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Západ slunce nad AN2

Tales of men and machine

Jan Chalupa

Chalupa Jan - Zemřeli jsme pro Anglii 450x600.jpg

Jan Chalupa  (Zemřeli jsme pro Anglii)

* 5. 5.1919 Brno ( Czech Republic)

† 16. 10.1940  Ely (Great Britain)

Graduate of the action 1000 new pilots of the republic, participant of flight training in France, member of the British RAF, pilot 310. čs. fighter squadron.

He graduated from the Third State Czechoslovak Gymnasium in Brno and in 1937 he joined the 1000 New Pilots for the Republic campaign. The training took place under the administration of the Brno Aero Club. It started with theoretical training and from the spring of 1938 the trainees continued at Brno-Slatina airport with the practical part, during which they used mainly military school biplanes Praga E-39. This preparatory phase was followed by more advanced training within the army, but the completion was thwarted by the occupation in March 1939. J. Chalupa was then promoted to the rank of lance corporal.

He left his homeland under the rule of Nazi Germany on 16 July 1939 in a northeastern direction to Poland. From there he continued from Gdynia on the Kastelholm, which docked in Calais, France, on the last day of July. On 2 October 1939 he was conscripted into the Czechoslovak Foreign Army in Paris and then moved south to Bourges, where he was assigned to pilot training on 17 October. The rapid pace of war events in the spring of 1940 resulted in the collapse of France, and so on 20 June he evacuated from the port of La Verdon with other airmen. Six days later they sailed to Liverpool on the ship La Ville de Liege.

In Great Britain, he was 2.8.1940 was accepted into the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAF VR, Volunteer Reserve of the Royal Air Force) and soon joined the 6. OTU (Operational Training Unit) in Sutton Bridge. Here he gradually became familiar with the equipment used, from the Tiger Moth biplane to the more advanced Miles Master and the Hawker Hurricane fighter. With the rank of Sergeant (Sgt, Sgt), he arrived at Duxford Airbase near Cambridge on 15 October to replenish the ranks of the 310th Czechoslovak Fighter Squadron. He became its youngest pilot.

On the second day, Wednesday, 16 October 1940, a series of training flights took place to familiarise the newly arrived reinforcements with the surroundings of the base. At 14:30 a three-man swarm led by P/O V took off. Zaoral followed by P/O J. Hýbler and Sgt Jan Chalupa. The latter was sitting behind the nose of Hurricane Mk. I P3143 (NN-D), the most successful Thirty-Three fighter to date, on which the pilots scored a total of six kills. The formation was heading north when suddenly white smoke began to escape from Chalupo's aircraft, apparently due to engine failure and an incipient fire. During a gradual descent, at an altitude of about 700 metres, J. Chalupa got out of the cockpit, but then probably hit his head on the tail surfaces and lost consciousness... After the unfortunate fall, he was taken to the hospital in Ely, where he soon breathed his last.


Sgt Jan Chalupa was buried five days later in the cemetery of Royston, a village near his home base. Later the remains were moved to the Czechoslovak part of the military cemetery at Brookwood near London. In 1991 he was promoted to the rank of Air Force Colonel in memoriam.


Decorations for war service

Czechoslovak War Cross 1939



- The Stone of the Disappeared with his name is in front of house No. 14 on Veveří Street in Brno

- A painting on the wall of house No. 41 in Francouzská Street in Brno depicts J. Chalupa on his last flight


  • Popelka J., Zemánková M.: RAF: Místo narození Brno

Joe, Čeští RAFáci, 2023

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