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311th (Czechoslovak) Bomber Squadron RAF celebrates its birthday

After the Czechoslovak pilots fled from demoralized and defeated France to England in the early summer of 1940, the Churchill spirit of defiance that prevailed in this country did not allow them to pursue defeatist ideas for a long time. After the 310th Fighter Squadron (established on 10 July 1940), the first Czechoslovak bomber squadron has been assembled, armed with much more complicated aircraft than the Hurricane fighters ...

A/M Karel Janoušek RNDr., KCB

When I look around here at Černý Most and read the names of the streets, I see one interesting name next to another. The heroes themselves. Ocelka, Breitcetl, Bryks, Dygrýn, František, Vašátko, Valenta, Maňák ... Pilots who fought in the ranks of the RAF against the hated enemy during the Second World War, for the liberation of the homeland, for democracy, the ideals of Masaryk and Beneš, for returning to their homes . They are all dominated by the name of the only Czechoslovak air marshal, a man who practically led our air force in Great Britain for five war years and who helped build his fame and the name of our Czechoslovak Republic, A / M RNDr. Karel Janoušek, KCB ...

Air battles over the Gulf of Germany

The RAF entered the war with faith in the defensive capabilities of fast modern bombers, which can fight their way to the target and back during the day through defensive fighters and anti-aircraft artillery fire. With the outbreak of war, Douhet's theory was tested in practice.
The first victory in Germany's air defense took place the second day after the entry of the United Kingdom into the ongoing war between Germany and Poland. The British goal was to eliminate the threat from the Kriegsmarine. While British ships chased German corsairs across the oceans, the RAF sought to contribute to the war effort by attacks on warships off the German coast and in ports. How the RAF was doing its efforts in 1939 is trying to describe this article ...

Air Chief Marshal Sir Edgar Ludlow-Hewitt

Biography of the RAF Marshal, who held important positions in the ranks of the RFC and RAF during the First World War and who, under his command, led the British Bomber Air Force to the beginning of World War II.

Alois Vašátko

Another biography of one of the many brave fighters in the ranks of the RAF.

Battles over Sedan

The actual day of judgment came for the crews of Fairey Battle light bombers from the Advanced Air Assault Army (AASF) on May 14, 1940. British pilots in obsolete aircraft and without proper security with their own fighters were uncompromisingly thrown directly into the epicenter of the ongoing battle, the Sedan area. The result was one of the largest massacres of RAF bombers during World War II.

Buffalo of the British Naval Air Force 1

The bulging Brewster Buffalos were the first fighter monoplanes aboard American aircraft carriers. However, the ships did not warm up for a long time on the ships and were quickly replaced by the more modern F4F Wildcat. The aircraft thus began its combat career in the air forces of Finland, Great Britain and the Netherlands. The following lines will introduce you to the work of the "buffalo" in the RAF.

Buffalo of the British Naval Air Force 2

The bulging Brewster Buffalos were the first fighter monoplanes aboard American aircraft carriers. However, the ships did not warm up for a long time on the ships and were quickly replaced by the more modern F4F Wildcat. The aircraft thus began its combat career in the air forces of Finland, Great Britain and the Netherlands. The following lines will introduce you to the work of the " buffalo " in the RAF.

Christmas in exile - How Czechoslovak pilots celebrated war holidays

Christmas 1940 was the saddest of my life. I received two letters before Christmas Day. One from Vlad [Kubíček] and the other from Mirek [Plecitý], who was already at the squadron as a sergeant-shooter. I was the first to open Mirek's letter, which began: " Dear Franta, I consider it my duty to tell you a very sad news, even though it will spoil Christmas for you and others, because I am sure you would learn from other boys. Jenda Křivda started last night on a mission last night. In a short time, they were forced to return for hitherto unexplained reasons. They landed with a bomb. For an unknown reason, however, Jenda's plane crashed just before landing in the forest and burned completely. […] Sorry to ruin your Christmas, but we're guys! "My hands were shaking and I couldn't even read the letter from the Government because of the tears in my eyes. It was a heavy blow to me. I lost my best friend… I sat on my bed for a long time and cried like a child. LOUCKÝ, František: I was left alone. Orbis, Prague 1946, pp. 41–42.

Citizens of Hostivice in RAF units 1939 - 1945

From 14 to 16 October 2005, friends from the Prague Aviation Archive (PLA) organized an exhibition in the Hostivice chateau focused on natives of Hostivice who served in the British Royal Air Force during the Second World War. In addition to the pilots themselves and their destinies, the secondary theme of the exhibition was aerial archeology.

Cobber Kain - the first fighter ace of the RAF in the World War Two

During the Second World War gained more than one thousand two hundred pilots of the RAF the status of fighter ace. Names like Malan, Bader, Johnson, Caldwell, or Deere knows about everyone who cares at least a little bit about aviation. However, only one of them has the right to boast that he was the first – Edgar James "Cobber" Kain.

Dam busters - Part II

Execution of the attack on the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe dams and the results of the Chastis operation

Did dissatisfaction with the diet result in an open uprising of the operational personnel of the 311th Czechoslovak Bomber Squadron?

When ( Ocelka ) left the dining room, Franta punched a fork and knife on the table and shouted what was enough for his throat: " We're not going to die for such food, guys! What do you call it? «The pilots agreed with him and everyone put down their cutlery. Franta climbed onto the table for everyone to see and hear, " Did you hear what the commander said? That he would not go anywhere for such food, and you rams would go to the slaughterhouse again; This must be done, either today or never. You know very well what raid awaits us again! Friends, we are not afraid to fly, we are not afraid of fascists, but we must not continue to suffer " ." KOCMAN, Vincenc: Fight without glory. Brno 1962, pp. 124-125.

Embarrassed entrée - combat baptism of Bomber Command RAF

3 minutes after noon on September 3, 1939, at a time when the state of war between the United Kingdom and Germany lasted only an hour, Blenheim Mk.IV serial number N6215 took off from the airport in Wyton from the 139. Squadron RAF. The plane, piloted by F / O AM McPherson, had a truly historic role - to make the first combat flight of the RAF over enemy territory in a new war. According to the instructions, the crew was to conduct a survey of Wilhelmshaven and airports in northwestern Germany.

Emil Fechtner

He achieved one of the first victories among Czechoslovak pilots in the Battle of Britain, a DFC bearer, died in a collision with another machine in October 1940.

Export of weapons from Czechoslovakia to capitalist foreign countries (1950–1960)

Traditions of the Czech, resp. of the Czechoslovak armaments industry dates back not only to the time of the first Czechoslovak Republic, but much further, to the times of Austria-Hungary. In the 1930s, Czechoslovakia was one of the ten largest arms exporters in the world, and during the Nazi occupation, the sector continued to grow and modernize. World War II did not do much damage to armaments companies in our territory, so it could boldly follow the pre-war parameters of exports.

Favorite myths and legends

At times, it is somewhat surprising how much better things are done with stubbornness - many authors stick to some information that is translated around certain war events, techniques or even the decisions of the highest commanders, without trying to verify them.

Fighters of the RAF in the battle of Sedan

It was not until the morning of May 13, 1940, that the French High Command realized that the main direction of the German attack was headed for Sedan, where German troops had crossed the Meuse River with all means since the early morning. During the day, the French sent to the area most of the combat-ready air units deployed within range of the battlefield. The British fighter squadrons stationed on French territory also partly entered the fight to gain air supremacy over Sedan.

Fighters of the RAF over Norway

In the morning hours of April 9, 1940, German troops invaded Denmark and Norway, launching Operation Weserübung. With this move, the German command wanted to secure supplies of Swedish ore through the non-freezing Nordic ports. The weak Danish army was defeated in one day, but the Norwegians fiercely defended themselves. The French and British rushed to the aid of the invaded country. Fierce battles broke out on land, on water and in the air. And the participation of RAF fighters in this campaign is discussed in the following article.

First Liberators of His Majesty - Part 1

During World War II, a total of 18,481 copies of all versions of the American four-engine Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber were created. The type has indelibly written into aviation history not only by the impressive number of machines built, but also by the extent of its combat deployment, not only within the USAAF, but also the British RAF. The Royal Air Force acquired more than 2,000 machines, which it used in the first line in 1941-1947. The Liberators became famous in British colors mainly as an effective anti-submarine weapon, but they also served in a bombing role, in special operations, in electronic warfare or in air transport. However, the beginnings of their service with the RAF were relatively modest.

First Liberators of His Majesty - Part 2

The initial Liberator, which flew across the North Atlantic from the United States to Britain, became the LB-30A machine serial number AM259. A pair of pilots: S / L Waghorn and F / L Summers, landed a four-engine machine at Squires Gate Airport in Blackpool, UK on March 14, 1941.

Forgotten warriors of the famous battle

In connection with the well-known air battle of Britain, Fighter Command pilots are most often mentioned when describing the activities of the RAF. It is logical, it was a battle of the United Kingdom defensive and its weight lay on the shoulders of pilots and aircraft of the Air Force Command. However, pilots and aircraft of other RAF headquarters also intervened in the ongoing fighting.

František Chábera

This successful pilot was born on January 5, 1912 in Lansberg, Germany. After training as an electrician, he joined the Air Force and in the years 1930-1932 he graduated from the School for Professional Youth of the Air Force at VLU in Prostějov. He then served as a fighter in the 4th and 2nd Air Regiments. Here he flew on Avia Ba.33, Letov Š.20 and Š.31 and Škoda D.1 aircraft. Due to his excellent piloting skills, from 1934 until the occupation he worked as a flying pilot at the VTLÚ in Letňany.

Harris' Battle of Berlin - A failed attempt to end the war

" Maintaining morale has become the most difficult problem facing domestic authorities in Germany. Awareness of the full consequences of the air strike has spread to all parts of the country since the destruction of Hamburg, and the prevailing view is that peace must be achieved at all costs and that the destruction of other German cities must be prevented. "
Royal Air Force Intelligence Service, November 1943

History of the official motto of the RAF

This article describes the history of the official motto of the RAF and the paths taken by its authors in its creation. This motto is used, among other things, on the main emblem of the RAF.

Hurricanes of Czechoslovak pilots in the Battle of England

Hurricanes (Hawker Hurricane) belong to the main types of fighter in the history of the participation of Czechoslovak pilots in World War II. The fact of the Czechoslovak Republic fighters in the cabins of Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain, but also other campaigns, speaks for this fact. However, this is also evidenced by the number of air victories achieved by them: 111 certain, 24 probable victories and 37 damaged enemy machines.

Jan Roman Irving - a guy with a nose for submarines

Jan Roman Irving entered the history of the 311th (Czechoslovak) bomber squadron of the RAF as an excellent pilot with the largest number of operating hours flown (a total of 1125, of which 1024 at "311"). However, it is not the only entry in his chronicles of our air force. As the captain of the aircraft during his operational flights, he encountered a total of eight German submarines. However, not a single one was admitted to it as destroyed or damaged ...

Jaroslav Himr

Brave fighter, commander of the 313rd Fighter Squadron, which fell in 1943 in air combat with the Bf 110.

Jaroslav Novák - I. escape for hope

I was lucky to meet some very interesting people. Their destinies had one thing in common. During the war, they went to the foreign army to fight the fascists. Together with them, I kind of put together their life stories. Now I would like to publish the first of them, the story of the former navigator of the famous 311th Squadron, now Col. Jarek Novák.

Jaroslav Novak - II. French disappointment

They didn't let us into town. In the dormitories we enjoyed bedbugs, lice and mosquitoes at night again. The legionnaires didn't seem to mind, but we were really annoyed. The next day we were commanded at the station and by train to Agde, a small town where Czechoslovakia. army in exile warehouse. They asked us a lot of things and put on uniforms - I got an old two-tone uniform worn by soldiers of the French army in World War I.

Jaroslav Novak - III. In the soil and sky of the proud Albion

We arrived in Liverpool on July 13, 1940 and disembarked on the fourteenth. On the way to the station we had to walk through the city. There was probably a sad look on us, in torn uniforms, unarmed, dirty from head to toe. It was not possible to wash a little on the ship, but the inhabitants changed as if he had whipped a wand.

Jaroslav Novak IV. - Don't look at the amount

We started diligently training to domesticate on our machine, get acquainted with the surrounding landscape and also to get used to bombing objects on the water from different heights, because our main task was to search for submarines and attacks on enemy ships ...

Jaroslav Novak V. - Flying at Transport Command

At this school we underwent intensive training, which lasted approximately four weeks. We were divided into groups, such as pilots, navigators and radio operators, each group trained separately. Only meteorology was common to all. The lectures started at 8 am and lasted with a lunch break until four in the afternoon ...

Jaroslav Novak VI. - The bitter taste of victory

Although I was looking forward to seeing my parents, friends and homeland again, it was very difficult for me to say goodbye to England, which I fell so in love with, to leave a country where I had just, so to speak, become a man, with people who were so fantastically nice to me and with whom I was ready to fight and die together.

Jindřich Beran

The first Czechoslovak fighter that fell in air combat during World War II.

Jiří Maňák

Another of our pilots at the RAF. He flew and fought, commanding the squadron of the Typhoons. He was shot down and captured, passed through the Stalag III camp, narrowly escaped death in a failed escape. He survived the war, but his homeland cursed him.

Ladislav Světlík

He was born on March 23, 1917 in Pilsen, where he also trained as a turner in Škoda. After work, he visited the airport of the West Bohemian Aeroclub at the Plzeň-Bory airport. As part of the event, 1,000 new pilots underwent pilot training here. In the years 1936-37, he completed military training at the School for Professional Youth Aviation at VLU in Prostějov.

Lubomír Úlehla I. - Pre-war period and escape to Poland

Ladies and gentlemen, let me start a little unconventionally. Above all, I would like to apologize to you all if my performance today does not meet your expectations. That is, if you are expecting a perfectly prepared lecture, technically grounded and so on. You know, I've done a lot, dozens and dozens of discussions in schools and on different occasions. However, I almost always spoke to the youngest generation, which knew very little or nothing about the issue of the Czechoslovak Foreign Air Force ...

Lubomír Úlehla II. - Via Poland to the Legion

There was such a grove on the Polish side of the valley. Before we headed to it, we automatically looked back. A German soldier with a flint ready to shoot was standing in a meadow on the Czech side. He didn't know… to shoot or not to shoot. However, before he changed his mind, we fled to the forest and he did not know if there was a Polish patrol that would return fire ...

Lubomír Úlehla IV. - 311th

We landed at an airport near London, now I don't remember if it was Croydon or Hendon. At the airport we were surprised by a completely different atmosphere. No mess and confusion like in France, there was peace, order, organization, everything ready. After landing, we went through a cordon of police, they were the typical great Bobby in their high helmets, as we knew them from movies and books ...

Lubomír Úlehla V. - Remembrance of Africa

In 1943, I was released by our government in London to serve in the Army of Free France. I was taken to North Africa with two other friends, the Kozak cousins. By the way, Pavel Kozák then died there and is buried in the air cemetery in Meknés, Morocco. I was assigned to the Free France Air Force (FAFL). I underwent pilot training and flew like a fighter. I experienced a lot of interesting things here too. Not to mention just the sad ones, I would tell you one such incident with a happier ending.

Marshal of the RAF Lord Tedder

This is the biography of RAF Marshal Tedder, who became very famous first as a strong supporter of the introduction of modern aircraft in the ranks of the RAF and later as the commander of the RAF in the Mediterranean and then as the commander of the Allied Air Force operating during Operation Overlord.

Marshal of the RAF Sir Thomas Pike

CV of a very good night fighter, who in the years after World War II held a number of important staff positions not only in the ranks of the RAF, but also NATO. Holder of the DFC and Bar to DFC awards

Marshal of the RAF Sir William Dickson

This article describes the life of Sir W. Dickson, an RAF marshal who became famous for his participation in the first aircraft carrier attack in history and during World War II by organizing a tactical air force within the RAF.

Moose Wing Commander Robert Carl Fumerton

The fate of the most successful fighter from the fighting over Malta, George F. Beurling, is relatively well known. The name of the most successful night fighter is no longer known. Coincidentally, he was also a Canadian - Robert Carl "Moose" Fumerton.

Morale of BOMBER COMMAND crews during the Second World War

W / O Vilém Jakš, famous pre-war boxer, member of the 311th Czechoslovak Bomber Squadron. Her famous combat deployment began with the Three Hundred and Eleven. On the night of September 10-11, 1940, he took part in an operational flight over Brussels in the crew of Sgt. Korda. Later, after a break in operations, he worked as a weapons instructor at the 2nd SFTS Continuing Pilot School in Brize Norton. However, he succumbed to words that he had found a warm spot and returned to the 311th Squadron. Before his fateful combat flight, he confided to F / Lt Vilda that he was afraid of flying. He wanted to carry out only a few actions and end the operational flying. But fate was faster. On August 21, 1943, he participated in the crew of the squadron commander, W / Cdr Jindrich Breicetl, DFC, the first deployment of liberators at the 311th Squadron. Unfortunately, their Liberator GR.Mk.V BZ780 (with the fuselage letter O ) was shot down by a force of German long-range fighters flying Messerschmitt Bf 110G-2 from II./ZG 1, operating from the base in Brest. A total of eight brave Czechoslovaks fell in battle. Among them is 33-year-old W / O Vilém Jakš ...

Operation Chastis - Dangerous Firecrackers (Part 1)

Catastrophic floods in recent years have shown how powerful the water can be. During World War II, the British came up with the idea of using the power of the water masses in a targeted manner. It would be enough to break the dam and the water would complete the work of destruction. But it is easy to say, but much more difficult to do. Operation Chastis has proven that this is not impossible.

Operation Chastis - Dangerous Firecrackers (Part 2)

One of the RAF's most daring actions during World War II was a raid on dams in the Ruhr. The raid required perfect planning and cooperation of the entire squadron. From start to finish it was dangerous and the result was uncertain. Until the last moment, the crews had no idea what the goal was. All they knew was that it would not be a common one, but some valuable goal, and the price they would have to pay would probably be high.

Operation Meridian II

Due to the worsening weather, the British were able to proceed with another strike of Operation " Meridian ", a raid on the Songei Gerong refinery (" Meridian II "), until January 29, 1945. The task force, meanwhile, moved in radio silence near Sumatra and refueled from TF.69 tankers.

Otto Smik

Biography of an excellent RAF pilot, one of those who fought for our country against the Nazis. Like many others, he did not return to his country.

Polish September 15, 1940

September 15, 1940 was to bring the most stubborn air battles during the entire Battle of Britain. The German Luftwaffe tried to break through the British defenses with massive air raids throughout the day, but at the end of the day, the German command had to acknowledge the failure and postpone the planned invasion of the British Isles. Polish fighters also took part in the famous victory of the Royal Air Force, claiming 30 victories after the fight.

Sgt. Vilém Bufka

When Czechoslovak pilots arrived on English soil in the summer of 1940, much changed for them. Especially for those who held in their hands the rams of bomber aircraft. In the British Royal Air Force RAF commanded the bomber pilot. Unlike the Czechoslovak Air Force, or the French Air Force, according to whose structure our pre-war Air Force was built, where the navigator held the position of bomber commander. It did not matter whether the pilot of the machine was an officer or a non-commissioned officer. One of the first non-commissioned officers to take control of Wellington's Czechoslovak squadron was the smiling giant Sgt. Vilém Bufka ...

Stanislav Plzák

This man from Pilsen was born 13.11.1914. He gained basic pilot training in the West Bohemian aeroclub at the airport Plzen-Bory. Then volunteered for the Air Force and in the years 1932-34 he attended training at the School for professional youth air force in the VLU in Prostějov.

Svatopluk Janouch

... but before he celebrated his first air victory, he had to use a parachute himself. On March 11, 1940, together with five other fighters, he pursued the reconnaissance Do 17P, when suddenly flames erupted from the engine of his Moran ...

Testimony of Jaroslav Hlaď

"I was assigned to the English operational unit on January 19, 1943, I flew gladly and furiously, so until the end of the war, in terms of the number of actions over the enemy, I took the lead over the old airmen. In England, with my aviation zeal and refusal to be classified by the Czechoslovak Aviation Inspectorate, I became friends with the chief inspectorate, Major Schejbal, who said at a meeting of senior commanders that I could never get any command of a Czechoslovak unit. Later, however, when the morale of the Czechoslovak unit was poor, and the pilots too often returned from operations for 'defective engine operation', I was still assigned to command the squadron and later the entire group. "
Air Force Colonel Jaroslav Hlaďo, May 12, 1950

The first success of the RAF or the

Ninety years ago, on April 1, 1918, the British Royal Flying Corps belonging to the ground forces, merged with the Royal Navy Air Service, creating the world's first independent air force, the famous Royal Air Force, Royal Air Force. However, this seemingly only administrative step fundamentally affected the lives of three men. At that time, air warfare raged in the sky and all three of them were fighters. Without this measure, the two would never have met with one unit, and one of them would not have saved the other's life. The third would not die, at least not under the circumstances I will tell you about now ...

The war experience of death

God, how scared I am. Now that I'm alone, I don't even have to hide it; I don't really have to hide anything anymore. I don't have to worry about how I look because no one sees me; it separates me from twenty-one thousand feet, and moreover, at the moment when it grabbed me again, I would not be able to pretend, even if I wanted to. Nothing forces me to clench my teeth and clench my masticatory muscles as I had at lunch when the corporal brought the telegram with the order and handed it to Tinker, who looked up at me and looked at me and said, " Charlie, it's your turn. Now you have to go upstairs. "It simply came to our notice then. As if it wasn't clear to me that it was waiting for me now. Roald Dahl, I'm switching. Ten stories about pilots and flying

Twilight of men in blue

"It was cruel because I was still serving as a 'westerner' in January 1949. In the end, we were rewarded in this way - thrown out from day to day. Guards escorted me out of the barracks. It was bitter. I have always stuck to the motto - where it is possible to help, there everyone has to do something for their homeland. Suddenly I was a 'westerner', the one who draws with the capitalists. That was not permissible at that time. "Air Force Colonel Petr Uruba, December 14, 2006

Unteachable "runaway"

I don't like talk like we're a nation of cowards. We, the pilots from England, were no cowards. We went to every event with the chance that we can end " there ". But if one was to fall, at least for a good cause. In the post-war years, we hoped that the republic would remain democratic and that our lives would be without major upheavals. However, comrades who wanted to monkey themselves in everything according to the Soviet model did not like this. That means hating freedom and everything Western and every former Western pilot or soldier. After the communist coup in 1948, most Westerners soon realized how the political change would affect our lives, and it was clear that our persecution would take place.

Václav Bergman

He was born on August 27, 1915 in Domoušice in the Louny district. In 1935 he graduated from the Rakovník high school and enlisted in the army. He is accepted to the Air Force and joins the aviation school in Prostějov. In the years 1936-37 he studied at the Military Academy in Hranice and then served, in the rank of lieutenant, with the 43rd Fighter Squadron of the 4th Air Regiment in Prague-Kbely. Then came the occupation and in June 1939 he crossed the border into Poland, but at the end of July he sailed for France.

Václav Cukr

Biography of a Czech fighter pilot, a participant of the Battles of France and Britain and the most successful czechoslovak pilot on the most advanced French fighter D.520.


The Influence of Intensive Operational Deployment on the Morale of Pilots During World War II To tell you the truth, if it lasted another 14 days and still flew 3 to 4 hours a day over the front, I would be nervous. There is a difference between encountering bomber planes, whether they are Do 17 or He 111, or even Me 110, but encountering 80 Me 109 and He 112 when there were only eight of us. It was seen how air superiority was made. That day I had four He 112s ( actually Bf 109E) behind me, and I really had to get rid of them. I got one shot in the propeller. However, on May 12, 1940, when I shot down two Ju 87s, I was attacked by a Me 109 and brought three bullets in the dashboard, which flew about six cm around my head on the right side of the cabin. Furthermore, one bullet exactly in the middle of the hull and stopped only in the armor. I had about nine in my wings. The only thing that saved me was that the Me 109 was very close and I heard its machine guns. A sharp turn to the right and I was away from him. Air Force Sergeant František Peřina, May 26, 1940



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