22.04.1943 No. 68 Squadron Beaufighter VIF V8567 WM-B F/O. Josef Menšík
Date: 22nd April 1943 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 68 Squadron
Type: Beaufighter VIF
Base: RAF Coltishall, Norfolk
Location: Swanton Morley, Norfolk
Pilot: F/O. Josef Menšík 128670 RAFVR Age 25. Killed
Nav: F/O. Rudolf Slíva 141980 RAFVR Age 31. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off for a training flight at 20.30 hrs from RAF Coltishall. Several witnesses saw pieces of the aircraft fall away before the aircraft spun into the ground near Swanton Morley some 28 km west of Coltishall. Both crew killed.
F/O. Menšík had two earlier escapes:
Whilst with 312 squadron on Circus 19 escorting Blenheims to Chocques from RAF Kenley on the 3rd May 1941 he was forced to crash land his Hurricane Z2987 on return, but survived, slightly injured. The aircraft was later repaired.
Shortly afterwards on the 8th July 1941 whilst on Circus 39 the squadron were engaging Bf109’s from JG26 flying Hurricane IIb Z3327 when he was shot down, baling out over Lisbourg. Managed withe the assistance of escape lines to return to England on the 21st October 1941 via Spain.
Above and below: Scottow Cemetery as visited by Aircrew Remembered April 2014
Both crew were buried at Scottow Cemetery near Coltishall on the 26th April 1943.
F/O. Josef Menšík. Scottow Cemetery, Norfolk. Grave 295. Next of kin details not available. Born in Skačany, Czechoslovakia on 19th November 1917. Joined the Czech-Slovak Air Force in 1935, RAF on 2nd August 1940 after escaping the German occupation.
F/O. Rudolf Slíva. Scottow Cemetery, Norfolk. Grave 294. Next of kin details not available. Born in Czechoslovakia on the 16th February 1912.
Researched with information from Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 1-3, Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Aircrew Remembered own Archives.