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Josef Koukal

Admitted to:

Sheppey County Hospital.

Date of Injury:

07/09/1940

D.O.B/Age when admitted:

28

Cause of Incident:

Friendly Fire. Shot down by British anti-aircraft fire. Landed using his parachute.

Transferred to QVH:

31/10/1940

Injuries:

Burns to face, hands and legs.

No. of Operations at East Grinstead:

13



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:

Josef

Surname:

Koukal

Service No:

120764

Nationality:

Czech


Awards/Honours:

---

Patient Unit:

310 Sqn

Profession:

Pilot

Patient Rank:

Flt Lt

Death:

23/02/1980

Age at Death:

Dr Rank:

Dr Unit:

Notes:

Koukal was a peacetime pilot, and, when the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia, made the decision to leave and continue the fight. He left in August 1939 and made his way to England via Romania and France, where he was accepted into the RAF.
During a dog fight, his plane was hit, catching fire and plunging into a dive. The owners of the farm where he crashed went for help, and Koukal was taken to QVH. He returned to flying after treatment.
Following the war, he returned to Czechoslovakia, meeting his 5 1/2 year old son for the first time. He was treated with suspicion, as were all ex-RAF Czech pilots.

Founder member of the Guinea Pig Club.

The wreckage of his hurricane was found on the Isle of Sheppey in summer of 1972. The following year, Koukal was given a piece of the engine as a souvenir and met Mrs Wright, who had provided him with first aid.

Glossary:

Further Reading:

'Guinea Pigs and Friends on Parade', The Guinea Pig, Summer 1962, p. 13.

References:

'Guinea Pigs on Parade', The Guinea Pig, Christmas 1972, p. 47.
'Josef Koukal', Henry Standen, The Guinea Pig, July 1980, pp. 10-1.
'The Story of Joseph Koukal', Vitek Formanek, The Guinea Pig, July 1996, pp. 18-9.



East Grinstead Museum Collection:
EGRTM 2751.45 - Black and white photograph of Koukal in black tie
EGRTM 2785.19 - Black and white headshot of Koukal
EGRTM 6599.31.19 - Black and white surgical drawing of Koukal's eyelids, produced by Miss M E Lentaigne, December 1942