The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J Rechka
Josef Rechka was serving in the Czechoslovak Air Force when the Germans took over his country on 15th March 1939. He later went to Poland and joined the Czechoslovak Air Force there.
When Poland fell he made his way to France and enlisted in the Armee de l'Air in late 1939. After the French collapse in June 1940, Rechka went to England and enlisted in the RAF.
Above image courtesy of www.fcafa.wordpress.com
He joined 310 Squadron at Duxford at its formation on 10th July and shared in the destruction of a He111 on 15th September.
He returned to Czechoslovakia after the war and became a pilot with Czechoslovak Airlines. In 1950 Rechka escaped to England with his family and two other airline pilots, Kaucky and Prchal, and their families.
Rechka died in Britain in 1984 and is buried at Brookwood alongside his wartime Czech comrades.
Peter Villa (son of F/Lt. JW Villa) writes:
I have just been looking at BoB website and came across Joe Rechka. Joe worked for me as a DC3 Captain when I was with BIA. I never knew he was a Battle of Britain pilot. I remember him as a quiet, unassuming man and typically, I suppose, never mentioned his wartime exploits. He was a fine pilot but nobody, including our AME knew how old he really was, we always suspected he was considerably older than he claimed. Those of us who were at BIA in 1973 and anyone working at Gatwick or Guernsey that day, when Joe retired, at the same time as our last DC3, will remember the beat up he did at both airports below the height of the terminal buildings. Our phones were red hot with calls from the BAA and CAA demanding we disciplined him and he would have his licence withdrawn. When we explained that the aircraft and both crew members were retiring that day things quietened down and no further action was taken! Joe was unconcerned, remarking he did not need his pilot’s licence anymore, anyway!
There is a more highly detailed account at https://fcafa.com/2010/10/07/josef-rechka/