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Západ slunce nad AN2

Tales of men and machine

Jan Kaucký

Kaucký Jan - Na nebi hrdého Albionu 1 450x600.jpg

Jan Kaucký (Na nebi hrdého Albionu 1)

*  23.1.1907 Satalice-Prague (Czech Republic / Czechoslovakia)

† 23. 7.1970  London - Putney (United Kingdom)

First Republic fighter and acrobat, member of the British RAF, pilot 310. czechoslovak fighter squadron, participant in the Battle of Britain, two kills, instructor, test pilot, transport pilot, organizer of the escape from the communists.


He graduated from an industrial school and in 1925 he joined the Air Force for basic military service. Gradually he mastered the non-commissioned officer school, pilot training, fighter course, as well as advanced courses in instrument flying and night flying. On September 10, 1933, an army aviation day was held in Prague, during which he and Josef Řechka and Josef Hubáček performed acrobatics for the first time on Avia Ba-33 fighters tied with rubber ropes. He later went into civilian life and was employed as a factory pilot.

He left the German-dominated Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia on 30 January 1940 and took the so-called Balkan route to the resistance. When he arrived in France, he was presented to the Czechoslovak Foreign Army on 3 April and through the Air Group in Agde he reached the replenishment centre in Bordeaux. The battle for France was moving fast. As surrender became inevitable, the Czechoslovaks had to be evacuated. Jan Kaucký sailed on 19 June in the group of Sgt. Schejbal and their ship, the Karanan, landed three days later in Falmouth, southern England. 15th of September was a turning point, full of violent clashes between the RAF and the Luftwaffe, especially in the London area. Thirty-three was sent into action twice. On both missions, he scored victories in Hurricane P3621 (NN-U) - he was involved in the shooting down of a Dornier Do 17 twin-engined bomber in the morning and repeated the same success in the afternoon. Luck was with him three days later when he escaped unhurt from an attack on a bomber formation. His aircraft then took several projectiles from Ju 88 Junkers in the rudders and propeller cone. As the autumn progressed, the number of actions decreased. On 7 March 1941 he was transferred as a combat instructor to the 52nd Airborne. OTU (Operational Training Unit) stationed in Debden. After one year of service he was promoted to the rank of Pilot Officer (P/O, Lieutenant). From the beginning of 1943 he flew new and repaired machines at 15. MU and then at 20. MU. On 1 March 1944 he started his next combat deployment by familiarizing himself with multi-engine machines in 105. OTU and on 4 June he joined the 511th Transport Squadron. Together with other Czechoslovak crews he made long-range transport flights until the end of the war.

In August 1945 he returned home to his liberated homeland and on 31 January 1946 he was permanently demobilized. He worked as a test pilot, transport pilot on international CSA flights and also as a test pilot providing acceptance and inspection of aircraft at the Ministry of Transport. The situation in Czechoslovakia, seized by the Communists after the coup of February 1948, was becoming increasingly dire for former RAF pilots. They were overwhelmingly thrown out of the army, falsely accused and imprisoned. Jan Kaucký and his colleagues Josef Řechka and Eduard Prchal prepared a flight to freedom. On September 30, 1950, he managed to stealthily procure a twin-engine Douglas DC3 Dakota (OK-WAA). He took off from Prague's Ruzyně on a planned test flight, but after a few minutes he landed at the agreed location near Neratovice, loaded his friends and family, and soon they were heading for the border on a ground flight. Through the American occupation zone of Germany and Belgium, they left continental Europe and landed happily in Manston, England. Jan Kaucky moved to Canada with his wife and son but, unable to find the desired application of his pilot experience, they returned to the UK and settled in London in the summer of 1957.

In the early 1990s he was rehabilitated and promoted to the rank of colonel of the air force in memoriam.


Decorations for war service

Czechoslovak War Cross 1939, Czechoslovak Medal for valour before the enemy,...

Literature ​​

Joe, Čeští RAFáci, 2023

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