Czechoslovakia Loses One of its Last RAF Heros...

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Pisis

2nd Lieutenant
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Nov 3, 2004
Praga Mater Urbium
After a legendary fighter ace František Peřina, who died a few Months ago, Czechoslovakia loses another of its significant heros. The legendary WW2 RAF pilot, writer and a freedom fighter, František Fajtl, passed away yesterady in Prague, at the age of 94.

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He was hospitalized for several Months because of his high age.

František Fajtl earend the highest state award, the Order of the White Lion in 2004. He was also a member of the French Legion de l'Honneur.

František Fajtl was born in 1912in Donín, Austrio-Hungaria. His fate is similar to many others of his pilot comrades, who fled the occupied Czechoslovakia in March 1939. He went through Poland to France, where he had served as a fighter pilot along with the French airmen. After the fall of France, he escaped via North Africa to the Great Britian, that greatly needed and thankfully accepted all capable and experienced pilots.

He fought with No. 1, No. 17 and Czechoslovak No. 310 Squadrons RAF. He participated on the famous Battle of Britian. Later, he led the Czechoslovak No. 313 Squadron.

In 1942, he was shot down over the French coast but he managed to escape from a German siege and after that, thanks to the French ressistance, he crossed the Pyrenees to Spain, where he was imprisoned in a labour camp. The RAF managed to drag him back to England, where he became the very first foreigner to command a British squadron. He overall shot down 4 German planes and damaged several others.

In 1944, he led a group of Czechoslovak pilots who went to the USSR to fly under the Soviet Air Force. Their goal was to join the Slovak National Uprising. From there, he returned to the liberated country.

In 1949, František Fajtl, was sacked from the air force, a year after he was arrested and as a "people's enemy" sent to a labour camp in Mírov. He was released after 17 Months, that he spent with whom he fought against - Nazis and SS-men. He later worked as a labour worker, warehouser and a clerk. Fajtl was partially rehabilitated in 1964, when he was promoted to a Colonel rsv.

His gained his full acknowledgements, like all of the other WW2 heros, after the fall of Communism in 1989. In 1990, he was promoted to a Major-General rtd. and awareded the M. R. Štefánik Order. In 2002 he gained the rank of Lieutenant-General.

Overall, he is credited with 4 confirmed airborne kills. He was four times awarded with a Czechoslovak Cross 1939, a British Distinguished Flying Cross and with a Soviet Victory Order. He wrote over 10 books about WW2 flying.

I had the honour to meet this great man several times, he also signed his books for me. I think that now the very last RAF veteran is Mr. Jan Wiener.

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I SALUTE YOU, SIR. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE FOR MY COUNTRY. MAY YOUR LAST FLIGHT BE PLEASANT AND WITHOUT CLOUDS. S!

ČEST JEHO PAMÁTCE!

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:salute:

BTW It seems there are pilots' badges from other countries on his uniform.I can see The Polish one called "gapa".
 

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Soon there will be none left. My grandad passed away a few years ago. He flew 9 missions in B-17's.
 

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