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Francisek Truhlar

Admitted to:

Margareta Hospital. RAF Hospital Halton (22/11/40).

Date of Injury:

16/10/1940

D.O.B/Age when admitted:

19/11/1917 (23)

Cause of Incident:

Crashed. Flew into barrage balloon in a Wellington over London.

Transferred to QVH:

03/02/1941

Injuries:

Burns to face and left foot.

No. of Operations at East Grinstead:

7



IDENTITY CARD

This is to certify that the patient mentioned below and whose description is stated hereon is the authorised holder of this Identity card.


Forename:

Francisek

Surname:

Truhlar

Service No:

82643

Nationality:

Czech


Awards/Honours:

---

Patient Unit:

311 Sqn

Profession:

Air Gunner

Patient Rank:

Plt Off

Death:

03/12/1946

Age at Death:

29yrs

Dr Rank:

Dr Unit:

Notes:

Truhlar was born in Lomnice, Czechoslovakia in November 1917. He trained a school teacher before joining a Military Academy to train as a pilot. Following the German occupation of Czechoslovakia Truhlar escaped to Hungary where he was arrested. Following his release he escaped again, making it to France, then England.

He joined 311 Czech Sqn as a rear gunner, flying in Wellington bombers. On his third operation, to Bremen on 16 October 1940, Truhlar was injured - returning over London, they flew into a balloon barrage, slicing on wing off and crashing on tennis courts near Bentley Priory, northwest London. Truhlar escaped through a hole in the fuselage as the plane went up in flames.

Following treatment at Margate Hospital and QVH, he asked to return to flying duties. He passed a pilot's course with flying colours and was attached to 312 Czech Sqn flying Spitfires. On 11 June 1944, Truhlar was returning from his 60th operation low on fuel. He crash landed on an airfield near Portsmouth, hindered by fog. He was pulled from the burned wreckage unconscious by local firefighters and became a patient under McIndoe again.

He returned to Czechoslovakia in December 1945, and died in a plane crash not far from his home a year later.

Glossary:

Further Reading:

References:

'Guinea Pigs on Parade', The Guinea Pig, Summer 1971, p. 44.
'Guinea Pigs on Parade', The Guinea Pig, Summer 1972, p. 42.
'How Frankie Truhlar Became a Guinea Pig', Vitek Formanek, The Guinea Pig, July 2003, pp. 14-5.



East Grinstead Museum Collection:
EGRTM 2793.98 - Black and white headshot of Truhlar showing results of treatment