Mayor Markéta Vaňková came to congratulate centenarian general and RAF pilot Emil Boček at the retirement home, February 27, 2023, Brno.
Brno – According to war veteran and the last surviving Czech RAF fighter pilot Emil Boček, Spitfire fighters were “perfect machines”. Boček, a native of Brno, who celebrated his 100th birthday on Saturday, February 25, briefly recalled the period of the Second World War today. He remembers England best. Brno mayor Markéta Vaňková (ODS) came to congratulate him today. Other congratulators will also come, in the afternoon, for example, regional governor Jan Grolich (KDU-ČSL).
“I don't celebrate anything, I'm more satisfied when a person is healthy and gluttonous, as they say, so it's good,” said General Boček to the mayor. He said that he has been through a lot, he has traveled the whole world. According to him, everywhere was good, but he remembers England the most. “It was good there. The Spitfires were perfect machines. It wasn't difficult, it was very good,” said Boček.
Boček left Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to fight at the age of 16. He took part in the battles for France, then joined the RAF in Britain, where he worked as a mechanic. He completed flight training in Canada and from 1944 participated in aerial combat in the Czechoslovak 310th Fighter Squadron in the British Air Force on Spitfires. He has 26 operational flights to his credit, flying for 73 hours and 50 minutes.
He said that while in France they wore clogs, in England everything was new, even the uniforms. When he returned home, his mother did not recognize his voice. It was locked, he slammed, mother asked, “Who is it?” and Boček answered: “Well, me.” And she asked, “Who me?” and Boček said that Emil. “When I returned, the boys, my peers, carried me on their shoulders all over Tuřany,” the general recalled. Boček was born in Tuřany in Brno and lived there in his youth.
< p>After the war, he was released from the army in 1946 and set up a motorcycle repair shop. After the communist coup, he worked at the company Mototechna, and later made a living as a turner until his retirement in 1988. After the restoration of democracy after 1989, he was morally and politically rehabilitated and promoted several times. He received high Czechoslovak and British war decorations for his combat heroism. In 2010, President Václav Klaus awarded him the highest state award, the Order of the White Lion III. classes. In 2019, the current president Miloš Zeman awarded him the order of the highest class. President Zeman received Bočka and another World War II veteran, Eastern Front fighter Miloslav Masopust, last week as well. He presented the veterans with the medal “100 years of the Order of the White Lion”.