes

London – Westminster Abbey

Northwood – Polish Airman’ s Memorial – Josef FRANTIŠEK, Vilém KOSARZ, Matěj PAVLOVIČ and Vladislav UHER

Whittlesford, Cambridge – Benedikt POHNER and Jaroslav ZAVADIL.

Northwood – Josef FRANTIŠEK.

Salisbury – Adolf DOLEJŠ, Richard HAPALA, Oldřich HELMA, Jaroslav PETRUCHA and Antonín PLOCEK

Westwell, Kent – Josef DYGRÝN

Whyteleafe, Surrey – František BĚHAL and Albín NASSWETER

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2017

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