The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. F Marek
Frantisek Marek was born at Ceske Budejovice, Czechoslovakia on 30th January 1913.
He served in the Czechoslovak Air Force with the 1st Air Regiment at Prague-Kbely. When the Germans marched into his country on 15th March 1939 he was demobilised.
Above image courtesy of fcafa.com.
Marek went to Poland in June and joined the Czech Air Force in exile there. When Poland fell, he made his way to France and enlisted in l’Armée de l’Air in late 1939. Initially he was at the Ecole de Pilotage at Avord and on 16th January 1940 he was assigned to the CIC at Chartres to continue training. On 26th May he transferred to Cazaux airbase in south west France.
With the surrender of France on 22nd June, Czechoslovak airmen were released from l’Armee d’Air service and those at Cazaux were instructed to get to Bordeaux. about 70 km away, for evacuation by ship to Britain before the advancing German army reached the port.
At Bordeaux, the Czechoslovak airmen, under the command of Staff Capitan Josef Schejbal, together with Poles and other nationalities boarded the MV Karanan for evacuation to Britain. They sailed on 19th June and arrived two days later at Falmouth.
Marek was enlisted in the RAFVR as an AC2 and he was at the Czechoslovak Depot at Cosford until 12th July, when he joined 310 Squadron at Duxford as a Sergeant and re-trained on Hurricanes.
Marek went on a period of attachment to 19 Squadron at Fowlmere on the 27th August and re-trained on Spitfires.
Marek was killed on 14th September 1940 when his Spitfire R6625 came down near Orsett, Essex. The cause was almost certainly a failure of his oxygen supply.
Marek is buried in Eastbrookend Cemetery, Dagenham, Essex.