The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. B Furst
Bohumir Furst was born on 10th January 1909 at Opatovice, in the Moravia region of Czechoslovakia. Called up for military service on 1st October 1928 he was accepted for pilot training. He stayed in the air force after his compulsory service period ended and served with the 38th Fighter Regiment until 1932. He then instructed at the Military Aviation Academy until the German takeover of Czechoslovakia in March 1939.
Shortly afterwards he escaped to Poland and joined other Czech airmen there, the whole contingent went by ship to France in July 1939.
The French at that time would only allow foreigners to serve in the Foreign Legion and Furst did so, he was posted to the Legion base at Sidi Bel Abbes in Algeria with several other Czechs. In September 1939 they were allowed to commence flying at French bases there, moving back to France in December.
After the German onslaught in May 1940 Furst was posted to the main Czech depot at Chartres. He flew with Groupe de Chasse II/2 which operated the MS406. On 19th May he shared in destroying a Hs126 and shared in the destruction of a Do17 on the 21st. However return fire in this engagement brought down his aircraft and he was wounded in his left leg.
Following the French collapse he escaped by ship from Port Vendres to Oran and on to Gibraltar from where the Neuralia took him to Liverpool, landing on 12th July 1940. He was accepted into the RAFVR as a Sergeant and posted on 6th August to Duxford to join the newly formed 310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron.
On 3rd September he claimed a Me110 destroyed, on the 7th a Me109 and on the 15th a He111. On 7th March 1941, his operational tour over, he was posted to 52 OTU at Debden as an instructor. Furst was commissioned on 13th June 1941 and continued instructing at 2 SFTS Brize Norton.
In September 1942 Furst transferred to Transport Command and spent the remainder of his wartime service with 510 Squadron, which had a liason and communication role.
He was released from the RAF as a Flight Lieutenant in August 1945 and returned to Czechoslovakia where he took up a post in the transport wing of the Czechoslovak Air Force. After the communist takeover in February 1948 Furst and many other ex-RAF airmen were expelled from the air force. He was one of those subjected to further persecution and he was imprisoned in November 1950. Due to poor health he was released on 10th August 1951. He was then evicted from his home in Prague and exiled to a rural area until 1965.
Furst died from a heart attack on 2nd January 1978.
Additional research courtesy of http://fcafa.wordpress.com