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Hanuš, Josef Jan

Hanus, Josef Jan

     
Příjmení:
Surname:
Hanuš
Jméno:
Given Name:
Josef Jan
Jméno v originále:
Original Name:
Josef Jan Hanuš
Fotografie či obrázek:
Photograph or Picture:
Hodnost:
Rank:
generálmajor ve výslužbě
Akademický či vědecký titul:
Academic or Scientific Title:
-
Šlechtický titul:
Hereditary Title:
-
Datum, místo narození:
Date and Place of Birth:
13.09.1911 Dolní Štěpanice1) /
Datum, místo úmrtí:
Date and Place of Decease:
21.04.1992 Langford, Bedfordshire
Nejvýznamnější funkce:
(maximálně tři)
Most Important Appointments:
(up to three)
-
Jiné významné skutečnosti:
(maximálně tři)
Other Notable Facts:
(up to three)
-
Související články:
Related Articles:

Zdroje:
Sources:
www.vuapraha.cz
www.vuapraha.cz
m.facebook.com
litomericky.denik.cz
Pod křídly RAF - v druhém exilu 1. díl - Jan Rail, Zdeněk Hurt
www.valka.cz
URL : https://www.valka.cz/Hanus-Josef-Jan-t38198#702960Version : 0
MOD
     
Příjmení:
Surname:
Hanuš
Jméno:
Given Name:
Josef Jan
Jméno v originále:
Original Name:
Josef Jan Hanuš
Všeobecné vzdělání:
General Education:
DD.MM.RRRR-DD.MM.RRRR
Vojenské vzdělání:
Military Education:
DD.MM.RRRR-DD.MM.RRRR
Důstojnické hodnosti:
Officer Ranks:
02.07.1935 poručík letectva
01.05.1940 nadporučík letectva
02.08.1940 Pilot Officer
27.12.1940 Flying Officer
07.09.1941 Flight Lieutenant
28.10.1941 kapitán letectva
24.10.1943 Acting Squadron Leader
28.10.1943 štábní kapitán letectva
01.12.1943 Temporary Squadron Leader
07.03.1945 major letectva
01.04.1945 Acting Wing Commander
01.08.1945 podplukovník letectva
11.09.1949 Flight Lieutenant
DD.MM.RRRR Squadron Leader
29.08.1991 plukovník ve výslužbě
07.03.1992 generálmajor ve výslužbě
Průběh vojenské služby:
Military Career:
Vyznamenání:
Awards:

25.07.1941

Medaile Za chrabrost před nepřítelem
Medal "For Gallantry"
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25.08.1942

Medaile Za chrabrost před nepřítelem
Medal "For Gallantry"
-

25.05.1943

Záslužný letecký kříž
Distinguished Flying Cross
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01.07.1943

Válečný kříž 1939
War Cross 1939
-

22.05.1944

Medaile Za chrabrost před nepřítelem
Medal "For Gallantry"
-

22.05.1944

Medaile Za chrabrost před nepřítelem
Medal "For Gallantry"
-

22.05.1944

Medaile Za chrabrost před nepřítelem
Medal "For Gallantry"
-

12.01.1945

Hvězda 1939-1945
1939–45 Star
se štítkem Bitva o Británii / with clasp Battle of Britain

13.03.1945

Medaile za zásluhy I. stupeň
Medal for Merit 1st Class
-

DD.MM.RRRR

Válečná medaile 1939-1945
War Medal 1939-1945
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DD.MM.RRRR

Italská hvězda
Italy Star
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DD.MM.RRRR

Africká hvězda
Africa Star
-

DD.MM.RRRR

Evropská hvězda leteckých osádek
Air Crew Europe Star
se štítkem Atlantik / with clasp Atlantic

DD.MM.RRRR

Válečný kříž 1939
War Cross 1939
-

DD.MM.RRRR

Válečný kříž 1939
War Cross 1939
-

DD.MM.RRRR

Pamětní medaile československé armády v zahraničí
Commemorative Medal of Czechoslovak Army Abroad

se štítky F, VB, SV / with clasps F, VB and SV

DD.MM.RRRR

Medaile za obranu
Defence Medal
-

Poznámka:
Note:
1) Dnes místní část obce Benecko.
Zdroje:
Sources:
www.vuapraha.cz
www.vuapraha.cz
m.facebook.com
litomericky.denik.cz
www.valka.cz
URL : https://www.valka.cz/Hanus-Josef-Jan-t38198#702961Version : 0
MOD

Major General v. v., Squadron Leader Josef Jan Hanuš, DFC


(1911 - 1992)


Introduction




Czechoslovak night fighters built a very good reputation with their English colleagues during World War II. Many of them gained the status of fighter ace, some even surpassed their "day colleagues" and are at the top of the tables of kills achieved. Maj. Gen. Josef Jan Hanus, DFC was one of them...


However, he achieved his successes not like other Czechoslovaks in the battles over England, the Channel and occupied Europe, but on the sun-baked Mediterranean battlefield...


This, however, is not the real reason why I became more interested in the person of General Hanus. While studying historical sources and lists of Czechoslovak RAF members, I discovered that we were, one could say, almost neighbours. Mr. Hanuš was born in a small village Dolní Štěpanice near Jilemnice, about 2 kilometres from our cottage. Unfortunately, I discovered this fact only recently, and I started to regularly go to the Krkonoše Mountains to his cottage only about a year or two after his death...


However, it did not stop me from trying to find some living relatives or friends, to examine local chronicles and baptismal books, or to ask the old villagers. Actually the search is still going on, nothing in this "field" can be done overnight. Anyway, I can already introduce you to the person of Josef Hanuš a little more closely. Of course, as soon as some more information comes to me, I will try to process it as soon as possible and introduce you to it...


Youth




Josef Jan Hanus was born on September 13, 1911 in the family of a Lower Spanish metal farmer. In 1917, he also started going to school in Dolní Štěpanice. Like most Czech inhabitants at that time, he was a Roman Catholic by baptism. However, he did not like it at all, so he soon went his own way... "I was forced to go to church in Horní Štěpanice and to listen to all the horrors of what would happen to me if I did not follow either the Roman Catholic or Protestant God..." At seventeen he left the Roman Catholic Church and began to attend church as he pleased. And always to the nearest one: "...I have been to Mohammedan mosques, Jewish synagogue, I have prayed in various churches and houses of prayer - Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopalian, Methodist, etc. It's all one God..."


In 1931, he passed the high school graduation exam in Jilemnice and went to teach in nearby Jestřebí. After half a year, he was drafted. He volunteered for the air force and enlisted in Aviation Regiment 1 "T. G. Masaryk" (1 October 1932). After a week in Prague-Kbely with 2nd Observation Squadron he was sent to the Prostejov School for Reserve Air Force Officers. Here he underwent training, and then gained experience, already as a corporal-aspirant, from June to September 1933 at 4th Observation Squadron LP 1 "TGM" at Cheb airfield. Here he decided to pursue a career as a professional soldier and entered the Military Academy. On 2 July 1935 he was solemnly discharged at the rank of lieutenant and after completing the appropriate application course was assigned back to the 4th Observation Squadron.


He served there for two years, during which time he certainly did not slack off. He took a course in instrument flying at night (without yet suspecting the significance it would have for him in the years to come...), occasionally worked as an adjunct professor of infantry training at the local Air Force Officers' School, and as an adjunct teacher of theory when training airmen who signed up as part of the "1000 Pilots for the Republic" campaign. He was also continuously improving his flying qualifications...


On 25 April 1938 he was temporarily "loaned" to the Ministry of the Interior to serve in the Chetnik Air Patrol. He worked at airports in Cheb, Terezín and Plzeň-Borech.


In France




After the occupation of the republic by the German army, he left for Poland on 14 July 1939 and enlisted in the forming Czechoslovak foreign army at the consulate in Kraków. After a short stay in Malé Bronowice, he sailed to France on 1 August 1939 on board the Chrobry. As a new legionnaire, he then waited in the Paris suburbs in the barracks in Nanterre until the beginning of the war freed him and other Czechoslovaks from this formal commitment...


He didn't get to the air base until October. Although an experienced Czechoslovak lieutenant with 650 hours of flying time, he was forced to undergo training as a rookie, from the very beginning. "I ended up teaching my French instructor how to do aerobatics. He went into a somersault in one direction and came out 90° to either side..." After retraining on relatively modern fighters, Morane-Saulnier M.S. 406 was assigned to GC III/1 at Plessis-Belleville airfield on 20 May 1940 as commander of a three-man Czechoslovak swarm. Here he also scored his first (and until 1943 his last) aerial victory. As one of seven French pilots on patrol, he participated in the massacre of a German Henschel Hs-126 observation Hs-126 at Herbécourt...


In the Royal Air Force




After the French debacle, he sailed with others from Port Vendres on 24 June 1940 aboard the General Chanza for North Africa, taking a train to Casablanca, thence on the Gib-el-Dersa to Gibraltar and then on the Neuralia to Liverpool, where he landed on 12 July 1940.


After a presentation at the Czechoslovak Air Depot, he was accepted into the RAF VR on 2 August and sent to 6. OTU for retraining on British aviation equipment. After completing his training, he joined the 310th (Czechoslovak) Fighter Squadron at Duxford on 15 October 1940. On its Hurricanes he took part in the final phase of the famous Battle of Britain, and in the following year in day and night patrols over the British Isles. In 1940 he was promoted to the rank of Flying Officer, and by the end of the year he had attained the rank of Flight Lieutenant.


From June 1941 he began to operate exclusively with British squadrons. First with the 32nd (18 June - 18 September 1941), then with the 245th (18 September 1941 - 1 April 1942), and between 5 January and 21 February 1942 he undertook a night fighter course with the 54th (18 June - 1 April 1942). OTU.


After leaving 245 Squadron, he began flying exclusively with night fighter squadrons in heavy twin-engine Beaufighters. First with the 600th Squadron (1-14 April 1942), then with the 125th (14-29 April 1942), again with the 600th (30 April - 1 September 1942) and finally ended up with 68. Squadron (1 September 1942 - 10 January 1943), a unit in which almost all Czechoslovak night fighter pilots rotated over time. During this more than two-year operational anabasis, he flew a large number of operational flights, but did not get a shot down. "I was not in the right place at the right time..."


Personal relations with the commander of the Czechoslovak "B"-flight of the 68th Night Fighter Squadron, S/Ldr Vlastimil Vesely, DFC, were far from cordial. Perhaps this was instrumental in the transfer of Josef Hanuš and his radar operator, P/O Ernest "Lofty" Eyles, to the remote North African battlefield. This was an exceptional measure, for due to the acute shortage of Czechoslovak flying personnel there was an unwritten agreement between the RAF Command and the Czechoslovak Inspectorate that Czechoslovakians would be deployed in combat operations exclusively over the British Isles. "... I spent four unhappy months with 68 Squadron... ...It wouldn't have been so bad if the Czech commander of one of the squadrons hadn't been terrified that he might lose his command post, because we were both from the same year of the Military Academy, only I was senior..."


The crew was reassigned to the 600th Night Fighter Squadron in Blida, Algeria on 10 February 1943. The Mediterranean battlefield was to make the "Six Hundred" famous in the following period, placing it at the head of all night fighter squadrons with a total of 180 kills achieved. Josef Hanus also contributed to the fame of this unit...


During the next ten months of his service in North Africa, Malta, Sicily and Italy, he flew a total of 79 combat sorties and over 225 hours. During that time, the guns and machine guns of his Beaufighter shot down 4 German Junkers Ju-88 bombers and damaged 1 Dornier Do-217 bomber.


For his achievements, Josef Hanus was promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader on 23 October and appointed Squadron Leader of "A" Squadron on 1 November. On 5 December, however, he had to take his prescribed rest, having completed (and exceeded by 25 hours) his operational tour.


He served as a liaison officer with the Air Defence of Great Britain (ADGB), which he later rated with the words: "...I went to funerals of Czechs who had been killed or died in the war, travelled to airfields where Czechs had done something stupid and someone had to straighten them out at the neck and calm the outraged natives etc..."


On 6 May 1944, he married a member of the reporting service, Lilian Evelyn Webb, in Cambridge; their daughter Vlasta was born on the last day of January 1945. He returned to his homeland on 22 August 1945 as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force.


For his very successful aviation career he was awarded 3 times Czechoslovak War Cross, 5 times Czechoslovak Medal for Valour, Czechoslovak Medal for Merit I. Degree, the Czechoslovak Foreign Army Commemorative Medal (with the labels F, VB, SV), the French Croix de Guerre with palm, the highly prized British Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), and he received various campaign awards - The 1939-1945 Star with Battle of Britain Clasp, Air Crew Europe Star with Atlantic Clasp, Africa Star, Italy Star, Defence Medal and War Medal. As he used to jokingly say, it was:"...eleven pieces of metal altogether. When I wear it, it sounds like I'm tapping a scythe..."


After the war




After the end of the war, Colonel Hanuš was counted on for the post of commander of the 106th Air Combat Regiment in Chrudim. However, this was never established, so he spent most of his time in staff functions. First at the headquarters of the Air Force of Military Region 1 in Prague, then as commander of the airport in Ruzyně. On 17 June he successfully completed the third year of the War College and joined the group of general staff officers. He served briefly with lp 7 "Invasion" in Brno and on 1 October 1946 was assigned as Chief of Staff to the Air Defence Command. Shortly after "Victory February" he was briefly appointed Chief of Staff of the Air District II Command in Brno, but on 14 April 1948 he was de facto placed out of service (officially he was given special leave for service reasons).


He was about to go into exile again. He sent his pregnant wife ahead, but was himself arrested on 3 May 1948 in connection with a failed attempt to General Janoušek illegally go abroad. Div. Gen. Janoušek was sentenced to 18 years of hard labour, while the other defendants (Chrásta, Bryks, Čapka, Černý, Špaček) were acquitted. The name of Josef Hanuš did not appear in the investigation file...


Josef Hanuš was retired on 1 December 1948. At that time, however, he was already outside Czechoslovakia and residing in England. However, his escape, which took place on 8 July 1948, is somewhat ambiguous: "...they kept me in prison. But in the end they decided to use me as an errand boy. They released me, but they locked me up overnight anyway. The next day they helped me to Bavaria. From there I got to Wiesbaden and England, because my wife had meanwhile organized a civilized end to my journey..."


After arriving in England, he rejoined the RAF. As part of 23. and later 141 Squadron he flew heavy twin-engined Mosquitos again as a night fighter until June 1951. He was then allowed to continue to serve in the RAF without promotion until he was 50, when he became eligible for a military pension. He served as an air traffic controller until 1954. He eventually had to leave active air service for health reasons, but remained in the RAF as a technical and supply officer in the RAF College. He retired at the age of fifty-seven on 19 September 1968 with the rank of Squadron Leader.


In civilian life he worked first for a computer firm, ICL, and then for a life insurance company where his wife also worked from 1971 until 1977 when he retired.


He did live to see his moral and political rehabilitation. In 1991, he was first promoted extraordinarily to Colonel, and in March 1992 to Retired Major General of the Air Force. Unfortunately, however, he was already seriously ill at that time and less than two months later, on 21 April 1992, he died...


Epilogue




At this point I always wonder what to say in conclusion. Was he an extraordinary man? Yes, he certainly was. Like others, he did much for this nation. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to meet him in person, but I'm sure we could have talked for hours...
URL : https://www.valka.cz/Hanus-Josef-Jan-t38198#144851Version : 0
Josef Jan Hanuš, DFC
URL : https://www.valka.cz/Hanus-Josef-Jan-t38198#144852Version : 0
F / O Josef Jan Hanuš and his radar operator P / O Ernest "Lofty" Eyles
URL : https://www.valka.cz/Hanus-Josef-Jan-t38198#144853Version : 0
S / Ldr Josef Jan Hanuš and his second radar operator F / O H. Finlay
URL : https://www.valka.cz/Hanus-Josef-Jan-t38198#144854Version : 0