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The Airmen's Stories - P/O A Hlobil

 

Alois Hlobil was born on 6th June 1906 at Olomouc, Czechoslovakia. He was a career Czechoslovak Air Force officer but after the Germans took over the country in March 1939 he was demobilised. He travelled to Ostrava and escaped into Poland through the Tesin area in July.

He reported to the Czechoslovak Consulate in Krakow who arranged for him to sail on the MS Chrobry from Gdynia to France.


Hlobil was required to join the French Foreign Legion but war was declared just as he due to be posted to the Legion base in Algeria. He was posted to l'Armee de l'Air instead and sent to CIC Chartres for re-training on French equipment.

 

Above: senior officers of 312 Squadron at Duxford in September 1940.

L to R: F/Lt. A Hlobil, S/Ldr. J Ambrus, S/Ldr. FH Tyson, F/Lt. DE Gillam, F/Lt. J Duda

 

Once qualified he was assigned to GC II/4 based at Xaffevillers near Nancy, operating the Curtiss H75 Hawk.


On 5th June 1940 he shared in the destruction of a Hs126. The rapid German advance caused GC II/4 to change location frequently as it retreated to the west and in late June it was at Perpignan in south-west France.


After the French collapse, Hlobil was released from service and evacuated from Port Vendres on the General Chanzy to Oran, Algeria. With other evacuated Czech airmen he travelled by train to Casablanca and then on 29th June boarded the Gibel Dersa which took them to Gibraltar.


He transferred to the Cydonia which sailed for Liverpool, arriving on 16th July. He went to a transit camp at Innsworth and then to the Czech Depot at Cosford where he was commissioned into the RAFVR in early August. From there he was posted to 312 Squadron at Duxford on 5th September and trained to fly Hurricanes on the Squadron. He was appointed commander of 'B' Flight.


Hlobil was posted from 312 to 4 Ferry Pilot Pool at Kemble on 16th November then in January 1941 went on 8 MU Little Rissington where he served as a test pilot until August 1941.


Hlobil was then sent to the Czechoslovak Inspectorate General in London where he remained until the end of the war, serving as the Czech Liaison Officer with RAF Training Command.


At the end of the war Hlobil returned to Czechoslovakia and remained in the Czech Air Force, assigned to the HQ in Prague. In September 1946 he was appointed Commander of No. 1 Department at the HQ.


Following the communist takeover in February 1948 Hlobil was purged and dismissed from the Air Force. His subsequent fate is currently undocumented though it is known that he died in Prague on 15th March 1981.


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