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The Airmen's Stories - P/O J Bartos


Jindrich Bartos was born on 16th November 1911 in Lugansk, Czechoslovakia. He served with the Czechoslovakian Army, graduating as a pilot in 1935 and being posted to the 2nd Air Regiment. After the Germans occupied the country in 1938 Bartos escaped to Poland and in 1939 went from there to France where he joined the Armee de l'Air.

In May 1940 he was posted to Groupe de Chasse 1/3 at Meaux–Esbly flying Dewoitine D520s. On 3rd June he damaged a He111 over Paris.

Two weeks later the unit withdrew to Algeria. Bartos made his way to Casablanca, then on to England via Gibraltar. From there, accompanied by another pilot, his close friend Otto Hanzlic, he boarded a ship for Cardiff, landing there on 5th August 1940.


Above: Czech pilots in August 1940 L to R (front): J Stehlík, V Šlouf, J Klán (rear) A Vrána, B Dvořák, S Peroutka, F Burda, V Veselý, K Kuttelwascher, L Světlík and J Bartoš.


He was commissioned as a pilot Officer in the RAFVR on 17th August and sent for a Hurricane conversion course, then joining 312 Squadron at Duxford on 5th September 1940. He flew with 312 Squadron for the remainder of the Battle, progressing to deputy flight leader.

Flying Hurricane V6885 from Penrhos on a high altitude dog-fight practice with Sgt. B Votruba on 13th February 1941, Bartos spun into the ground at Talacre near Prestatyn and was killed. The cause was probably oxygen failure.

He was 29 years old and is buried in West Derby Cemetery, Liverpool in a joint grave. The grave also holds his old friend Sgt. O Hanzlicek, who had been killed when his Hurricane caught fire on 10th October 1940.



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