The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J Kucera
Jaroslav Kucera was born on 23rd June 1915 at Plzen. He was in the Czech Air Force when the Germans took over his country on 15th March 1939. He later went to Poland and joined the Czech Air Force contingent there.
When Poland fell Kucera made his way to France and enlisted in l'Armee de l'Air in late 1939. His service in France is currently undocumented but it is known that after the French collapse in June 1940 he escaped to England.
Kucera arrived at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge from the Czech processing depot at RAF Cosford on 21st September 1940. After converting to Hurricanes he joined 245 Squadron at Aldergrove on 9th October and served with it until 1st December 1940.
In late 1941 Kucera was still a Sergeant and serving with 312 Squadron at Ayr in Scotland.
On 19th December 1941 he took off together with F/Sgt. Vojtech Smolik for a camera-gun training flight. Kucera's Spitfire Vb BL293 collided in a mock dogfight with Smolik's AD539.
Smolik baled out succesfully but Kucera was killed when his aircraft came down at Burnfoot Farm, Darvel, east of Kilmarnock.
Kucera is buried in Ayr Cemetery.
Above cemetery image courtesy of The War Graves Photographic Project