published: 20.02.2014, 14:40 | updated: 20.02.2014 14:42:42
Plzen - Air Commodore Miroslav Standera, who piloted aircraft in France and Britain during World War Two, died on Wednesday aged 95, Zdenka Kubalova, spokeswoman for the Plzen town hall, told CTK at the Standera family´s request today.
After the communists seized power in then Czechoslovakia in 1948, Standera fled to Britain where he stayed in the services of RAF for another seven years.
He returned to Plzen in 1994, five years after the fall of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia in late 1989.
His funeral will be held in St Bartholomew Cathedral in Plzen on February 26, Kubalova said.
Standera was one of two last living Czech pilots who passed through the whole World War Two.
Standera was born on October 5, 1918. He joined the Czechoslovak air force voluntarily in 1936 and became a military pilot. After Czechoslovakia was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1939, he left for France.
Standera was wounded in an aerial duel and was evacuated to Britain where he participated in combat operations as a RAF pilot, later was an instructor and a night fighter pilot. He participated in the protection of the air space during the Normandy invasion. He flew a total of 1320 hours in combat.
After the war he returned to Czechoslovakia, but the communist regime dismissed him from the air force.
Standera succeeded in fleeing back to England where he served in RAF until 1955. Afterwards he was apprenticed as a silver beater and repaired teapots. After he retired, he moved to Bavaria in 1983 and in 1994 returned to Plzen to live with his daughter´s family.
Standera won a number of awards, including two Czechoslovak War Crosses and three Czechoslovak Bravery Medals.
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