Memorial to Czech RAF WW2 pilot Perina unveiled in Prague

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  1. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2005
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    Prague - Prague Mayor Pavel Bem unveiled a memorial to legendary Czech World War Two pilot Frantisek Perina on the fourth anniversary of his death outside an elementary school that bears his name .
    Senate chairman Premysl Sobotka, EU Affairs Minister Juraj Chmiel and war veterans were among those who attended the unveiling ceremony.

    The steel memorial by Tomas Havranek contains a picture of the British Spitfire aircraft.

    Perina fled Bohemia in June 1939, one day after he got married. He first took part in the Battle of France where he downed four planes. After Paris fell, he fled across Gibraltar to England and joined the RAF's 312th squadron.

    He downed minimally 12 German planes flying Hurricane and Spitfire planes in 1940-42. His wife was kept in Nazi prisons for the whole of the war.

    Perina was dismissed from the Czechoslovak military in 1949, one year after the communists seized power in the country. He succeeded in flying to the U.S. zone in Austria. He later moved to Canada and then the United States where he participated among others in designing seats for the U.S. outer space programme Gemini and for Boeing 747.

    Perina returned to Czechoslovakia after the fall of the communist regime in November 1989.

    He received a number of orders for his achievements, for example the Czechoslovak Cross of War, the Order of the White Lion and several foreign decorations, including the French Ordre de la Legion d'Honneur.

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