Hawker Hurricane No V6885 - 13/02/1941
Flying Officer Jindrich Bartos (83220) was born in Lugansk (Russia) on the 16th
November 1911. He graduated Army Academy in Hranice and Prostejov in 1934/35 as
a pilot, he served as a pilot with the 2nd Air Regiment.
After Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938 he escaped Czechoslovakia
for Poland in the summer of 1939 and then sailed to France. There he became a
participant of the Battle of France as a member of Groupe de Chasse I/3 at
During a dogfight over Paris on the 3rd June 1940 he was shot down and crash
landed with light wounds. He was credited with damaging a Heinkel He111 on this
day whilst flying a Dewoitine D.520C.1
There he served from the 17th May 1940 till the18th June 1940 when the Groupe
de Chasse I/3 flew from France to Oran in North Africa. From there he sailed via
Casablanca and Gibraltar to England where they landed in Cardiff on the 5th
After retraining on Hurricanes Flying Officer Bartos was posted to the newly
formed No 312 (Czech) Squadron at RAF
Duxford on the 5th Sept 1940 after
becoming the second Czechoslovak fighter unit which was formed on the 29th
August 1940 at the Czech aircrew depot at RAF Cosford. Two days later the
first nine used Hawker Hurricanes Mk1 were flown into Duxford and on the 4th
September 1940 arrived a Miles Master Mk1. Czech airmen, flying personnel and
ground staff, arrived at RAF Duxford during afternoon of the 5th
September 1940. The squadron was based around experienced pilots, who had
already had combat experience during the Battle of France, many of whom had
already had more then one victory.
On the 6th September 1940, the pilots began with theoretical preparation for flying on the Hurricanes and with training flights on the Master. The training was very slow due to the fact the unit had just one trainer aircraft. For faster retraining of the pilots, another Master was loaned from No 310 (Czech) Squadron. After nearly a month the level of training was very high and on the 26th September the squadron moved to its new home, the RAF station at Speke Airport, near Liverpool. There the unit completed its retraining and in last days of September obtained further Hurricanes. A detachment was also sent to RAF Penrhos on the 22nd December 1940 to fend off attacks on the airfield by German bombers.
On the 2nd October 1940,
No 312 (Czech) Squadron was declared as operational and its task was to protect
the Liverpool area from enemy raids.
In October 1940 Flying Officer
Bartos became an operational pilot, at first he served as a section leader and
after promotion to Flying Officer he was appointed to the function of deputy
flight leader of flight "B".
As part of the RAF Penrhos detachment from RAF Speke Flying Officer Bartos
was on a training flight (mock dog fighting with Sergeant Votruba) in
Hawker Hurricane No V6885 (DU-V),
his aircraft was seen to go into a spin/dive from 5,000 feet by Sergeant Votruba
and crashed at Talacre near Prestatyn at
14:30 hours on the 13th February 1941, the reason of which is unknown, it is
thought that the crash was probably
caused by failure of his oxygen equipment.
Flying Officer Bartos's grave
The accident was witness by a Mr Frank Parsons and his friends who where at school at the time, they saw the Hurricanes swooping around in the sky over the nearby range, when suddenly one of the aircraft fell away and fluttered down like a leaf until it disappeared out of site behind some trees. Mr Parsons was one of the boys that the headmaster sent across to the crash to see what had happened.
When they arrived on site they witnessed the pilots body being removed from the cockpit by a number of locals including the district nurse and then being wrapped up in his parachute and placed alongside the wreck. Upon the arrival of the salvage crew all non essential persons were removed from the field and placed behind the wall, during the salvage operation the salvage crew through bits of aircraft to the local kids behind the wall, some were even trying to snag pieces with long sticks. A Bell tent was placed in the garden of an adjacent holiday cottage to act as a guard post.
Mr Parsons and his friends recalled that the aircraft was buried up to its wings and sticking out of the ground at about 45 degrees with its tail in the air and was the correct way up.
Alleged Crash site of V6885 - summer 2002
On the 15th September 2002 a small group of LAIT members in the company of Mr Parsons and his friends attempted to find the crash site location of V6885, however after 4 1/2 hours of searching revealed no trace of the crash site only caravan site debris and 1942 period 0.303 ammunition cases from the adjacent air to ground gunnery range. Mr Parsons and his friends however were positive that the location they indicated was that of V6885, there was even the remains of a crater to be seen as the field had never been ploughed, the RAF must have done a very good clean up job. Mr Parsons still has a tiny fragment of the aircraft to this very day.
They also recalled a Spitfire crashed on the other side of the village, but that is a job for another day.