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The Airmen's Stories - P/O J A Jaske


Josef Antonin Jaske was born on 30th January 1913 and was in the Czech Air Force from 1933 until escaping to France in 1939 after the Germans took over Czechoslovakia.

Jaske joined the Armee de l'Air and in April 1940 he was serving with Groupe de Chasse II/5. On the 23rd he shared in the probable destruction of a Do17 and on 16th May he destroyed two Me110s.



After the collapse of France, he made his way to North Africa and left Casablanca in a British cruiser for Gibraltar. From there he sailed to Cardiff and after arrival there on 5th August 1940 he went to a reception centre at RAF Cosford.

On 5th September he joined the newly-formed 312 Squadron at Duxford. He became a Flight Commander on 6th May 1941 and on the 27th was posted to Catterick to form and take joint command of 313 Squadron.

Jaske went to HQ 10 Group on 15th December 1941, as Czech Liaison Officer. He was posted to HQ Fighter Command on 1st September 1942 as Deputy Liaison Officer.

On 26th November 1942 Jaske was piloting Wicko GM-1 ES947 (impressed, was G-AFKU, sample below) from Northolt to St. Athan for the funeral of Sgt. Frantisek Remes of 53 OTU. Group Captain Evzen Cizek was a passenger.



In poor weather the aircraft struck the cable of a barrage balloon over Penarth Point, Cardiff. The aircraft crashed into Cardiff Bay, near Cardiff Docks. Cizek was killed and Jaske seriously injured, he spent eight months in hospital and was non-effective sick until 27th May 1943, when he was posted to Ottawa as Liaison Officer with the United Kingdom Air Liaison Mission.

On 16th March 1945 Jaske went on a course at the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He returned to the UK in June and was posted to Manston on MoD duties in connection with repatriation.

Jaske was released from the RAF in September 1945. He rejoined the Czech Air Force on staff duties and served until 1948. He later escaped with his family to Britain and rejoined the RAF in December 1949. He held a series of appointments in the UK and overseas, latterly in Aircraft Control.

Jaske retired on 31st May 1968 as a Flight Lieutenant, retaining the rank of Squadron Leader.

He died in 2001 and was buried with many of his Czech comrades at Brookwood.



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