Overview about Czechoslovak squadrons in the RAF

Overview about Czechoslovak squadrons in the RAF

310. (Czechoslovak) Squadron

Code letters: NN
Date and place of establishment: 12th July 1940, Duxford
Date and place of disband: 14th September 1945, Prague – Kbely, Praha − Kbely

The squadron even used continental airports; such as the B-10 Plumetot airfield at the time of the invasion, and later B-65 Maldegem, B-67 Ursel, B-86 Helmond, B-90 Petit Brogel.

Squadron Commanders of 310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron

S/Ldr Alexander HESS, DFC, S/Ldr George D. M. BLACKWOOD (British/britský spoluvelitel), S/Ldr František WEBER, S/Ldr Jerrard J. JEFFERIES−LATIMER, DFC (British/britský spoluvelitel), S/Ldr František DOLEŽAL, DFC, S/Ldr Emil FOIT, S/Ldr Hugo HRBÁČEK, S/Ldr Václav RADA, S/Ldr Jiří HARTMAN

310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron used Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire planes.

The core of the 310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron was formed at the camp at Innsworth Lane near Gloucester. Upon return to Czechoslovakia, it became the 1st Air Division, divided into the 10th and 12th Air Regiments based in Prague.

During the Second World War, it shot down fifty-four and a half planes and four flying bombs with certainty, shot down twenty other planes, and damaged thirty-two enemy planes. It carried out 9,027 sorties with a total time of 15,673 hours. In the course of this, it lost thirty-five airmen, of which thirty-one were killed and four were captured.

The first successful confrontation took place on 26th August 1940 in the vicinity of Clacton, when S/Ldr G. D. M. BLACKWOOD, Sgt Eduard PRCHAL and P/O Emil FECHTNER shot down 2 Do-17 and a Bf-110.

The first KIA was P/O Jaroslav ŠTĚRBÁČEK, who was shot down on 31st August 1940 and fell into the Thames. His body was never found. Even the last fallen Czechoslovak member of the Czechoslovak squadron belonged to the 310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron. He was W/O Jindřich LANDSMANN, who died on 15th June 1945 in a crash during a air combat simulation. His body was never found.

In the Battle for Britain, the airmen of the 310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron carried a total of 938 sorties with a total time of 971 operational hours. They shot down forty and one-half of a plane with certainty, eleven others probably, and damaged six enemy aircraft. Four pilots died.

The 310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron also participated in supporting the Jubilee operation – landing at Dieppe, Overlord – the invasion of Normandy, Market–Garden – attempt to circumvent the Siegfried Line and Varsity – support of violent crossing of the Rhine.

More pictures about 310 Squadron too is here: https://www.wingsinexile.co.uk/clanky/fighter-squadron-68-310-20.html

311. (Czechoslovak) Squadron

Code Letters: KX, PP
Date and place of establishment: 29th July 1940/29.
Date of Disband: 15th February 1946, Plzeň, Havlíčkův Brod, Czechoslovakia

After completion of operational services the 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron provided transportation from the UK to Czechoslovakia. During this time, it flew from the bases in Manston, Pershore and Blackbush.

Squadron Commanders of 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron

W/Cdr Karel TOMAN − MAREŠ, DFC, W/Cdr John GRIFFITHS, DFC (British/britský spoluvelitel), W/Cdr William S. P. SIMMONDS (British/britský spoluvelitel), W/Cdr Josef SCHEJBAL, W/Cdr Josef OCELKA, DFC, W/Cdr Josef ŠNAJDR, DFC, W/Cdr Jindřich BREICETL, DFC, W/Cdr Vladimír NEDVĚD, MBE, DFC, W/Cdr Josef ŠEJBL, DFC,
W/Cdr Jan KOSTOHRYZ, DSO

311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron used Wellington and Liberator planes.

Its first sortie took place on 10th September 1940, and the target was the marshalling yard in Brussels.

Squdron was posted from Bomber Command to Coastal Command beause high losses and no backups in year 1942.

During service crews of 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron carried out 3,140 sorties lasting nearly 27,000 operational hours, while a total of 246 flying personnel were killed or went missing. During its existence the air gunners shot down eight planes with certainty, seven probably, and damaged fifteen. Its crews sank two submarines with certainty, three with high probability and four were damaged enough that they likely sank.

The most frequent target of the 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron under the Bomber Command were Bremen and Cologne, which this squadron attacked seventeen times.

The squadron’s greatest success was the sinking of the blockade runner Alsterufer, which transported over 300 tons of rare tungsten from Japan to Germany. Airmen of this squadron successfully attacked the blockade runner Himalaya and damaged it and the cruiser Prinz Eugen which was probably hit.

The squadron member with the most flight hours in the Bomber Command was pilot W/Cdr Josef Ocelka, DFC, who flew forty-four operational flights totalling a time of 224.5 hours.

The squadron member with the most flight hours in the Coastal Command was wireless operator F/Lt Miroslav Vild, DFC, who flew 102 operational missions in the Coastal Command, with a total time of 1,178 hours and 32 minutes (and additionally, four operational flights totalling 18 hours and 32 minutes in the Bomber Command).

The personnel of the 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron was then assigned to the air transport Regiment and the 6th Air Division, which consisted of Aviation Regiment 24, redeployed to the Plzeň – Bory airbase, and as of 3rd March 1948 bearing the honorable name “Biskajský” and Aviation Regiment 25, relocated to the airbase in Havlíčkův Brod, and as of 3rd March 1948 bearing the honorable name “Atlantic”.

The 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron also participated in the Fuller operation – an effort to prevent the escape of the German flotilla through the La Manche channel, Millenium (attacks by approximately 1,000 planes on a single target), Overlord (operation Cork) – protection of the La Manche channel against German submarines and it also attacked targets in Italy.

More pictures about 311 Squadron is here: https://www.wingsinexile.co.uk/clanky/czechoslovak-squadron-311-22.html

312. (Czechoslovak) Squadron

Code Letters: DU
Date and place of establishment: 5th September 1940, Duxford
Date and place of disband: 22nd September 1945, České Budějovice, Czechoslovakia

The squadron even used airports on the continent, and at the time of the invasion, the B-10 Plumetot airfield.

Squadron Commanders of 312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron

S/Ldr Ján AMBRUŠ, S/Ldr Frank H. TYSON (British/britský spoluvelitel), S/Ldr Evžen ČÍŽEK , S/Ldr Jan KLÁN, S/Ldr Alois VAŠÁTKO, S/Ldr Jan ČERMÁK , S/Ldr Tomáš VYBÍRAL, S/Ldr František VANCL, DFC, S/Ldr Jaroslav HLAĎO, DFC, S/Ldr Václav ŠLOUF, DFC, S/Ldr Hugo HRBÁČEK, DFC

312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron used Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire planes.

312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron was formed of two transports, which arrived in Great Britain from North Africa in July and August, 1940. Its basis was formed in the Czechoslovak depot in Cosford in September 1940 of pilots with combat experience in France. After the war, in September 1945 it flew from Ruzyně in Prague to the airport in Planá u Českých Budějovic, where it created the 2nd Air Division with air regiments 4 and 5. From 3rd March 1948 it bore the honorary title of “Airmen of Alois Vašátko”.

During World War II, it carried out 17,472 combat sorties with a total time of 10,364 operating hours. It shot down fourteen planes with certainty, nine probably, and damaged 1 enemy plane. During this time, it lost 17 pilots (of these one was a Brit) and 6 were captured.

The first enemy aircraft was shot down by the trio of Sgt Josef STEHLÍK, F/Lt Dennys E. GILLAM, DFC and P/O Alois VAŠÁTKO 8th October 1940.
The last operational flight was protection for bombers during the raid on the coastal batteries on the island of Helgoland. This raid took place on 19th April 1945.

In the Battle of Britain, the airmen of the 312 (Czechoslovak) Fighter Squadron carried out a total of eighty–five combat sorties with a total time of fifty-eight hours.

The 312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron also participated in supporting the Jubilee operation – landing at Dieppe, Overlord – the invasion of Normandy, Market-Garden – an attempt to circumvent the Siegfried Line and Varsity – support of violent crossing of the Rhine. This squadron was to be the first to fly, under the command of S/Ldr Hugo HRBÁČEK, DFC, to aid the Prague Uprising, which erupted on 5th May 1945 in occupied Prague. This did not happend.

More pictures about 312 Squadron you will find here: https://www.wingsinexile.co.uk/clanky/fighter-squadron-312-313-21.html

313. (Czechoslovak) squadron

Code Letters: RY
Date and place of Establishment: 10th May 1941/10. května 1941, Catterick
Date of Disband: 22nd September 1945, Brno, Czechoslovakia

For some operations, the squadron even took off from airports on the continent.

Squadron Commanders of 313 (Czechoslovak) Squadron

S/Ldr Josef JAŠKE, S/Ldr Gordon L. SINCLAIR, DFC (British/britský spoluvelitel), S/Ldr Karel MRÁZEK, DFC, S/Ldr Jaroslav HIMR, S/Ldr František FAJTL, DFC, S/Ldr Václav BERGMAN, DFC, S/Ldr Alois HOCHMAL, S/Ldr Karel KASAL, S/Ldr Otmar KUČERA, DFC

313 (Czechoslovak) Squadron used Supermarine Spitfire planes.

Formed of Czechoslovaks who had up until then served in British squadrons.
The pilots were Czechoslovak, the ground personnel were British. After 1941 the number of non−Czech squadron members increased. In Czechoslovakia the 3rd Air Division was formed with its base in Brno. It was formed of Aviation Regiment 7, which on 3rd March 1948 received the honorary title “Invasive” and the 8th Aviation Regiment. The same honorary title was awarded to the 11th Fighter Squadron in Žatec after the fall of the communist regime on 8th May 1990. This squadron was disbanded on 31st December 1993.

During World War II, it made 8,944 combat sorties with a total time of 13,760 operating hours. It shot down 12 aircraft and one flying bomb with certainty, seven aircraft probably, and damaged 14 ½ aircraft. It had a total of thirty killed, missing and captured, of which four were Brits.

The first KIA was Sgt Josef GUTVALD, who died on 27th May 1941 in an air accident.
The first sortie of this unit took place on 11th June 1941, where it unsuccessfully pursued the enemy. Its final operational flight was the escort of His Majesty King George VI and the Queen to the island of Guernsey, which took place on 7th June 1945. Its last success was the 190, achieved on 21st February 1945 by-probable shooting down of an Fw Stanley McCRACKEN.

The 313 (Czechoslovak) Squadron also participated in the support of the Overlord operation − the landing at Normandie and Fuller – the effort to stop the German boats Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen, which were fleeing from Brest to Germany.

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