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On 15 March 1939 German troops marched into Czechoslovakia and the Czechoslovak armed forces were ordered to offer no resistance, since any such opposition would have been futile. In the weeks that followed the occupation, thousands of Czech soldiers and airmen managed to leave Czechoslovakia, most of them escaping to neighbouring Poland The rapid fall of France then led to some 4,000 Czechoslovak soldiers and airmen leaving France to sail to Britain.On 10 July 1940, the first Czech fighter squadron 310 was quickly established at Duxford. It became operational on 17 August and fought in the Battle of Britain. The pilot of the spitfire featured in this painting is Squadron Leader František 'Dolly' Dolezal, born on 14th September 1909 in Ceska Trebova, Czechoslavakia. In September 1940 he became involved in the ongoing fight for the Battle of Britain with 310 Sqn and in doing so became one of the first Czechoslovak
Sqn Ldr. Frantisek ‘Dolly’ Dolezal - Spitfire
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pilots to fly the Spitfire.Frantisek's first success came on the 5th of September that year when he shot down a Messerschmitt Bf 109. Two days later he destroyed a Me 110 and damaged an Heinkel 111. Further success came on the 11th with the destruction of a Messerschmitt Bf 109 and on the 18th with a Junkers Ju 88. From 7th April 1942, Frantisek was the leader of whole 310 Squadron and on 1st September 1942 he was awarded D.F.C. for his excellent service.His first success as a commander of the 310th Wing came on the 6thof May, 1942, when he damaged a Focke Wulf Fw 190th . A further three victories were achieved in 1942. On 1st April 1943 he became the leader of the Czechoslovak Fighter Wing which consisted from 310, 312 and 313 Squadrons bringing his final success on the 3rd May 1943 when he claimed a damaged Focke Wulf Fw 190.On 17th June 1944 Frantisek was awarded the D.S.O. for his perfect commanding skills. He completed 101 offensive patrols over enemy territory with the RAF and is credited with destroying six enemy aircraft, also four
damaged and four probables. 310 squadron finished the war with 52.5 claims and four V-1's shot down.