An Emotive Battle of Britain Group to F/O Machacek CAF
A rare and emotive Battle of Britain group of five awarded to Flying Officer J. Machacek, Czech Air Force and Royal Air Force, who flew numerous sorties with No. 145 Squadron from September 1940 up until his death in action on a “Circus” operation in July 1941 - qualifying for membership of the Caterpillar Club after being shot down and wounded in his Hurricane over Christchurch Bay during the Battle, he returned the favour by claiming a brace of 109s in the Squadron’s newly delivered Spitfires in the summer of 1941 1939-45 Star, clasp, Battle of Britain; Air Crew Europe Star; War Medal 1939-45; Czechoslovakia, Bravery Medal; Czechoslovakia, War Cross, together with the recipient’s Caterpillar Cub membership badge, the reverse officially inscribed, ‘P./O. G.(sic) Machacek’ and ‘Pres. by Irvine Co.’, Czech Pilot’s Badge, by Spink & Son, and a lucky charm, good very fine and better. Footnote: Jiri Machacek, who was born at Sedlcany in February 1915, was a pilot in the Czech Air Force at the time of the German annexation of his country in March 1939. Demobilised two days later, he made his way to Poland to join up with fellow ex-aircrew in June 1939, and thence, on the fall of Poland, to France, where he enlisted in l’Armée de l’Air. Finally, with the fall of France, he made his way to England, where he would shortly become one of 88 Czech pilots to see action in the Battle of Britain. Although posted to No. (Czech) 310 Squadron at Duxford on 6 August 1940, he had no flying hours in Hurricanes and was accordingly packed off to No. 6 Operational Training Unit (O.T.U.) at Sutton Bridge. With a few hours experience under his belt, he was next ordered to No. 145 Squadron at Drem in early September, then commanded by Squadron Leader J. R. A. Peel, D.F.C. One week later, as a pilot in ‘A’ Flight, he flew his first operational sortie, the first of half a dozen such outings before the Squadron moved south to Tangmere on 8 October. For further description, please contact eMedals.