The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. V Foglar
Vaclav Foglar was born on 27th September 1916 in Machov in NE Czechoslovakia, on the Polish border.
He was serving in the Czech Air Force in 1939 but was demobilised on 17th March 1939, two days after the Germans took over Czechoslovakia. He made his way to Poland and joined the Czech Air Force in exile there.
He in turn escaped to France when Poland fell. In late 1939 Foglar joined l'Armee de l'Air but with the French collapse imminent he went to England in June 1940 and enlisted in the RAF as a Sergeant. He was posted from RAF Cosford to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 21st September 1940 to convert to Hurricanes.
Foglar joined 245 Squadron at Aldergrove on 9th October. He went to 249 Squadron at North Weald on 10th November and then to 17 Squadron at Martlesham Heath on the 18th. In early 1942 he was serving with 313 Squadron at Hornchurch and on 10th April claimed a Me109 destroyed. Foglar was commissioned in May 1942 and in the following August went as a test pilot to various maintenance units before returning to 313 on 1st February 1943.
On 14th March 1944 he was posted to 105 (Transport) OTU where he formed a crew with F/O J Grygar and F/Lt. L Kral, they went on to 147 Squadron, where he flew Dakotas until the end of the war. Foglar was awarded the Czech Military Cross.
He returned to Czechoslovakia after the war and joined the national airline CSA. On 21st December 1948 he was captain of Dakota OK-WDN which was on a flight from Rome to Athens. Due to very poor visibility the aircraft was too far south and was heard circling over Kalamata on the SW Peloponnese in Greece.
When it dropped flares, presumably to aid recognition of its position, army units on exercise in the area opened fire for some reason and the aircraft came down near Pilos on the coast. Foglar, four other crew and nineteen passengers were killed.