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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. V Slouf

 

Vaclav Slouf was born on 8th October 1911 in Dvorec, a district of Nepomuk, south of Pilsen, Czechoslovakia.

After leaving school he worked in the Skoda factory at Pilsen before being called up for military service in 1929. He trained as a fighter pilot, serving until 1935 when he was involved in a national training scheme to increase the number of trained pilots.

He represented Czechoslovakia in international air meetings and races. After the German takeover in March 1939 he joined the Czech airmen congregating in Poland but then moved on by ship to France.

He joined the Armee de l'Air and by May 1940 was serving with GC III/3, operating the MS406.

On the 11th May he destroyed a Me109, on the 13th shared in the probable destruction of a Hs126 and on the 19th shared in the destruction of a He111 and a Do17. In this action his aircraft was set alight by return fire and Slouf baled out.

His unit retreated south, ending up on 19th June in Algeria. Slouf, with other Czech airmen, made his way by ship to Gibraltar and then on to England.

For his service in France he was awarded the Medaille Militare, the C de G (Fr) with five palms and the Czech Military Cross.

 

 

He was processed through the Czech depot at Cosford and posted to 312 Squadron at Duxford on 5th September 1940 as a Sergeant pilot. Commissioned in November 1941, he commanded 312 Squadron from November 1944 to April 1945 and was awarded the DFC (gazetted 1st November 1944).

Slouf was released from the RAF in early 1945 as a Squadron Leader and returned to Czechoslovakia as a captain in the reformed air force. In 1946 he left the air force to fly internationally with the Czech airline CSA. In July 1948 he was purged by the Communist authorities, this happened to all airmen that had flown with the Allies.

He managed to get his family out and later joined them in England. He worked till retirement with the company British Cellophane in Bridgwater.

In 1991 he was rehabilitated by the Czech authorities and given an honorary rank of Colonel.

There is an account of his escape from Czechoslovakia in 1948 at:

http://fcafa.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/they-flew-to-freedom-1948

He died on 13th April 1976 in Weston-Super-Mare. He was cremated at Worle Crematorium, Somerset.

 

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