Emil Fechtner

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Emil Fechtner was born on September 16, 1916 in Žižkov, but the family later moved to Hradec Králové, where his father got a job.

Emil attended a real grammar school, where he successfully passed his school-leaving examination in 1933 and then worked as a clerk. He joined the presentation military service at the 104th Artillery Regiment in Olomouc. Here he graduated from the School for Artillery Officers in Reserve and received the rank of lieutenant. Then he decided to pursue a career as a professional soldier and joined the Military Academy in Hranice . He studied here in the years 1936-1937 and graduated as an air force lieutenant. He then served in the 38th Fighter Squadron of the 3rd Air Regiment in Slovakia. Here he was also caught by the occupation and he also decided to go abroad. He did so on June 19, 1939, when he crossed the border into Poland, from where he then sailed to France. Here he was accepted into the Air Force, but before he could join the fighting, France collapsed. He therefore sailed to Britain, where he arrived on June 21, 1940. At that time he already had the rank of lieutenant, to which he was promoted on May 1.


He was accepted into the RAF in the rank of Pilot Officer and was one of the first members of the 310th Czechoslovak fighter squadron , with which he successfully intervened in the Battle of Britain. He scored his first victory in the first battle on August 26, 1940. On that day, the squadron faced a formation of Dornier Do 17 Z from 3./KG 2 Holzhammer, which protected the fighters Bf 109 and Bf 110 , and brought the first three victories, but itself she lost two Hurricanes destroyed and two damaged. Fechtner chose one of the bombers as his target, but he received unwanted attention from the fighter hundreds. At one point he went into battle and his dose sat. The right engine Bf 110 D-0 with matriculation 3U + CM from 4./ZG 26 began to burn and the plane crashed in flames 1.5 kilometers west of Great Tey. Both pilots, Ofw. Kurt Rössler and Uff. Herbert Heinrich, they lost their lives during the accident.

He announced another victory on August 31, 1940, when the squadron fought again with Do 17, this time from the unit II./KG 3 Blitz. Fechtner shot down one of the bombers, probably Do 17 Z-2 ( W.Nr. 2669, 5K + LM ) from IV./KG 3, whose crew was captured. Immediately, however, he himself became the target for an accompanying one hundred and nineteen and had to save himself by fleeing. He landed in Duxford with several shots in the wings of his Hurricane Mk.I ( P3889 / NN-S ).

On September 3, Fechtner was able to announce another victory when the squadron got into a fight with Do 17 and Bf 110 aircraft while defending the 11th Group's airports. He chose Messerschmitt as the target, who suddenly got in his way and was not missing. The hit fighter landed on the ground 15 kilometers from North Weald Airport.

Emil Fechtner scored another success on September 7 over London, when he damaged a Messerschmitt Bf 110 accompanied by bombers.

Fechtner scored his last certain victory on September 18, again during a patrol over London. Emil reported the shooting down of Dornier 17, which crashed into the waters of the Channel. In this fight, however, there was a misidentification of the opponent. The squadron, and the entire Duxford wing, clashed with the Junkers Ju 88 from III./KG 77 , which lost eight aircraft in combat. The last, probable, victory in the form of the Do 17 bomber was scored on September 27, 1940.His score, which counted four victories certain, one probable and one aircraft damaged, was over.


For his achievements in combat, he was awarded the DFC High Merit Air Cross on October 16, 1940, as one of the first two Czechs. However, Emil Fechtner was not allowed to rejoice in this award for long. On October 29, 1940, at the start of the operational flight, Hurricane P3889 of Emil Fechtner collided with Hurricane P3707 of Jaroslav Malý. While Malé managed to make an emergency landing, Fechtner failed to handle his damaged plane and died in its wreckage near the village of Whitlesford near Duxford. The clock showed time 13.37.

Fechtner's body was buried on November 2 in the cemetery in nearby Royston and was later transported to Czechoslovakia. department of Brookwood Cemetery. Emil did not learn that he was promoted to air force captain on October 28, 1940. After the war he was promoted again, first to staff captain and in 1991 to colonel in memoriam. In addition to the already mentioned and highly valued DFC, Fechtner received the following honors: Czechoslovakia. War Cross 1939 , Czechosl. Medal for Bravery , Czechoslovakia. Medal of Merit I. st. , Cs. military commemorative medal with labels F-VB and The 1939 - 1945 Star with Battle of Britain Clasp.

Rajlich, J .: Emil Fechtner, In: Military Personalities of the Czechoslovak Resistance 1939-1945, AVIS, Prague 2005
Rajlich, J .: In the Sky of the Proud Albion, Part 1, Ares, Prague 1999

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