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Západ slunce nad AN2

Tales of men and machine

Jaroslav Malý

Malý Jaroslav  - Čeští RAFáci 450x600.jpg

Jaroslav Malý (Čeští RAFáci)

*  17.7.1905 Prague - Smíchov(Czech Republic / Czechoslovakia)

† 6. 6.1941  London  (United Kingdom)

First republic fighter and acrobat, commander, czechoslovak air attaché in Berlin, correspondent, participant in air combat in France, member of the british RAF, commander of A-flight 310. czechoslovak fighter squadron, participant in the Battle of Britain with one confirmed shot down, very capable staff officer.

In 1923 he finished the real grammar school, voluntarily underwent the conscription, enlisted in the Czechoslovak Army. He enlisted in the army and entered the Military Academy in Hranice na Moravě. Two years later, as its first graduate with the qualification of an aerial observer and the rank of lieutenant, he was assigned to Aviation Regiment 2 in Olomouc. Gradually he also underwent pilot training, fighter course and night flying lessons. From 1932 he served with LP 4 in Prague as a commander of several squadrons and also participated in the establishment of the only Czechoslovak night fighter unit - 91st Squadron LP 6 with Letov Š-328 machines. At the beginning of 1935 he was called up to the Main Staff and then sent to Berlin, where he held the post of Air Adjutant from May. Intelligence duties were part of his service. Shortly before the ignominious 15th March 1939, the beginning of the German occupation of the homeland, he had the foresight to destroy the military archives of our embassy.

On 30 June 1939 he returned to Prague, but on 22 August he emigrated to Poland and in mid-December he enlisted in the Czechoslovak foreign army in France. At first he was posted to the Headquarters of the Czechoslovak Air Force in Paris, but in April he transferred to the fighter training centre in Chartres. On 16 May 1940 he reinforced, together with other Czechoslovaks, the territorial defence unit Patrouille DAT Chartres armed with Morane Saulnier MS-406 and Marcel Bloch MB-151. However, in less than a month of fighting, on 16 June, they had to abandon it and three days later evacuated in the group of Maj. Alexander Hess. From the port of Bordeaux they sailed on the Ary Scheffer to V. Britain. They succeeded at the last moment, as France capitulated on 22 June.

The next day they landed in Falmouth, South England. Soon Jaroslav Malý was accepted into the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAF VR) and received the officer rank of Flight Lieutenant (F/Lt, Captain). On 12 July, he arrived with the first group of Czechoslovak pilots at Duxford base near Cambridge and took command of the A-Flight as part of the newly formed 310th Czechoslovak Fighter Squadron. As part of the training he held the position together with experienced Briton F/Lt Gordon Sinclair, DFC. He was immediately involved in training on the British stand-ups, especially on the Hawker Hurricane Mk. On 17 August the unit was declared operational and the very next day he completed his first patrol. After noon on the last day of August, the Thirty-third was directed to the Thames Estuary area where it clashed with a formation of Dornier Do 17 bombers and their fighter escorts. Jaroslav Malý sent one Messerschmitt Bf 109 to the ground, and managed to land safely at home base despite shot up flap controls. 

On 3 September there was a major dogfight over the North Weald airfield, during which his Hurricane V7436 (NN-H) managed a probable kill of a twin-engined Messerschmitt Bf 110. On the anniversary of Czechoslovakia Day he held a three-man swarm on alert and, after a launch on alert, was involved in the damage to a Dornier Do 17 reconnaissance aircraft. The next day, Tuesday 29 October, twelve aircraft were promptly dispatched to the Maidstone area at 13:30. F/Lt J. Maly was leading the yellow section in Hurricane P3707 (NN-A). For some reason P/O E. Fechtner, DFC, was a little late in taking off and made up for it by flying under the formed line of four three-man swarms. However, in the critical phase of the climb to his position he misjudged the distance and caught the tail surfaces of J. Maly's fighter from below, who had no chance to see him, let alone dodge. Both machines went down. J. Malý managed to make an emergency landing in a field and escaped with head and arm injuries. E. Fechtner died in the wreckage of the out-of-control Hurricane. He was treated until mid-December, then handed over command of the squadron to F/Lt František Doležal and left the squadron before Christmas. He continued to apply his excellent skills at the Czechoslovak Air Force Inspectorate.

S/Ldr Jaroslav Malý died in his London flat on 6 June 1941 and was laid to rest four days later in the RAF section of the military cemetery at Brookwood, south-west of London. He was promoted to the rank of Air Force Colonel in memoriam in the early 1990s.


Decorations for war service

Czechoslovak War Cross 1939...


  •  Urn grave of Czechoslovak airmen at Olšany cemetery

Literature ​​

  • Rajlich J.: Na nebi hrdého Albionu 

  • Rajlich J.: Na nebi sladké Francie



Joe, Čeští RAFáci, 2024

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