KITS 12/2022

MK244, W/Cdr Jan Čermák, No. 312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron,

No. 134 Wing, RAF Appledram,

United Kingdom, June 1944

The former No. 312 Squadron commander, W/Cdr Jan

Čermák was at the time of the Normandy landing

the ground and administrative commander of the

No. 134 Wing, but regardless he personally led the

unit on several missions. One of those was a routine patrol of the Czechoslovak fighters over Sword

beach which turned into the large scale air battle.

Czechoslovak pilots broke up the formation of a dozen of Focke Wulf Fw 190A whose goal was to bomb

the beach crowded with troops and equipment. Three

“onenineties” were destroyed and five damaged at

no losses to Czechoslovaks. In this combat W/Cdr

Čermák claimed one Fw 190 destroyed and one

damaged. On this mission he flew Spitfire s/n MK244

which was the personal aircraft of F/O Jaroslav

Šodek who flew it in combat on the regular basis

from February to June 1944.

MK144, S/Ldr Alan G. Page, No. 132 Squadron, RAF Ford,

United Kingdom, February–May 1944

During the Battle of Britain Alan Geoffrey Page was

shot down and suffered serious burns. Following

two plus years he spent in the hospital recovering.

He undertook the plastic surgery in Queen Victoria’s

Hospital in East Gringstead and became the founding

member of the Guinea Pig Club. Ultimately, he managed to return to the active duty and became one

of the most successful English fighter pilots. During

the spring months of 1944, as the commander of

No. 132 Squadron he flew the depicted Spitfire on

the offensive bombing and fighter sweeps preceding

the invasion. On April 29, on one such mission, over

the Deelen airfield in the Netherlands he managed to

shoot down a Bf 110G-4 flown by the elite night fighter ace Maj. Hans-Joachim Jabs. On July 7 Page was

promoted to command the elite No. 125 Wing. In the

end of September, shortly after the conversion to the

new powerful Spitfires Mk.XVI, Page’s Spitfire was

damaged by flak over Arnhem suburbs, and he crash

landed. He wounded his face on the gunsight and

suffered some other injuries. He was transported by

air back to England and again admitted to the Queen

Victoria’s Hospital in East Grinstead. After the war

he became an active member of the Battle of Britain

Association of the Fighter Pilots and was a moving

force behind the creation of the Battle of Britain

Memorial which was erected on the cliffs between

Dover and Folkestone in 1993. During his wartime

career Alan Geoffrey Page shot down 15 enemy aircraft and damaged three of them. His autobiography

The Guinea Pig Story was published in 1981.

MK832, S/Ldr Robert K. Hayward, No. 411 squadron,

B.4 Beny-sur-Mer Airfield RAF, France,

July–August 1944

Robert Kitchener “Bob” Hayward comes from the pool

of the former RCAF flight instructors who served with

No. 126 Wing. He was born on November 12, 1915, in

St. John’s, Newfoundland. After he completed his pilot training, he served at the main training base CFB

Trenton. From February 1941 to October 1942, he flew

as an instructor at No. 25 FTS. In March 1943 Hayward


INFO Eduard

stated to fly combat missions with No. 401 Squadron

where in the coming months he scored three aerial kills. In May 1944, after the rest, he was again

attached to the No. 411 Squadron as a flight leader.

On August 5, 1944, he was promoted to the squadron commander and until the end of September 1944

he claimed another three confirmed kills and four

enemy aircraft damaged. After he finished his tour

of duty he returned to Canada and until March 1945

he again flew as an instructor with No. 25 FTS. From

May to September 1945, he briefly served at No. 16

FTS in Hagersville and in November 1945 he retired

to the civilian life.

December 2022