Author(s): Roger Darlington
Karel Kuttelwascher may have had a German surname, but he was a Czech who became the scourge of Luftwaffe bombers operating from France and the Low Countries in 1942. Flying with the RAF’s legendary No. 1 Squadron, his destruction of fifteen aircraft in only three months brought him the DFC twice in a mere forty-two days and made him the RAF’s top night intruder ace. After his daring escape from German-occupied Czechoslovakia, he flew in the ferocious Battle of France and was then in time to participate in the final weeks of the Battle of Britain as one of Churchill’s ‘Few’.
During the early circus operations, he clocked up his first three kills and then played a part in the famous Channel Dash. However, it was in the lauded but lonely night intruder role that his individualistic skills came to the fore. Flying a long-range Hawker Hurricane IIC armed with 20-mm cannon, the man the wartime media dubbed the ‘Czech Night Hawk’ unleashed a reign of terror that included the knocking out of three Heinkel bombers in just four minutes.
|234 x 156 mm
|15 May 2017
|67 black-and-white photographs