Jaroslav Himr

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Jaroslav Himr was born on June 17, 1917 in Věrovany in the district of Přerov. After graduating from the Prostějov Business Academy, he joined the war and in 1936–37 studied at the Military Academy in Hranice na Moravě. He then performed aviation practice with the 5th Air Regiment in Brno. Subsequently, he underwent an application course for air force lieutenants and from September 1938 served in the 49th Fighter Squadron of the 3rd Air Regiment " General - Airman MR Stefanik " in Slovakia.

He also did not accept the occupation of Czechoslovakia and in February 1940, via Slovakia, Hungary and Yugoslavia, fled to France, where he arrived on March 27, 1940. Due to its rapid fall, he no longer fought here and as one of the few czechoslovak pilots was evacuated to Britain on June 17, 1940. Here he first underwent retraining for the Hurricanes and then, in the 79th and 56th Squadron, because the parent 310th Squadron had a surplus of pilots, intervened in the Battle of Britain and the first offensive operations over occupied Europe.


From June 1941 he served in the 601st Squadron, where he served as commander of the A Squadron. At that time, the six-number one performed fighter sweeps over the continent on its Hurricanes Mk.IIB, and from August it began to rearm for a hot new RAF, the American fighter Bell Airacobra Mk. I, in which great hopes were placed. However, the plane disappointed on the whole line. RAF withdrew Airacobra from several offensive actions against German ships off the French coast from operational service and sent all purchased aircraft to the USSR. In March 1942, the 601st Squadron used standard Spitfires Mk.VB. However, Jaroslav Himr did not see it, because on December 15, 1941 he went on a well-deserved vacation.

During his rest, Jaroslav Himr worked as an instructor at the 56th OTU, where he even commanded a pilot at Tealing Airport in Scotland. After the rest, Himr took command of the 313rd Squadron on June 26, 1942. The post was handed over to him by Karel Mrázek, who became the new Czechoslovak commander. fighter wing. He thus became the youngest commander in Czechoslovakia. Air Force, he was then 25 years old. Himr immediately joined the operational flights, but also in the duties of squadron commander. He often wrote to the headquarters requests to rearm the squadron for more modern versions of Spitfires, because used Spitfires Mk. VB / C was no longer enough for new versions of German fighters and losses in their own ranks increased. However, the Czechoslovak squadrons were not in the main area of operations and were rearmed only before the invasion of France. But the commander also actively fought.

On July 23, 1942, the 310th and 313rd Squadrons participated in the Synchronized Rhubarb event. It was a lightning overflow at Lannion and Moralix airports, which was protected by a strong flak. S / Ldr Himr brought a stake in the destruction of the gas tank. However, the first success in air combat could be attributed to the afternoon of February 27, 1943, when the 313rd Squadron participated in the escort of B-17 and B-24 bombers of the 8th USAAF Air Force. Their target during Operation Ramrod 57 was French Brest and the local submarine base. The pilots got into a fight with several Fw 190 from III./JG 2 and Himra managed to damage one. However, the Germans did not like anything and shot down three Czechoslovak Spitfires.

Jaroslav Himr had a more accurate line of sight on August 27, 1943. On that day, the thirty-three again took part in the company of American bombers, whose target was the suspicious construction site at Watten, from which the V-2 missile launch sites eventually emerged. However, the Allied pilots at the time had no idea. The Americans attacked in four waves, the 313rd Squadron, together with the 64th Squadron, participated in the escort of one of them, which was attacked by German fighters over the coast. Hiram managed to get from a suitable shooting position for one of the attackers, but the more powerful Fw 190 began to recede quickly. However, Himr opened fire at a distance of about 650 meters and hit the enemy. At 19.00 he crashed in flames near the village of Marck near Calais. This was nearing the end of Himr's life, or the action of Ramrod 87.

Ramrod 87 took place on September 24, 1943, after the return of Czechoslovakia. wings from rest. It was an escort of twelve Mitchell bombers over Lanvéoc-Poulmic Airport and a seaplane base in Brest. The dreaded Fw 190 first flew around the union, but did not attack.Then, however, appeared heavy fighter Messerschmitt Bf 110G to II./ZG 1, led by Karl-Heinrich Mattern, bearer of the Knight's Cross. Hundreds were considered a light adversary for Spitfires at the time. But today everything was different. In the ensuing battle, the Czechs shot down two Bf 110 for sure and one probably, but they lost three pilots themselves. Three hundred and thirty-five squadron commanders Vladislav Chocholin and thirty-three Englishman John Cochran with commander Jaroslav Himr.

He joined the fight as one of the first and with a precise dose ignited the right engine of one Bf 110. But the German began to escape from him. Him followed him, and no one had seen him since. Probably even the rear gunner hit by the hundreds had a good line of sight…

For the sake of completeness, let's just add that the British Squadron No. 610 also took part in the fight with II./ZG 1 and the RAF fighters announced a 6-1-0 victory, but the Germans lost only four aircraft.

Himr's body was never found and his name is given on the 118th panel of the Stone Book in Runnymede. The Czechoslovak Air Force lost a capable and popular officer, which the then commander of the 10th Group of the Fighter Air Command said: " I wish that in every of our squadron, understand the British, there is such a spirit as Himra, you know, such a Himra. "At the time of his death, Himr was nominated for the high British award of the DFC - Meritorious Air Cross, which was awarded, for two air victories, for the destruction of one and three locomotives, damage to the trawler, for the destruction of gas tank and three transformers October 8, 1943. Furthermore, Jaroslav Himr was awarded three times Czechoslovak. war cross, twice Czechosl. medal Za bravost, Cs. medal For Merit I. st., Commemorative medal czechoslovak foreign armies ( with labels F and VB ), the British also awarded him The 1939-1945 Star with Battle of Britain Clasp, Air Crew Europe Star and Defense Medal. After the war, Jaroslav Himr was promoted to staff captain and in June 1991 to colonel in memoriam.

Rajlich J .: In the Sky of the Proud Albion, Part 3, The World of Wings, Cheb, 2002
Foreman J .: Fighter Comand war diaries, part 4, Air Research Publication, Walton-on-Thames, 2005

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