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RAF Service Dress Tunic to a Czech Flight Officer in the RAF

Similar to the gentleman in the background, this Czech pilot's uniform is almost completely British with the exception of the Czech pilot badge and the Czech ribbons. Note the range of uniform on the men in the background including the service dress and the battle dress.
A four pocket standar RAF officer's service dress ranked to a Flight Officer with insignia and ribbons for a Czech ex-patriot.

A regal silk RAF pilots wing. Underneath are the Czech and British awards including: Top row from left (all Czech medals), War Cross 1939, Medal for Valour, Military Medal of Merit. Bottom row, from left (all British medals): Distinguished Flying Cross, 1939-45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star and War Medal.

The fact that the Czech awards are on top would normally indicate this tunic belonged to a Czech pilot.

Early Czech pilot badges made in Prague were attached by three integral hooks (see insignia section). This badge, which is a cast version made in the UK, is actually stiched to the pocket.
The tailors label from London. In it is marked the name F/O (flight officer) R. B. Hirsch. It is dated 6 Sept, 43. Interestingly, this name has been subsequently crossed out. We have not been able to find any record of this name so far, at least not in the Czech's flying for the RAF. It could be this tunic originally belonged to someone else and then was passed along.

© Tod Rathbone
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