Night Hawk: Flight Lieutenant Karel Kuttelwascher DFC and BAR, the RAF’s Greatest Night Intruder Ace

Night Hawk: Flight Lieutenant Karel Kuttelwascher DFC and BAR, the RAF’s Greatest Night Intruder Ace

Product no.: 978-1-78155-591-0
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  • Draws not just on official RAF records, but the personal log book and combat reports of the ace plus family records, letters and the recollections of many personal acquaintances
  • Provides a detailed account of a uniquely dangerous and little-known type of operation called night intrusion at which this ace was the supreme exponent
  • Handsomely illustrated with high-quality photographs from the author’s personal collection

Karel Kuttelwascher may have had a German surname, but he was a Czech who became the scourge of Luftwaffe bombers operating from France and the Low Countries in 1942. Flying with the RAF’s legendary No. 1 Squadron, his destruction of fifteen aircraft in only three months brought him the DFC twice in a mere forty-two days and made him the RAF’s top night intruder ace. After his daring escape from German-occupied Czechoslovakia, he flew in the ferocious Battle of France and was then in time to participate in the final weeks of the Battle of Britain as one of Churchill’s ‘Few’.

During the early circus operations, he clocked up his first three kills and then played a part in the famous Channel Dash. However, it was in the lauded but lonely night intruder role that his individualistic skills came to the fore. Flying a long-range Hawker Hurricane IIC armed with 20-mm cannon, the man the wartime media dubbed the ‘Czech Night Hawk’ unleashed a reign of terror that included the knocking out of three Heinkel bombers in just four minutes.


Roger Darlington has had a lifelong interest in aviation as a result of his father being an RAF pilot towards the end of the Second World War. Most of his professional life has been involved in research and writing in the worlds of politics, trade unions and consumer advocacy. Therefore, when he married a daughter of the RAF’s greatest night intruder ace, he was uniquely placed to turn the treasure trove of personal records into an exciting biography. Contact with over 150 individuals and organisations in twelve countries has resulted in a rich account of a very special type of operation.

234 x 156 mm - paperback - 216 pages - 67 black-and-white photographs

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