The Airmen's Stories - P/O F Dolezal
Frantisek Dolezal was born on 19th September 1909 at Ceska Trebova in eastern Czechoslovakia. He joined the Czech Air Force in 1937. After Czechoslovakia was taken over by the Germans on 15th March 1939 Dolezal made his way to France and joined l'Armee de l'Air.
When the German blitzkrieg started on 10th May 1940 Dolezal was serving as a pilot with Group de Chasse II/2 at Chartres, operating the MS406. On 21st May he shared in the probable destruction of a Me110, on 1st June he destroyed a He111, on the 8th shared a Hs126 and on the 15th shared a Do17.
After the surrender of France on 22nd June Dolezal escaped to England via Port Vendres, Casablanca and Gibraltar. He was commissioned in the RAF in early August 1940 and posted to 310 (Czech) Squadron but was then immediately attached to 19 Squadron at Fowlmere.
Dolezal with the squadron dog Drak, who fathered a 12-strong litter.
Above image courtesy of the JE Hybler archive.
On 5th September he claimed a probable Me109, on the 7th destroyed a Me110 and damaged a He111 and on the 11th probably destroyed a Me109. On this day he was wounded in the leg and his aircraft severely damaged in combat over London. On the 18th Dolezal claimed a He111 destroyed.
In January 1941 Dolezal returned to 310 Squadron at Duxford. He commanded the squadron from April 1942 and probably destroyed a Do217 over Dieppe on 19th August. Dolezal was awarded the DFC (gazetted 1st September 1942).
In January 1943 he was promoted to lead the Czech Wing, this service bringing the award of the DSO (gazetted 18th May 1944).
Dolezal left the RAF, as a Wing Commander, on 3rd March 1945 to join the Czech forces. On 4th October 1945 he was killed when flying as a passenger in a Siebel Si204 which crashed at Bucovice in Moravia.