Czechoslovak pilot who downed Soviet planes in WWII dies

Discussion in 'Memorials & Cemeteries' started by Kyt, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

  2. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    More info on Reznak:

    A "small band" of Slovak fighter pilots, fought on the face Is against the "Soviet hordes" at the side of the pilots of Luftwaffe. Equipped with Bf109 G, they were illustrated in particular in the Crimea in 1943. Fantastic Jan Reznak finished the war with 32 victories over this type of apparatuses; what does one of the largest nonGerman European ace of it.

    J Reznak was born on April 14, 1919 in Jablonica. It began its career from aviator on June 21, 1938 on the aerodrome of Vajnory. It continued its training within the 32nd air regiment with Spi?ská Nová Ves then in Pie?ťany. Withclose the proclamation of independence on March 14, 1939, Slovakia decided to be combined in Germany. The 3rd regiment of the Czechoslovakian air force which was then based on the ground Slovaque (Piest' any) fell immediately under the jurisdiction from the Ministry for local Defense. The Slovak pilots will continue to fly on board obsolete apparatuses during several years. It will be still the case at the beginning of the invasion of Russia. Fortunately the German advisers of Luftwaffe in station as Slovakia will decide at the end of the year 41 to replace all the old cuckoos by of Messerschmitt. Thus 19 pilots and 88 mechanics directed by the Dumbala Captain were sent to Karup-Grove in Denmark for an initiation with the BF109. The small Slovaque troop is assigned with the 5.staffel/Jagdfliegerschule 3 to learn the handling from the planes Messerschmitt model D and E It is there that Jan Reznak will make the experiment of the German military discipline. There was a strict rule which prohibited to all the pupil-pilots to carry out acrobatics on board Bf109 during the period of training but this burned head of Reznak passed in addition to this order. May 8 42, it launched out in a series of stylistic device in the airs with its Bf109D (number 43). After having landed, it was immediately called at the headquarters, where it was notified to him that because of its insubordination it would be constrained D to write... 500 times "I am a pig of undisciplined pilot !"

    July 1 marked the end of the training course and almost all the pilots were transferred within the 13th flotilla. The unit started to receive Bf109 and to the end of the year, 27 German fighters were delivered. However these machines were relics of the Battle of England. The men of major Gumbala took off of Piest' any to go on a basis located near the sea of Azov on October 27, 1942. The first Group was equipped with 7 Messerschmitt Bf109 " Emil ". Five other apparatuses of the same type were to rejoin the aerodrome soon, thus reinforcing the deterrent force of the flotilla. This one will forward successively by Krasnodar, Slavyanskaya, Kersh and Taman before being established in Anapa in the Crimea for 5 months. It will be folded up then towards Taman, Kersh then Bagerovo.

    The 132nd flotilla did not operate directly for the Slovak Army but was immediately incorporated in Jagdgeshwader 52 (Under the command of the new chief of Luftflotte 4, the General Otto Desloch) as 132nd Staffel - 13.(Slowakei)/JG52. The old men " Emil " were replaced by Bf109 F (Fritz) and G (Gustave) as from January 5, 1943. The camouflage of the apparatuses of the unit hardly differed from their counterparts of Luftwaffe if they are not the Slovak colors (white-blue-red) on the muzzle of the planes. To also note that the victories were not painted over the empennage because the Slovaques pilots did not have personal planes, they used the best apparatuses available at the time of each mission.

    January 17 Ctk Reznak took the air with 06h20 in Bf109-2 (n°12004) at the beginning of Krasnodar with Por. Krisko for a mission of escort of FW180.Derrière the face, they were attacked by 4 Polikarpov I-153. Režňák descended a biplane which left in gimlet and in spite of the arrival 3 other Russian hunters on the place the combat, it succeeds in regulating the account in another Ivan. At the time of the flight return, it located 4 Petlaykov EP-2 at the horizon and started to release gusts at long distances. The 4 bombers balanced their bombs at once then moved away full throttle. Reznak posed its Messerschmitt with 07h24 after a flight which will have lasted less than one hour! It set out again on mission with 13h31 with the order this time, of Bf109E-4 (nr°2787). Rtk. Cyprich which also controlled Bf109E-4, as well as PorGerthofer and Ctk. Benzina on Bf109F, supplemented the formation. Cyprich quickly had to make half turn because of trouble of engine while old " the Emil " of Reznak was made outdistance by the 2 other Bf109, much faster. Suddenly, 4 LaGG-3 attacked solitary Messerschmitt. Brilliant Slovaque will so skilfully man?uvra that it managed to be aligned behind one of its attackers but it supported in vain constantly on the relaxation of its machine-guns, those were stopped. Impatient Russian to cut down Bf109, generates itself mutually, however they were to manage to touch on several occasions their prey. This one plunged in spiral to 2000 meters height. Režňák which had managed to carry out a resource with a few meters of the ground, will manage to sow its adversaries and to return at its base towards 14h08. The mechanics did not count less than 60 impacts of balls on the machine, as 3 enormous holes in left wing... A to note that the German cameras of propaganda filmed the bored plane of balls for the files. Reznak was not impressed too much him by this episode since it took again the air with 14h22, this time in Bf109F-4 (n°13334) for a free hunting in the Novorosiysk-Krymskaya sector in company of Gerthofer and Cyprich.

    February 3, 1943, the 2 more famous fighter pilots of the 13./JG52 - Jan Reznak and Isidor Kovaric - were selected to escort a Ju52 cargo liner which transported a German General since the Slavyanskaya base. The surface of the aerodrome had been seriously damaged by the attack of bombers and when Reznak tried to take off it lost 2 rims because of the ruts. It tried to return the landing gear but its speed was too slow so that the end of the wings touched the ground and Messerschmitt rebounds on the track before stopping. Reznak left unscathed the crash landing and right at the time when it went down from the apparatus, a wave of hunters made its appearance to attack the aerodrome. During this time, Kovarik which had succeeded in taking off without clashes had located Ju 52. It approached what it thought of being its " parcel " to escort it. However, this " Aunt Ju " transported mails and not a General. The good plane and its passenger were to be attacked and killed by the Soviet hunters in another sector.

    February 15, 1943, pitches it was again with go for Jan Režňák which wanted to know what its Messerschmitt had in the belly. Returning of a free hunting in the area of Novorosiysk, it approached the aerodrome with an aim of being posed when Stuka emerges opposite him. Jan managed to avoid the collision with the Junkers Ju 87 by pushing à.fond the throttle lever of its Bf109-4 (n°7088). This man?uvre abrupt cut its speed and the fighter left in gimlet, the pilot managed to rectify it in-extrémis but the landing was if violent that the fuselage tail section broke. This time still, lucky Reznak was to be left there without a scratch. It will be victim of another particular incident on March 11. With 07h00, it took off of Kerch for a patrol in company of Isidor Kovaric. Above Abinskakya, they met about thirty Polikarpov I-153 and I-16. They tackled the Soviet formation immediately, in spite of their numerical inferiority, and Reznak managed to descend two I-153. The combat involved the consumption of many drops of fuel and the Slovaque number one was constrained to land with an empty tank on the abandoned track of Krymskaya. The old aerodrome was rammed by artillery and at the time or its machine stopped, Reznak noticed that some German soldiers still fought to prevent that this end of ground does not fall to the hands from the enemy. The Germans helped it to remake the full one with its Bf10çG-2 (n°14830). At the desired time or it to give its machine on the way, it noted that there was no crank of starting available. The soldiers excavated the ground and a smart militiaman used the crank of a Russian truck. In spite of some difficulties, the easy way functioned perfectly. Reznak made heat the engine during a few minutes, then it greeted the men of infantry before pushing ahead the throttle lever for takeoff. It of the slalomer between the craters and succeeded in raising its machine right before an enormous hole. The Jan brave man will succeed has to return at the base of Kerch IV and after having the full one remakes, the untiring pilot took again the air for a new free hunting in the Petrovskaya-Krymskaya-Temryuk. triangle.

    Isidor Kovarik had a nasty surprise before a few days. March 14, it and Reznak mitraillèrent a Russian column and it had emptied all its chargers at the time of this attack on the ground. A few minutes later, the 2 companions were to fall nose to nose with a flotilla of DB-3, bombers Soviet. Reznak which had kept ammunition holds some (it hated the ground attack missions) destroyed an enemy machine as of the first master key. In spite of qu ' it did not have any more ball, Kovarik plunged on the enemy with an aim of dispersing the bombers but especially to prevent them from turning over fire against Reznak. Its Bf109-G2 (N°10473) being touched by a defensive shooting the Slovaque pilot was constrained to disengage highly and to be posed in a field located near the marshes of Krasnoarmeskaya. Jan Reznak returned a few hours later with a two-seater (Praga E-241). It was posed, recovered his friend and the duet could return healthy and except at the base.

    Known Reznak him also a mishap of this kind on March 25. This day, it continued Petlaykov EP-2, the plane was in its collimator and it was on the point of supporting on the relaxations, when the machine gunner postpones touched it of a precise gust. Its Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2, (Nr.10473) started to lose power. The ace tried to jump but to its greater amazement, it did not manage to open the canopy. Jan will however manage to pose its machine in catastrophe in a cotton field, with approximately 10 kilometers of the peninsula of Taman. During the crash landing, it knocked the head against the sight and lost consciousness. When it awoke, it saw soldiers approaching the plane which had hooded, it pushed a ouf relief when it recognized the Rumanian uniforms. This time it is Kovarik which played the part of the rescuer, it went to recover Reznak always on board Praga E-241.

    To quickly recognize the identity of the planes in the sky was an elementary rule of survival at the time of the air operations. Reznak carried out a mission of protection of Junkers 87, Stukas, with a height of approximately 4000 meters when it noticed 4 Soviet hunters which flew in their direction but much low. It passed directly to the offensive in its Bf 109G-4 (Nr.19347), and chooses the leader of the formation for target. At the time when it adjusted its adversary, it recognized in the sight the cross black (balenkreuze)sur the machine, it deviated immediately of its trajectory and went then to the height of Messerschmitt of head, it heard in its ear-phones a violent one "Verfluchter Schweisse ", the Slovaque pilot returned towards the escort and took again his mission. After having lands, it expected severely to be réprimandé not to have recognized very continuation of the German hunters. With its great astonishment, that which had failed to be the victim of its attack found it personally. It acted neither more nor less than of Kommodore of the JG52, Dietrich Hrabak, which had recorded its 802nd victory one week earlier. Better this one congratulated the Slovaque young person for his courage and it did not address any reproach to him. Reznak will say later than it would not have exchanged 10 victories against the conversation than it had had this day with Hrabak. It had more chance as regards identification of plane on May 3, 1943. Six Messerschmitt Slovak and 30 German escorted a broad training of Stukas when another unknown group of hunters joined them above Krymskaya. The newcomers transfered suddenly and the leader passed to the attack. Reznak reacts to the quarter of turn, it fell on the Russians and opened fire. The crossing carried out, of a blow of swing bar, it put in their wake. Jan lit LaGG-3 of a long gust. At the time when the plane exploded in the sky, it launched a cry of alarm via the radio of edge ! The Slovak and German planes of escort operated immediately to counter the attack of the Soviets and those were constrained to beat a retreat promptly.

    The day more ostentation of the 13./JG52 was without question on May 28, 1943 when the flotilla put out of combat 10 had. The day before, Jan Reznak had obtained a quite curious victory, it drove out Mig-3 with its Bf109G-4 (NR 19296) above Troyskaya. The clouds was extremely low in this mountainous area, Russian plunged in cotton to try to escape to its prosecutor. blast of an explosion saved the life of Jan because the Mig one had just struck full whip the ground what gave time to our Slovak to rectify its machine which had also launched out in piqué. Mig Russian was his 292nd victory and it had not needed to draw only one gust to obtain it. Jan Reznak wished to obtain at least a victory over P-39 Airacobra and it was quite ready to carry out its wish on June 2 43. At the time of a mission of escort of 80 Junkers Ju 87, his unit met and engaged a formation of these apparatuses delivered by the Americans. One of between-them had managed to be placed behind the tail of Rtk. Cyprich but Reznak quickly aligned its Bf109 G-4 (Nr.19774) behind P-39. It still supported on the relaxation and still but nothing occurs its weapons had been stopped ! The Russian pilot included/understood immediately what had just occurred and retards throttle so that Messerschmitt passes under its nose. Jan slipped however on the wing, before reversing its machine on other side then to plunge towards the ground for definitively sowing its adversary. Bf109 did not have a rival in piqué !

    The 13./JG52 had mainly fought against the planes of the 42nd and 52nd Soviet Air Forces. These 2 units were gradually equipped with materials and armaments of qualities, so that the Slovaques pilots had to engage quantities of different apparatuses : I-153, I-16, DB-3, It-2, Yak-I, Mig-3, LaGG-3, Spitfires, P-39 Aircobra, EP-2 and A-20 Boston. However the Slovak aces will be unanimous for saying that Messerschmitt Bf109F and G were largely higher than all the types of planes used by the Russians. The results recorded by the flotilla on the Face of the East tend to confirm this assertion since on roughly 2000 exits, the Slovak ones of the 13./JG52 obtained 216 victories for the loss of only 7 pilots. In March 43, the most prolific month, the aces of this Staffel are credited with 44 victories, 38 in April and May 37. The largest Slovak ace is obviously Jan Reznak with 32 confirmed victories (+2 not confirmed). It accepted many Slovaques distinctions and Croats but also the Iron 1 Crossera and 22nd class, the German Gold Cross and the " Gold Frontlugspange ". It was followed by Rtk. Isidor Kovarik with 28 victories and 1 not confirmed which also accepted the Iron Cross, 1era and 22nd Class, the German Gold Cross and the " Gold Frontlugspange ". The 32nd was Npor. Jan Gerthofer (27 confirmed victories and 5 not confirmed).

    After the war, Jan Reznak saw its licence confiscated by the Czechoslovakian authorities " to have carried the weapons against the fatherland of socialism ". It however continued to work in the sector of aeronautics. After the fall of Communism in 1989 and the independence of the Slovakia who followed, the ace was finally rehabilitated.

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