Avia Bk-534, 27th September 1938, 40th Fighter Flight, Czechoslovak Air Force,
pilots Vilem Hofman and Josef Frantisek

size of original 31,5´ x 19,7´ (80x50 cm), oil on canvas, signed by the author
original painting in personal collection

On the 23rd September 1938 was issued a decree of general mobilization of Czechoslovak army.  All air forces was transfered to its advanced airfields, all regiment identification markings was repaint to make harder the identification for the enemies.

The 40th Fighter Flight (4th Air Regiment), covering name „Bird of prey“, based in 1938 in Praha-Kbely was sent 13th September 1938 to the advanced airfield in Horni Mecholupy near by Prague as a part of the capital defence. Flight made couple of actions against enemy reconaisance aircraft which broke into Czechoslovak airspace.

It was this case also on the 27th September 1938 when the flight of three Bk-534 (cannon version of popular B-534 fighter) was scrambled to chase German reconaisance Do-17 P heading above the capital. The flight was lead by Second Lieutenant Vilem Hofman. A first wingman was lately very famous pilot Sgt. Josef Frantisek (17 victories during the BoB). A second wingman was soldier Rudolf Tous.

The action is described in memories of Mr. Hofman
„... We are climbing rapidly, anti-aircraft gunnery office leading us against enemy aircraft over the capital city. We are quickly approaching to him, but after he saw us he is retreating. We are above him and we are running down him above airfield Ruzyne. We fly by the sides and under but he is accelerating and starting to climb. In climbing we are equal but in horizontal he shifting away. We are in 2500 ft and we must stop the chasing. He escaped...“

This flight was the first Frantisek´ rendezvous with enemy aircraft.

At this time there are some queries about this story is truthful. Some sources indicate this operation was more probably just a routine flight with air combat lesson.

4th Regiment

Available as:

Giclée reproduction Limited Giclée print edition
Giclée reproduction on Hahnemühle Canvas Artist matte 340 gsm,

70x40 cm

 price ... 70 EUR
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