The Czech Night Hawk

Today is the Czech National Day marking the anniversary of the declaration of independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire on 28 October 1918. To mark the event, the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences in the United Kingdom is holding a meeting in central London and I’ve been invited to give a speech.
I’ll be talking about the wartime exploits of Flight Lieutenant Karel Kuttelwascher, a Czech who flew with the Royal Air Force in World War Two and became its greatest night intruder ace. He was known by the media as the “Czech Night Hawk” – hence the name of this blog – and he was my wife’s father. You can read about his remarkable record here.
When I wrote Karel Kuttelwascher’s biography in 1985, obviously it was essentially the story of one man, but I saw it as a tribute to all the Czechoslovaks who served with the wartime Royal Air Force. Indeed the dedication at the front of the book – a dedication I included in both English and Czech – read: “Dedicated to all the Czechoslovak airmen who flew with the RAF in World War II”. Therefore, in the second half of my talk today, I will say a little about the other Czechoslovaks who served with such distinction and valour. You can read about them here.
It will not be a large meeting but the Czech Ambassador to Britain Dr Jan Winkler will be there.