Antonín Liška

Antonín Liška

14-07-1911 - 03-12-1998

Keywords for this biography
Fighting Liberation Occupation Victory and defeat
Liberation Route Europe

Antonín Liška

Antonín Liška started out by studying at the Teachers’ Institute in Pilsen but then decided to join the armed forces as a fighter pilot with the 1st Air Regiment between 1937-1939. After the German invasion he fled the country and would continue to fight, first from Poland and then from England.

Antonin Liška said: "After March 1939, I considered continuing the fight against the occupation of our country an obligation. As active resistance was impossible at home, we went abroad. I had just got married. It was not easy to decide to leave, but my young wife had to sacrifice much more because she was expecting a baby. He was born six months after my departure."

His wife, Mary, was imprisoned for over a year in a concentration camp in Svatoborice, established by the occupation forces for families of soldiers who had joined the Allied troops. After Poland had been defeated, Liška was taken prisoner by the Soviet Union which had invaded Poland from the East. He was released in 1940 and eventually made his way to England. In 1941, he trained with the RAF learning to fly Spitfires with the 312th Czechoslovak Fighting Squadron.By 29 June 1942, he had 151 flying hours under his belt.

On that fatal day, Liška suffered a bad crash due to either mechanical aircraft failure or enemy action. He spent eight months in hospital. In 1945, he returned to Czechoslovakia and received several awards. He was declared an honorary citizen of Pilsen in 1991. Liška also became honorary chairman of the city’s Aero Club. As a talented writer, he published three books about his war experiences: Shadows on the Sky (1946), How to Shy the Death (1983) and The Journeys of Men (1992). Liška was given the Award of the City of Pilsen for his works. He is buried in his native Hranice.

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