Major (ret.) Milan Trunkát

* 1925  †︎ 2014

  • “The other day we moved to Scotland, it went that quickly. I got a rifle, a gas mask and money for the train. We went to Scotland by train. We guarded a beach there. The Englishmen had planted mines under it. They expected the Germans to launch an invasion there. There were some poles there… We guarded the beach. We had to shoot cats and dogs so that there would not be some trouble. That’s where I got to know the first Czechoslovak soldiers.”

  • “I was a Boy Scout even in England! During the war there was certain Lord who was a fan of Boy Scouts. He had his fields, etc. He reached out to schools: ‘If there are any Scouts from Europe, let them contact me.’ He announced that he had his estate and that he would organize everything, he would send a train and buses. There were many Norwegians, our friends during the war. They gathered the Scouts and thus I got to the area near Scotland during the war. This is something I like to remember. At that time I was already able to communicate, because the Norwegians spoke English as well… We had a great time, there was wood, there was everything, tents were built beautifully. We cooked for ourselves, everyone cooked what he knew. It was a kind of international food. He liked us. He was an elder gentleman, a respectable man. He was a Lord, and Lords have money, so he gave his money for it. We thus had a good time and I got to know Scouting in England.”

  • “We had other bombs, too, they were almost one meter in diameter… the armourers would always place them for us in the centre of the bomb bay. It caused quite an explosion. I don’t know where they were dropping them. We called them ‘cookies.’ We always wrote a message on them: ‘This is for Hitler!’”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Ostrava-Poruba, 26.11.2012

    duration: 02:27:39
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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I fled the Gestapo as a fourteen-year-old boy and I returned as a veteran of the Australian RAF

Milan Trunkát as a seventeen-year-old
Milan Trunkát as a seventeen-year-old
photo: Milan Trunkát

Milan Trunkát was born February 1, 1925 in Moravská Ostrava. During the war he and his parents were guiding emigrants and Czechoslovak soldiers over the border to Poland. In order to escape persecution by the Gestapo, Milan and his mother had to flee to Great Britain, where Milan joined the Boy Scout movement. As part of pre-army raining he joined the Air Training Corps when he was fourteen years old. After completing school he was drafted to the army and he was assigned for army tank training. Upon his personal request he was transferred to the air force, to the No. 460 squadron of the Australian RAF. Due to his eye problem he was not allowed to fly as a pilot and he thus served as an engineer for Lancaster bomber planes. When Milan Trunkát returned to Czechoslovakia, he worked as an instructor at the airport in Prague-Ruzyně. He was briefly imprisoned under unclear circumstances and then he moved to Ostrava where he worked as a clerk in the Office of Price Administration. He was persecuted after the communist coup d’état in February 1948 and he was brutally interrogated by the StB several times. After one such interrogation he became deaf on one ear. He was imprisoned again and he worked in a coal mine. Then he worked as a constructor for the Mining Project Company until his retirement. He was rehabilitated in 1990 and promoted to the major’s rank. Milan Trunkát holds several decorations. Milan Trunkát passed away on March, the 12th, 2014.