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LATCC Briefing Room 1980

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LATCC Briefing Room 1980

Old 28th Jun 2020, 20:48
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LATCC Briefing Room 1980

I seem to remember a chap called Jan? who was either Polish or Czechsolvakian and who worked in the West Drayton briefing room where he amended and collated the MATS Part 2 and other documentation.

Can anyone confirm his name and the fact that he was an ex Battle of Britain fighter pilot? He retired about 1982.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 21:45
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With thanks to "Itsonyatv"from 2010.
"His name was Jan Masat. Had an interesting history having flown for the Czech and French air forces before joining the RAF in1940. Took part in patrolling Scapa Flow and was posted to Canada in 1942 as a Harvard instructor. Rejoined the Czech air force in 1947 and was subsequently arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment because he was considered an enemy to Soviet ideas. Managed to escape to West Germany on foot in May1949 and rejoined the RAF. By the end of 1949 he had totalled 3700 flying hours in 20 different aircraft types. Transferred to ATC in 1954 and in 1958 was posted to Aden. On his return to the UK he joined D&D at RAF Uxbridge and later served at various RAF airfields including Binbrook,West Raynham(VTOL evaluation unit),Lynham and Bally Kelly. Left the RAF in
1971 and joined the CAA the following year. He spent 10 years looking after documentation for the briefing room at West Drayton and retired in 1982."
I was on a course with Jan at the college in Bournemouth early 1980ish. One lunch break he bumped into one of his old mates from the RAF who was flying Dc3's or Heralds for Channex. Went on a jolly with him to the CI's and returned with a smile a mile wide. Great bloke
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 22:27
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Very interesting. I didn't really know him but I did call him "Sir" and quite right too!
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 08:56
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DC10RealMan

Have a look at the thread 'Gaining a pilot's brevet in WW2' in Military Aviation. Post number 12625 is by Jan's son and gives info' similar to that given by tczulu.

tczulu

I'm recovering from a weekend visit by the off-spring and his mad Kiwi wife. First time this year! We are going to meet up at next month at our favourite hotel ( in Dorset ) and they are hoping Jane M will join us.


Edited @ 1830 3rd July - Who has dropped me in it?

Last edited by Brian 48nav; 3rd Jul 2020 at 17:30. Reason: Addition
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 11:34
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What a great story, makes me realise what a boring life I've led
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 14:00
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Thanks, Brian I will do so. There is a thread about Master Aircrew on the Military forum which conjures up similar stories about "The greatest generation"
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 20:23
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I remember Jan well, he led an incredible life. I can’t add more than tczulu has written which was as I remember Jan telling me. However one anecdote that he relayed to me concerned the time after WW11 when he was temporarily in the Czech AF. He was involved in safety management as it was then and had to appear in a court martial over a pilot, allegedly a card carrying communist, who had done a wheels up landing on his base. Jan was asked by the judge whether lowering the undercarriage was something a competent pilot could overlook and he replied “forgetting to lower your undercarriage on landing is like forgetting to lower your trousers when having a sh*t!
Whether this contributed to his subsequent arrest I do not know, however he was a wonderful character, not enough of his ilk still around.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 21:23
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I shall remember that the next time I fly!
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 07:03
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“forgetting to lower your undercarriage on landing is like forgetting to lower your trousers when having a sh*t!
That epitomizes my memories of Jan … the night watches went by remarkably quickly!!
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