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Thread: Spitfire AD424 - 313 (Czech) Sqn

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    Default Spitfire AD424 - 313 (Czech) Sqn

    Morning All,

    It seems there is a question mark about the conditions this Spitfire was wrecked while serving with 313 (Cerch) Sqn. Shacklady's and Air-Britain give 'crashed in night landing on 11.01.42', and I guess that this info is coming from the accident card, but the 313 ORB gives something different but it might be imcomplete. Indeed Form 540 says for 11.01.42 entry 'at 10.00 hours Sgt Valenta crashed on taking-off for an operational flight and was killed'. However, Form 541 doesn't give any operational flight that day, only a practice sweep over the Channel. So it might be a flying accident only, but in any case, the hours don't correspond at all as the circumtances, one on take-of, the other on landing!

    Where is the truth?

    Any comment would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Phil

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    Phil

    'Hornchurch Offensive' at p46 says

    "Four aircraft of the Czech squadron No 313 took off at 9.50am on 11th January, for convoy patrol. The weather started to deteriorate and they were told to head to Rochford. Only three arrived, for Blue 4, Sergeant Pilot Joseph Valenta, for reasons unknown crashed into a field near the anti-aircraft gun positions, adjoining the southern perimeter of the airfield and was killed. This happened at 10.05 am."

    I don't think it is clear from this account whether Rochford or Hornchurch is the site of the crash.

    The note I have of this incident says 'crashed on landing at night, Hornchurch. This from AB Crash List.

    EDIT, Just looked at the summary list in the back of 'Hornchurch Offensive'. Against AD424 is noted 'damaged during ops on 11/1/1942, Sgt Hcrak.'

    Against AD 494 'Sgt Valenta' (with no further detail, date or fate). BUT AD494 is in a black-out block of serials perhaps it should read AD474 which is not mentioned in the summary, but was with 313S.

    More questions than answers, sorry.

    DaveW
    Last edited by davew; 3rd June 2015 at 15:26. Reason: Moretypo

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    Thanks Dave. It seems that Form 541 of 313 ORB is not complete as those patrols are not reported that day. So my first impression is that Form 540 stating that Sgt Valenta was killed at 10.00 AM or so is what happened. I don't see why the diarist would lie for a such dramatic event. In Form 541, Valenta flew AD424 a couple of time before the 11th, so it would logical that he was flying that Spitfire that day.

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    Hi Phil, will give you definitive answer form Czech sources when I will come home.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Hi Phil,

    more details as promised. Info provided by Dave is very close to the truth.

    He was delayed on the take off for about 10 min after the other 3 Spitfires. When he finally get airborne the weather was so bad that he decided to land. He turned back and the ground staff only daw how he passed hangars in the height of about 230 ft, but in secund turn his Spitfire lost speed and crashed in the airfield vicinity.

    Source: J. Rajlich - Na nebi hrdeho Albionu, Černá kronika českoslovenkého letstva v RAF 1940-1945. Svět Křídel, Cheb, 2004, pg. 329

    Otherwise:
    TNA AIR 04/142 VALENTA J Log Book - his original Czech Log Book, dated: Czech Air Force 1.4.38-14.3.39, French Air Force 10.10.39-14.5.40, RAF (unofficial records for himself), 10.10.40-28.12.41, mostly in Czech, the last part in English.

    If you need any personal details about him just let me know

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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