Josef František of 303 Squadron in action BW version
During the Battle of Britain, one of the most successful Allied fighter pilots was Sgt Josef František, a Czech flying with 303 (Polish) Squadron RAF. My picture shows him in his Hawker Hurricane Mk I R4175, wearing the squadron code RF-R, during September 1940.
František had a reputation as an ill-disciplined 'lone wolf', but his aggression against German aircraft was unquestionable. His total of 17 victories was accrued in a remarkably short period, from when the squadron was made operational at the end of August until his death in a flying accident on 8 October 1940. He was the first foreign national to be awarded the RAF's Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM).
This depiction features a combat on 30 September, during which František brought down a Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1, "Yellow 3" of 6/JG27, flown by Herbert Schmidt. With his cockpit on fire, Schmidt eventually managed to bale out and land by parachute, badly burned. He later attributed his survival to the efforts of the British and Canadian doctors and nurses who treated him.