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Col. Josef Bryks

Col. Josef Bryks

Josef Bryks was born in 1916 in Lašt’any near Olomouc. In the 1940s he served as a lieutenant in the 33rd Squadron in Olomouc. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his participation in the Battle of Britain. After February 1948 he was charged with treason and sentenced to 30 years in prison. In 1991 he was promoted to colonel in memoriam. He has a memorial plaque in Lašt’any near Olomouc.

He graduated from the Business Academy in Olomouc, the military academy in Hranice and then joined the army air force. From 1938 he served as a pilot lieutenant in the 33rd Squadron in Olomouc. Before the occupation of the republic he fled to France and then to England. Here he actively participated in the air battle for England. He was shot down over France and fell into German captivity, from which he escaped four times. After one of his escapes from German captivity, he became a participant in the Polish resistance movement. He was sentenced to death by the German court in Prague. On 16 April 1945 he was liberated in the German fortress of Colditz and returned to the UK. Here he was awarded the Order of the British Empire by the King of England. After returning to his homeland, he lectured as an officer of the Czechoslovak and British air forces to future pilots at the Olomouc airport.

After the events of February 1948, he was arrested and charged with military treason and treason against the Republic. He was sentenced to 10 years in Prague’s Pankrác prison, and later to another 20 years of hard labour.
On 29 May 1991, by order of the Commander of the Air Force and Air Defence Forces of the Czechoslovak Republic No. 66, Josef Bryks was promoted to the rank of colonel in memoriam. A memorial plaque to Colonel Bryks was unveiled on 4 June 1994 in his native village of Lašt’any near Olomouc.


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