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Fajtl, Frantisek

Date of birth:
August 20th, 1912 (Donin)
Date of death:
October 4th, 2008 (Prague, Czech Republic)
Service number:
82544
Nationality:
Czechoslovakian (1918 - 1948, Republic)

Biography

Squadron Leader

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Wing Commander
Unit:
No. 313 (Czechoslovak) Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
October 28th, 1942
Recommendation:
"Squadron Leader Fajtl throughout the period in which he operated from Hornchurch Sector showed unfailing resolution, dash and determination in the face of the enemy, first as a Flight Commander and then as Squadron Commander. In all he has flown 191 hours of offensive patrols and has destroyed one enemy aircraft, shared in the destruction of three others and a damaged a fifth.

It is recommended that his services be rewarded by the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.'

The following additional recommendation gives the following, 'This officer was in command of a fighter squadron escorting a bomber force in a daylight raid over Lille, on the 5th May 1942, when after destroying two Me. 109'S, his aircraft was damaged and he crash-landed in Northern France.

Leaving his parachute near the airplane, he ran a short distance in one direction, dropping his gloves on the ground, and then re-tracing his steps, ran in the opposite direction. In this way he mislead the enemy as to the direction of his escape. He later hid in a ditch within a stone's throw of enemy headquarters until nightfall, when, despite a thorough search during which patrols stood within ten yards of him, he commenced his journey southwards by using the flashes from the torches of the search parties as a guide. He finally got clear by crawling five hundred yards to pass between two sentries.

Although by now a hue and cry had been raised, he succeeded in obtaining a disguise and eventually reached Paris.

Boldly enlisting a most unusual source of help, he proceeded on his journey, finally arriving in Unoccupied France in a hungry, exhausted and feverish condition. Without faltering however, he continued on his way, ultimately crossing the Pyrenees into Spain, whence he was repatriated to this country on the 21st of August 1942.

Throughout the whole of his evasion, Squadron Leader Fajtl showed the greatest resource and determination.'
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)

Battle of Britain Claps
1939-1945 Star
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)

With palm leaf
Croix de Guerre (1939-1945)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
1945
Rád Slovenského národního povstání 1st Class
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
2004

3rd class
Řád bilého lva (1994)

Sources

Photo