Unveiling monument for Czech aircrew

Autor: Oldrich Holecek

On Wednesday October 17th, 2012, a monument will be unveiled for the Czech crew of Vickers Wellington KX-B T-2553 of 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron of the Royal Air Force. This will be next to the Information Center 'Dijk te Kijk' in Petten, the Netherlands. Commander of Czech Air Force Brigadier General Jiri Verner will attend the ceremony.

The monument is an initiative of 222nd Squadron 'Sisková' of the Czech Air Force; they carry the honorary title 'Šišková' in honour of their now deceased patron, war-hero Major General Alois Šiška.

During WW II, Sergeant Aloiš Šiška was 1st pilot and part of the crew of Wellington KX-B. The other crew-members were 2nd pilot Sgt. Josef Tománek, navigator F/O Josef Mohr, board-mechanic F/O Josef Ščerba, front-gunner Sgt. Pavel Svoboda and rear-gunner Sgt. Rudolf Skalický.

On December 28th, 1941, the Wellington bomber took off from East Wretham airfield. Their mission was to bomb the harbour of Wilhelmshaven in Germany. Above the target the plane was heavily damaged and was finally forced to splash down the North Sea, about halfway between the Netherlands and England.

Rudolf Skalický could not get out of the sinking aircraft, but the other five crew-members managed to get into the dinghy. Meanwhile, they were in the middle of a cold and hostile North Sea. Six horrible days later, on January 3rd 1942, this dinghy was washed ashore on the coast nearby Petten. Only three of the crew-members were still alive: Alois Šiška, Josef Ščerba and Pavel Svoboda.

The monument which will be unveiled is not only a constant tribute to these exceptional men, their enormous courage and will-power to survive notwithstanding all setbacks, but also to the three crew-members who did not survive.

To keep the story of Wellington KX-B also alive in the future, pupils of the OBS de Springschans in Petten have adopted the monument and they will visit it annually.

In the presence of various dignitaries, such as mister Remkes, Queen's Commissioner in the Province of Noord-Holland, Czech Air Force Commander Brigadier General Verner, and various relatives of the crew and eyewitnesses, the monument will be unveiled on Wednesday October 17th, 2012, at 14.00 hours.


For further information and the program also see the website www.KX-B.com- Memorial Project or contact the event organizer Mr. Roel Rijks: roel@leudalmonument.nl .

Who was Alois Šiška:

Examples of Czech web pages for raising money for the monument:

Author: Mr. Roel Rijks, event organizer, roel@leudalmonument.nl

Posted: October 8, 2012