Free Czechoslovak Air Force in Britain during WW2

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by CL1, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    The first 30 Czech pilots to reach Britain landed in an RAF aircraft at Hendon on 17 June 1940. Next day, the Czech President-in-exile Dr Eduard Benes wrote on behalf of the Czechoslovak National Committee to the British Secretary of State for Air, Sir Archibald Sinclair, pleading that a special effort be made to bring the remaining Czech airmen out of France and over to Britain in order that they could continue the fight.
    The Czechs were desperately eager to fight and they brought invaluable flying experience and an unquenchable hatred of the Germans who were occupying their country. For its part, the Royal Air Force needed as many trained aircrew as it could muster as what was to become known as the Battle of Britain was about to commence.

    However, there was no time to conclude a formal agreement on the status of the Czechoslovak airmen prior to their deployment in the RAF. Therefore all Czechoslovak officers and airmen were immediately commissioned or enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR).


    Czechoslovak airmen in the wartime Royal Air Force
     
  2. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    The Czechoslovak War Cross 1939 -1945 was awarded to the following MN personnel: Lancelot Hill, Chief Officer MAHOMED ALI EL KEBIR; the Master lost his life before the award. Francis Nesbit, Master NORTHMOOR "showed great zeal and energy" rescuing 1,563 from S├Ęte. Herbert Wilson, Master GIBEL DERSA. Edward Davies, Master APAPA. Thomas Muckle, Master ROD EL FARAG.


    The Masters of the merchant ships had been asked to recommend one of their crew, but some did not.

    Polish decorations awarded for the same operation are in the post about the Polish Air Force
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
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  3. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    I appreciate that these are photographs of rescued Czech soldiers, but the ships also saved airmen
     

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  4. HA96

    HA96 Member

    When I was in Scotland this April I found out about the SOE and driving around there was a monument of a Check officer trained in Scotland before the war started.

    Stefan.
     

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