Spitfire Books


The Big Wing Controversy

Belonged to a Battle of Britain Pilot

  • Price: £ 70

Presentation copy from the author to Czech Battle of Britain Pilot

Raimond Puda ~ 310 Squadron

‘To Raimund Puda
One of the Few, who is in this book!
Best wishes

Also signed by Raimund Puda with his characteristic signature.

The book comes with a ‘Reach For The Sky’ RAFBF Battle of Britain 50th Anniversary Appeal flyer which Puda
has annotated in red ink as it features a picture of 310 Squadron at Duxford including himself.

Ramrod Publications First Edition 1997.  219 pages including lots of  photos. 

Fine condition hardback book and Fine condition unclipped dustjacket. Clean, tight and bright.

A detailed account of operations conducted by Douglas Bader’s legendary Duxford Wing in 1940 and The Big Wing Controversy. Raimund Puda was part of Bader’s Duxford Wing flying with 310 (Czech) Squadron.

Raimund Puda’s biography:

Puda joined the Czech Air Force in October 1930 and was sent to fighters where he became an expert at aerobatics. After a short stint with the Czech airlines he made his way to France after the Germans took over Czechoslovakia in 1939. He joined the l’Armee de l’Air on 11th September 1939 and after a course on French aircraft, he was posted to a Curtiss Hawk squadron, Groupe de Chasse II/4 based thirty miles from Strasbourg. His rank was Corporal-Pilot.

Puda destroyed a Do17 on 16th May 1940, shared in the destruction of another on the 28th and had a share in destroying a Hs126 on 11th June. As the Germans advanced, the squadron retreated, eventually arriving at Perpignan. They flew to North Africa and reached Meknes in Morocco. Soon afterwards the CO told Puda that France had capitulated and that he was discharged. He made his way to Casablanca, where he met up with other Czechs. A senior officer arranged for some 200 men to go by fishing vessel to Gibraltar. On arrival they were not allowed ashore but were ferried to a coal carrier, which then joined a convoy bound for Liverpool.

Enlisting in the RAF, Puda joined 310 Squadron at Duxford on 16th August 1940. He shared in the destruction of a Do17 on 15th September and a Ju88 on the 18th. Puda was posted to 605 Squadron at Croydon on the 18th but re-joined 310 ten days later. On 5th November Puda baled out of Hurricane V6619 after being attacked by Me109s over the Thames Estuary and having his oxygen system damaged.

After a tour as an instructor, in 1943 Puda joined 24 Squadron at Hendon, later moving to the Communications Flight there where he flew many VIPs. In July 1945 Puda re-joined the Czech Air Force and in February 1946 he went back to Czech Air Lines. Like many returned Czechs, he left his country again in April 1948 because of Communist pressure. In October 1948 Puda re-joined the RAF and flew Avro Yorks until retiring from the RAF on 1st October 1954 as a Flight Lieutenant. He died in 2002 and is buried alongside many of his Czech comrades at Brookwood.

A unique association copy of a well researched book which belonged to a Battle of Britain pilot who took part in the events described.