Sunderland Mk.V (SH72162) – Standa Hajek boxart

Yesterday afternoon, a mailman appeared bringing us a large cardboard envelope with another Standa Hajek’s masterpiece boxart. The picture will adorn our 1/72 Sunderland Mk.V kit (SH72162) and shows SZ566/Z machine flown by Vaclav Bergman in Singapore area during the Korea war when the Brits were also engaged in Malaya fighting communist insurgent forces. Vaclav Bergman, a Czech with DFC&Bar, fled his homeland Czechoslovakia twice, first time after the Nazis had stormed and occupied Czechoslovakia, and after the war because of the communist takeover. During the Second World War, he fought with the RAF flying fighter aircraft. He was one of the Czechs who took part in the Battle of Britain and in 1944 became the CO of No 313 Sqn RAF.

Having fled his home for the second time, he saw military service on the Spitfire Mk.XIV and later while in Malaya and Korea he flew the Sunderland. When his overseas deployment was over, he returned to the UK and completed his military career as a Coastal Command Shackleton pilot. For his service in Malaya and Korea, he received high military awards and became also one of only two Czechs (the other being Karel Kuttelwascher, a Hurricane night fighter ace) to be awarded with DFC twice.


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