|Born||7 Oct 1914|
|Died||8 Oct 1940|
|Country||Czechoslovakia, United Kingdom|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseJosef Frantisek joined the Czechoslovakian Air Force in 1934 and was assigned to 2nd Air Regiment. In 1935, he was transferred to 1st Air Regiment, but returned to 2nd Air Regiment in 1937, by that time with the rank of sergeant. In Jun 1938, he became a pilot with 40th Squadron, based in the capital of Prague, as a fighter pilot. When Czechoslovakia was dismembered by Germany, he went to Poland and joined the Polish Air Force. During the invasion of Poland, he evacuated aircraft out of the airfield at Deblin, Poland in the first week of Sep 1939, and then flew unarmed reconnaissance missions on the front lines. On 19 Sep 1939, he attacked advancing German columns near Kamionka Strumilowa, Poland (now Kamianka-Buzka, Ukraine) by throwing grenades out of his unarmed aircraft. On the following day, he was shot down near ZloczÃ³w, Poland (now Zolochiv, Ukraine) but escaped unharmed. On 22 Sep, he evacuated to Romania with the rest of his squadron. He was interned in Romania, but made his escape to France via North Africa shortly after. In France, he continued to fly with the Polish Air Force rather than re-joining the Czechoslovakian squadrons that operated in France; Frantisek claimed to have shot down at least one German aircraft during the 1940 German invasion of France, but there were no official records that substantiated the claim. After the French capitulation, he evacuated to Britain. Flying Hurricane fighters, again with Polish pilots rather than with his Czechoslovakian countrymen, he participated in the Battle of Britain, shooting down his first confirmed kill, a German Bf 109E fighter, on 2 Sep 1940. His commanding officer considered him an ill-disciplined pilot but a good fighter, thus he was allowed to fly out of formation to hunt down targets of his choosing, so that his occasional wild actions would not endanger fellow pilots. During the Battle of Britain, he was awarded with 17 kills and 1 probable kill; 9 of them were Bf 109 fighters. On 8 Oct 1940, his Hurricane fighter crashed in Ewell in County Surrey in Southeastern England while landing and he was killed. He was buried in a Polish military cemetery.
Last Major Revision: Jan 2013
Josef Frantisek Timeline
|7 Oct 1914Â||Josef Frantisek was born in Otaslavice, Austria-Hungary (later Czechoslovakia).|
|19 Sep 1939Â||While flying a reconnaissance missiong in a unarmed Polish aircraft, Josef Frantisek attacked advancing German columns by throwing hand grenades from the cockpit near Kamionka Strumilowa, Poland (now Kamianka-Buzka, Ukraine).|
|20 Sep 1939Â||Josef Frantisek was shot down near ZloczÃ³w, Poland (now Zolochiv, Ukraine) but escaped unharmed.|
|22 Sep 1939Â||Josef Frantisek and his Polish Air Force squadron were evacuated to Romania.|
|2 Aug 1940Â||Josef Frantisek joined the British Royal Air Force and was assigned to No. 303 Squadron based at RAF Northolt in South Ruislip near London, England, United Kingdom.|
|2 Sep 1940Â||Josef Frantisek, flying a Hurricane fighter, scored his first kill, a German Bf 109E fighter, as a RAF pilot.|
|30 Sep 1940Â||Over Britain, Josef Frantisek scored his final kill as a fighter pilot.|
|8 Oct 1940Â||Josef Frantisek passed away in Ewell, England, United Kingdom.|
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