Lot Archive


№ 594


30 June 1994

Estimate: £1,800–£2,200

A rare Czech Battle of Britain fighter pilot's group often awarded to Sergeant Pilot Jan Truhlar, who was one of only 87 Czech fighter pilots to fly with the Royal Air Force

Czechoslovakia, MILITARY CROSS, with two bars; MEDAL FOR BRAVERY, with one bar; MEDAL FOR MILITARY MERIT, 1st class; WAR MEDAL, with clasp 'Velka Britanie'; 1939-45 STAR, clasp, Battle of Britain; AIR CREW EUROPE STAR; WAR MEDAL; France, CROIX DE GUERRE, with two bronze palms; CROIX DU COMBATTANT; MEDAL OF LIBERATION, 2 bars, Grande Bretagne, Liberation, the group mounted court style for wearing, good very fine or better (10)

The lot is accompanied by his original Pilots Flying log Book, a number of original wartime photographs of the recipient, box of issue for the Czech M.C., and for his British awards with entitlement slip.

Jan Truhlar was in the Czechoslovakian Air Force when the Germans took over his country on 15 March 1939. He escaped to France with other Pilots and joined the French Foreign Legion before being transferred to L’Armeé de l’Air. Truhlar was posted to a French fighter squadron early in 1940 and joined Groupe de Chasse II/4. On the 5th June he destroyed a HS126 and on the 7th shared a Do17 with another pilot. After the French collapse Truhlar made his way to England and joined 312 Squadron at Duxford on 5 September 1940. He flew Hurricanes throughout the Battle of Britain and offensive operations of 1941. He was shot down in Hurricane 3501 over St. Omer on 9 June 1941, the annotation in his log book reading: 'Bomb Escort Lens Missing from the Target after fighting with Me 109s, the entry signed by the Officer Commanding 312 Squadron. Truhlar was captured and held in the camp at Wistritz bei Teplitz, his P.O.W. number being 39286. After release from the R.A.F., as a Warrant Officer, at the end of the war, he was repatriated to Czechoslovakia and continued to fly with the Czech Air Force. His log book entries continue throughout 1946 when he was flying Spitfires and other aircraft. He died in his home country on 25 October 1973