Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Emil Boček

Emil Boček, Strach jsem si nepřipouštěl (Emil Boček, I Didn't Accept Fear), is a new book by Jiří Plachý.  He's the last living Czechoslovak pilot that flew with the British Royal Air Force in WWII.

Today a colleague scored me a book autographed by Emil Boček.  This one will be a challenge for me to read in Czech but I'll definitely give it a try.

Emil Boček was born in Brno in 1923.  In 1939, at the age of 16, he snuck out of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.  He made his way to Beirut and in the summer of 1940 he wound up fighting in France.  He then received pilot training in the UK and was admitted to the RAF.

He was a mechanic with the 312th Fighter Squadron.  He went for training in Canada in 1943.  From October 1944 he was a fighter pilot with the Czechoslovak 310th Fighter Squadron and had 26 operational flights.  In 1946 he left the Air Force.

In April 1990 he was promoted to captain and in October 1990 he was promoted to major.  In March 1993 he was promoted to colonel.  In May 2014, President Zeman appointed him Brigadier General.  In May 2017, he was promoted to Major General.  I don't understand how one gets military promotions decades after leaving the military.  Maybe the details are in the book.

In 2010 he was awarded the Order of the White Lion for extraordinary merit of defence and state security and excellent combat activity.

In 2016, he got the opportunity to fly in a spitfire again.  Here's a video of it I found out on YouTube.

©Forces TV

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