Czech Pilots and the Battle of Britain

Czech Pilots and the Battle of Britain

After the Sudetenland crisis and the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, many young Czech Air Force pilots made their way via France to Britain. Many Czech pilots had fought in the short and bitter Battle of France thus gaining some form of combat experience. However, their skill was seen to the full in the Battle of Britain.

 

At the start of the battle, the Czechs were distributed throughout already established Fighter Command squadrons. However, they were given their own squadron – 310. In total 84 Czechs fought in the Battle of Britain and they gained a reputation for aggressive aerial combat. In late August, Squadron Leader G D M Blackwood commanded 310 Squadron. During an attack on August 26th, Blackwood attacked a Dornier. The Dornier fired at his Hurricane and set alight one of his fuel tanks. Blackwood had to bale out. A Czech pilot followed up his attack. Emil Fechtner attacked a Me 110 and it broke off with smoke pouring out from its engines. Blackwood wrote about the men in his squadron:

 

“The Czechs really did a fine job despite their aggressive attitude. I think that their only problem was that as soon as they saw an enemy that would make for a possible target, nothing else mattered.”

 

One Czech pilot – Jacob Frantisek – was the third most successful Fighter Command pilot during the Battle of Britain with 17 ‘kills’ – one of just a few ‘Triple Aces’.

 

Czech pilots in the Battle of Britain:

 

S/Ldr. J Ambrus
P/O J Bartos
P/O V Bergman
Sgt. F A Bernard
Sgt. V Brejcha
P/O F Burda
Sgt. F Chabera
P/O E Cizek
Sgt. V E Cukr
P/O F Dolezal
P/O J Duda
Sgt. A Dvorak
Sgt. J Dydryn
P/O F Fajtl
P/O E Fechtner
P/O S Fejfar
Sgt. V Foglar
P/O E A Foit
Sgt. J Frantisek
Sgt. B Furst
P/O V Goth
P/O J J Hanus
Sgt. O Hanzlicek
S/Ldr. A Hess
P/O J Himr
Sgt. J Hlavac
P/O A Hlobil

Sgt. V Horsky
P/O F Hradil
Sgt. O Hruby
Sgt. J Hubacek
P/O J E Hybler
P/O S Janouch
P/O J A Jaske
Sgt. V Jicha
F/Sgt. M Jiroudek
F/Sgt. J Kania
Sgt. J Kaucky
Sgt. J Keprt
Sgt. O Kestler
F/Sgt. J Kominek
Sgt. M Kopecky
Sgt. J Kopriva
Sgt. K Korber
P/O F Kordula

Sgt. J Kouhal
Sgt. B Kratkoruky
P/O M Kredba
Sgt. J V Kucera
Sgt. J Kucera
Sgt. O Kucera
Sgt. K M Kuttelwascher
P/O J Machacek
F/Lt. J M Maly
Sgt. M J Mansfeld
Sgt. F Marek
P/O K Mrazek
Sgt. O Pavlu
Sgt. J Pipa
Sgt. S Plzak
Sgt. E M Prchal
Sgt. J Prihoda
Sgt. R Ptacek
Sgt. R Puda
Sgt. J Rechka
P/O R B Rohacek
F/Lt. F Rypl
Sgt. K Seda
Sgt. J Sika
Sgt. V Slouf
Sgt. J Stefan
Sgt. J Stehlik
P/O J Sterbacek
F/Sgt. J Strihavka
Sgt. J Truhlar
P/O A Vasatko
P/O A Velebnovsky               
P/O V Vesely
Sgt. F Vindis
Sgt. J Vopalecky
P/O A Vrana
P/O T Vybiral
P/O K J Vykoukal
P/O F Weber
P/O V Zavoral
Sgt. A Zavoral
Sgt. R Zima
P/O S Zlmprich

 

P/O = Pilot Officer

 

F/Lt = Flight Lieutenant


MLA Citation/Reference

"Czech Pilots and the Battle of Britain". HistoryLearningSite.co.uk. 2014. Web.






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