The Airmen's Stories - P/O V Zaoral
Vladimir Zaoral was born at Brno, Czechoslovakia on 5th November 1915.
After secondary education he graduated in 1935 from the technical college in Brno and went on to the Military Academy at Hranicich, graduating in 1937. His first posting was to the 2nd Aviation Regiment at Olomouc.
After the German takeover in March 1939, Zaoral escaped to Poland on 14th July 1939 but did not stay, sailing on the 29th on the MS Chrobry to France. He enlisted in l'Armee de l'Air and was sent for training to the depot at Chartres. He was still there at the time of the German attack on 10th May and flew in a scratch defence force from the airfield. On 19th June he embarked on the Arry Scheffer at Bordeaux and sailed for England, arriving at Falmouth on the 23rd.
Above image courtesy of the JE Hybler archive.
He was commissioned into the RAF on 12th July 1940 and posted to 310 Squadron at Duxford. Unusually he did not go to an OTU but converted to the Hurricane while serving with the squadron.
He moved to 501 Squadron at Kenley on 17th October and claimed a Me109 destroyed on the 25th.
Back with 310, Zaoral was killed in a flying accident on 19th November 1941 as a Flying Officer.
His Hurricane P7837 NN-A was seen coming out of low cloud in a spin and he had insufficient height to recover.
Zaoral is buried in Dyce Old churchyard, Aberdeen.