R.A.F. Boston Bombers attack the docks at Cherbourg (France), escorted by Czechoslovak Spitfires. Suddenly, about 25 Luftwaffe fighters dive into the attack!
In the annals of air combat history, sttretching from WWI to WWII, no definitive sacrifice and hardship is clearer than that of the Polish and Czech airmen who served in air forces of other countries.
Displaced by the German juggernaut that rolled firstly through eastern and then western Europe at the out-break of the second world war, they rallied against the invaders by fighting with France. When France fell, they joined the last island of freedom by serving with the RAF in Britain. From 1940 until the Americans showed up in force to join in the fight in 1942, the outcome for liberty and national existence hung in the balance, defended only in the air by these few. It became a daily slug-fest, pitting themselves against a seasoned adversary.
Their history of heroism and fighting tenacity is legendary. Formed into squadrons, they served honorably and contributed to the final victory over an equally tenacious and battle-hardened Luftwaffe. The old adage of 'all gave some. some gave all,' befits their fighting spirit and supported the impressive final victory in Europe.
These valiant men would suffer personally and at great hardship for decades. After the war they were denied the rewards of participating in the liberation of millions, as their country fell under the regime of communist oppressive policies. Their association with the west during the war made them suspect, with many dying from performing menial tasks or from imprisonment after long years in mines or gulags.
This does not diminish their record of service, but rather enhances it that much more, fulfilling their duty and honor to their country in a time of need. Their perseverance serves as a shining example to their countrymen today.
In Robert Bailey's comabt masterpiece, a Czech Spitfire unit of the RAF is seen locked in combat over Cherbourg, France, in June of 1942. Initially assigned to escort Boston bombers to a French target, they engage in a melee with attacking German Fw-190's over the coast. In addition to the German fighters, the Czech squadron has to worry about erupting defensive fire from ships and ground defenses.
June 3rd., 1942. Flight Lieutenant F. Perina of 312 Squadron (Czechoslovak) R.A.F., adds two victories to his score of Focke Wulf 190's over Cherbourg, France. This large aerial batte occurred as the Czech Spitfires were escorting Boston Bombers on a raid to attack the docks. Suddenly, 25 Luftwaffe fighters appeared out of the sun!
Serious collectors will immediately see that this is a UNIQUE release, due to the rarity of the prominent Czech signatures and several previously unseen Luftwaffe signatures. A total of EIGHTEEN signatures! These are Czech airmen who escaped to England when the Germans invaded their country. Many of them fought in the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. Some of the German signatures are also Battle of Britain veterans! Some of these Czech and German signatures are aces.
These prints were signed with the artist in Prague, Czech Republic, and Kovarska Aviation Museum, Czech Republic.
We urge you to place an order soon. EVERY print in all categories comes with a COMPANION PRINT titled 'Spitfire Warrior' and depicts General Perina in action. (Sheet size of companion: 8" x 25")
Unteroffizier Heinz Zimmer
was born in Chemnitz and flew the Me-109 with JG-26. He has 120 missions to his credit and 3 victories.
Gefreiter Hans Klecha
was born in Erzgebirge, Germany. He flew the Focke Wulf 190 with JG11/3 based in Holland, and has 5 victories on that type.
Unteroffizier Horst Schubert
joined the Luftwaffe in 1941. He trained as a pilot at Stolp and Stargard, flying the Me109. He joined Jagdgeschwader 3 (Udet), where he successfully accomplished his first combat missions on the western front. He parachuted twice and was once shot down by a P-38 Lightning and severely wounded. After seven months in a hospital he joined a combat unit on the eastern front, before being a P.O.W.
Leutnant Theo Nau
joined the Luftwaffe in 1943. His first missions were with home defense (JG-11) and he then flew in the Ardennes Offensive and Operation Bodenplatte. Later, he was with JG-77 in Czechoslovakia. He saw action in both the FW-190 and the Me-109.
Unteroffizier Fritz Wiener
joined the Luftwaffe in 1942 at the age of 17. He was briefly with Jagdgruppe 200 during the Normandy Invasion and was with JG-11 during the Battle of the Bulge and participated in Operation Bodenplatte. By January of 1945 he was re-deployed to Berlin/Straussberg to fight advancing Soviet forces.
Feldwebel Heckhold Ewald
flew the Me-109 and Focke Wulf 190. During his more than 100 missions, he shot down two B-17 Flying Fortresses and a P-47 Thunderbolt. He was with JG-1 (11) Jagdstaffel. He holds the Iron Cross 1st. Class and 2nd. Class.
F/Sgt. Emil Bocek was born in Brno. As the Germans occupied Europe he had many adventures escaping through various countries, including Slovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey and Syria. After the fall of France he was on the last boat to England, where he was with 312th and 310th Squadrons. He has 25 operational sorties of Germany flying Spitfires. Decorations include Czech Crosses and 39 - 45 Star.
Lt. Colonel Jiri Benda
was with the 312th Squadron RAF and served with distiction in England during the war, servicing the fighter aircraft.
Leutnant Klaus Vollgold
was born in Zwickau and flew the Me-109 with JG-52, II Gruppe, 5 Staffel. He has 3 victories during his 30 operational missions.
Wing Commander Frantisek Fajtl
escaped to Great Britain after the defeat of France and flew Hawker Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain in the 17th Squadron. Later in the 313th Czechoslovak F.S. he flew Spitfires, then took over 122nd (Bombay) F.S. He was shot down over France but again escaped back to England. He has 4 victories, including a Do-17, Do-215, and two Me-109's. He has the DFC and other decorations.
F/O Otto Spacek
was born in Brzice. After Czechoslavakia was occupied by the Germans, he flew combat in France before escaping to England, where he flew the Hurricane and Spitfire in 313th Squadron. He has 3 victories. Decorations include 5 Czech Crosses, Bravery Medal and Croix de Guere.
F/Lt. Miroslav Standera
was born in Prague. By 1940 he was a Sergeant in the RAF with the 312th Squadron. Types flown are Spitfire, Hurricane, Mosquito and Blenheim. He also flew the Beaufighteron night missions. After the war ended and the communists invaded Czechoslovakia, he escaped to Germany. Decorations include 3 Czech War Crosses. He flew the Cherbourg action on June 3, 1942, with F/Lt. Perina.
W/O Jaroslav Hofrichter
was born in Plzen, Czechoslovakia. With 311 Squadron, RAF, he flew B-24 Liberators and Wellingtons and has 680 operational hours. Decorations include 3 War Crosses, Honor Medal and 5 British decorations.
L/Colonel Vladimir Palececk
was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He flew on B-24 Liberators with 311 Squadron, Coastal Command, RAF.
Feldwebel Hans Bachmann
flew with JG-52, III Gruppe, 9 Staffel on the Me-109 type. He has 5 victories from his 60 operational missions.
Lt. Colonel Alois Dubec
was born in Vlach Lhota and was originally a mechanic with 311 Squadron.
W/O Jaroslav Vyhnis
was born in Plzert and after joining the RAF, flew Hurricane, Spitfire and P-51 Mustang. He flew 20 missions and has 5 victories.