The Airmen's Stories - P/O E Fechtner
Emil Fechtner was born on 16th September 1916. He was in the Czech Air Force when the Germans took over Czechoslovakia on 15th March 1939. He left the country a few months later, made his way to France and joined the Foreign Legion, the only unit open to foreigners.
At the outbreak of war he was seconded to the Armee de l'Air. After the French collapse, Fechtner went to England, arriving in late June 1940.
He joined 310 Squadron at its formation at Duxford on 10th July. Fechtner stalled and crashed on 1st Augustt. He collided with P/O A Navratil at 25,000 feet on the 15th and landed at Upwood with his engine switched off, unhurt.
On the 26th Fechtner claimed a Me109 destroyed and on the 31st a Do17. His Hurricane, V3889, was damaged in this combat over the Thames Estuary but Fechtner returned safely to base, unhurt.
On 3rd September he claimed a Me110 destroyed, on the 7th a Me110 damaged, on the 18th a Do17 destroyed and on the 27th a Do17 probably destroyed.
Awarded the DFC (gazetted October 1940), he was killed when he crashed near Duxford on 29th October in Hurricane P3889, after colliding with P/O JM Maly during a Wing patrol.
Fechtner is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery.