The Airmen's Stories - P/O J Himr
Jaroslav Himr was born at Verovany, Czechoslovakia on 17th June 1917 to a farming family.
He attended the local elementary school in Verovany, going on to high school at nearby Tovacov. In 1931 he enrolled in a business academy in Prostejov, graduating in 1935. He went straight to the Military Academy in Hranice and after graduation joined the Czech Air Force, being posted to the 3rd Aviation Regiment. He was still serving when the Germans occupied Czechoslovakia in March 1939.
Unusually Himr did not join the Czech contingents in Poland and later, France, but made his way to England and his family believe that he arrived on 18th June 1940. He was processed into the RAF, commissioned and posted to 310 Squadron at Duxford on 12th July 1940. He was next posted to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 17th August to convert to Hurricanes. On the 22nd he crashed when his Hurricane was caught by a gust of wind as he was landing. Himr was unhurt.
Above: Himr (L) with P/O V Bergman
He joined 79 Squadron at Pembrey on 11th September and moved to 56 Squadron at Boscombe Down on 8th October. His next posting was 601 Squadron at Exeter on 13th June 1941 and he was with it throughout 1941 until 15th December when he took up an instructor posting at 56 OTU. On 26th June 1942 he resumed operations as CO of 313 Squadron at Hornchurch. On 27th February Himr damaged a Fw190.
He claimed Fw190's destroyed on 27th August and 24th September 1942. Himr was still with 313 when he was killed on 24th September 1943.
His Spitfire V BP561 was shot down on a Ramrod to Brest.
He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 118.
Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner