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       Born on 7 October 1914 at Dolni Otaslavice near Prostejov (now in Czech Republic). In 1934 he joined the Air Force School of Young Specialists (Skola pro odborny dorost letectva) of the Czechoslovak Air Force (CzAF) at Prosteov. Upon graduation, in August 1936 he was posted to the 2nd Air Regiment (Letecky pluk 2) CzAF at Olomouc. In early 1938 he completed fighter pilot's course at the 4th Air Regiment (Letecky pluk 4) CzAF based on Prague-Kbely airfield and in May 1938 he was posted to the 40th Fighter Flight (stihaci letka 40) of that regiment. He still served with it on 15 March 1939 when Germany occupied the entire Czech territory. Following the German occupation the Czechoslovak Armed Forces were dissolved and on 1 April 1939 Josef Frantisek was released from service. Like his numerous colleagues he chose to leave the occupied country and came to Poland. In June 1939 he joined the Polish Air Force. With a number  of other Czech airmen he took part in the 1939 campaign in the I Pluton (1st Platoon) of the Observer's Training Flight at the SPL. On 22 September 1939 he flew across the Rumanian border with this unit, and then went to France by sea, arriving there on 21 October. In France he decided to stay in the Polish Air Force, even though Free CzAF units were formed in that country. He was posted with a group of Polish airmen to the air base at Clermont-Ferrand. Following the fall of France he was evacuated to Britain. He received service no. 793451 (notably, in the range of numbers assigned to Polish rather than Czech personnel). On 2 August 1940 he was posted to No. 303 Sqn. Despite an unimpressive start (on 8 August he damaged Hurricane I V7245 when he forgot to lower the undercarriage for landing), he soon become a leading ace of the squadron and the entire Fighter Command. On 6 September his Hurricane I R4175 RF-R was damaged in air combat. On 9 September he was shot down in Hurricane I P3975 RF-U and made a forced landing near Brighton. He was killed in a flying accident on 8 October 1940 about 9.00 a.m. at Cuddington Way, Ewell, Surrey in Hawker Hurricane I R4175 RF-R. He was buried at the Polish airmen cemetery at Northwood (London) grave no. H 246.

 

 


He was awarded

the Polish Silver Cross of Virtuti Militari

the Cross of Valour and two bars,

the British Distinguished Flying Medal and Bar,

and the Czech War Cross (posthumously).


On 16 July 1941 he was posthumously commissioned to an officer's rank in the Polish Air Force.


His biography by Jiri Rajlich was

published in English in 2010 under the

title 'Hurricane Ace Josef Frantisek -The True Story'


 

 



02.09.1940    Dyon 303 Hurricane I (P3975)  RF-U          17.50            1-0-0 Me 109

03.09.1940    Dyon 303 Hurricane I (P3975)  RF-U          15.40            1-0-0 He 113

05.09.1940    Dyon 303 Hurricane I (R4175)  RF-R          15.05            1-0-0 Ju 88

05.09.1940    Dyon 303 Hurricane I (R4175)  RF-R          15.05            1-0-0 Me 109

06.09.1940    Dyon 303 Hurricane I (R4175   RF-R           09.00           1-0-0 Me 109

09.09.1940    Dyon 303 Hurricane I (P3975)  RF-U          18.00            1-0-0 Me 109

09.09.1940    Dyon 303 Hurricane I (P3975)  RF-U          18.05            1-0-0 He 111

11.09.1940    Dyon 303 Hurricane I (V7289)  RF-S          16.00            2-0-0 Me 109

11.09.1940    Dyon 303 Hurricane I (V7289)  RF-S          16.05            1-0-0 He 111

15.09.1940    Dyon 303 Hurricane I (P3089)  RF-P          12.00            1-0-0 Me 110

18.09.1940    Dyon 303 Hurricane I (V7465)  RF-V          13.15            1-0-0 Me 109

26.09.1940    Dyon 303 Hurricane I (R4175)  RF-R          16.30            2-0-0 He 111

27.09.1940    Dyon 303 Hurricane I (R4175)  RF-R          09.20            1-0-0 Me 110

27.09.1940    Dyon 303 Hurricane I (R4175)  RF-R          09.20            1-0-0 He 111

30.09.1940    Dyon 303 Hurricane I (L2099)  RF-O          16.50            1-1-0 Me 109





Piotr Górka © 2007