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Colonel Josef Balejka (1917 - 2004) - Biography

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“My greatest wish was to become a pilot.”

Josef Balejka was one of the pilots of so called ‘Czechoslovak clover leaf,'who became famous for their heroic deeds during WW II. He was born in Valašské Klobouky in 1917 and he longed for being a pilot since his childhood. He went through training in Uzhhorod, Piešťany and Prague-Kbely. He decided to go abroad after the Protectorate establishment. He met some other members of the famous foursome, the pilots František, Pavlovič and Kosarz. They were flying together in the Polish Air Force. After the occupation of Poland they left through Romania to France, where they i.a. participated in air defence of Paris. After its fall they went further to Great Britain where they flew with the Polish 303 Sqadron. They became legendary due to their deeds. Josef Balejka fought also with 311 Bomber Squadron, with which he took part in the invasion in 1944. After the end of the war in 1946 he decided to leave Czechoslovakia for Great Britain. He returned to his home country after 1989. He died in his birthplace, Valašské Klobouky on July 7, 2004.

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