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April 24, 2014

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WWII RAF pilot Miroslav Standera dies at 95

Updated Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 | 6:55 a.m.

PRAGUE (AP) — Local officials say Brig. Gen. Miroslav Standera, one of the last of the Czechoslovak pilots who fought in the French and British air forces during World War II, has died at age 95.

City Hall in Plzen, where Standera lived since 1994, says he died late Wednesday.

Standera fled occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939 to join France's air force. After France capitulated, he joined the Royal Air Force's No. 312 (Czechoslovak) Fighter Squadron and participated in the Battle of Britain, Germany's unsuccessful attempt to destroy the RAF. He later flew in the 68 Night-Fighter Squadron.

After the 1948 Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, Standera fled to Britain again to escape the persecution of those who fought in the West.