Augustin Přeučil

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Augustin Přeučil (3 July 1914 – 14 April 1947, Prague) was a Czechoslovak who joined the Royal Air Force and spied for the Gestapo during the Second World War. He faked his death in 1941, but was sentenced to death by the People's Court in Prague in 1947 for treason. He was hanged in Pankrác Prison on 14 April 1947.

Born near Benešov in central Bohemia, Přeučil served as a reconnaissance pilot in Air Regiment 1 of the Czechoslovak Air Force by early 1939. When the Germans invaded in March 1939, he immediately volunteered to join the Luftwaffe but was rejected because he was not a German national. In 1939 he was caught attempting to illegally cross the border from the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, on his way to offer his services as a pilot in South America. He was recruited by German Intelligence, who sent him into Europe, to monitor the exiled Czechoslovak military abroad, and the air forces in particular.

After spells in Poland and France, Přeučil made his way to Britain where he joined the Royal Air Force. Among his activities was the theft of a Hawker Hurricane Mk IIa serial number W9147 of 55 OTU based at RAF Usworth, near Sunderland, in which he flew to Vlissingen in the Netherlands on 19 September 1941. At the time the RAF assumed the aircraft and pilot lost at sea, and it was not until later the true circumstances of the loss came to light. The Hurricane ended up displayed at the Museum of Transport and Technology in Berlin.

Until the end of the war he was an undercover agent, whose task was to infiltrate resistance movements. He was also sent into the Gestapo prison Theresienstadt and spied on American prisoners of war.

In 1944 he helped the Prague Gestapo to identify those captured Czechoslovak pilots who had been shot down and who the Nazis wanted to try as traitors. He also infiltrated the concentration camp of Theresienstadt where, posing as a captured Czech pilot, he informed on Czech political prisoners.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harris, Paul (15 June 2003). "Hero pilot unmasked as Hitler's spy in the RAF". The Observer. Retrieved 28 March 2015.