Sergeant Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 311 (Czech) Sqdn. Full name Vladimir Walter Stano. Age: 19. Service No: 654745.
Vladimir Walter Stano was born 18 July 1924 in Nové Mesto nad Váhom, Slovakia. He was the second child and only son of Adam Stano and Eva Palaj, who were both born in Liptovská Kokava, Slovakia. Vladimir means "Great Ruler" or "Master of the Universe." He immigrated to the US at age 13 on February 10, 1938 with his older sister Bozena aboard the SS Bremen and lived with his parents at 438 East 121st Steet in New York City. He was 5'11 with greenish brown eyes, brown hair and a noticeable scar on his upper left lip.
He joined the Royal Air Force (RAF Volunteer Reserve) during World War II and was a member of the primarily Czech bomber squadron 311. He and seven other Czechoslovaks died on 29 June 1944 aboard their four-engined Consolidated Liberator (an American B-24 aircraft coded J and numbered BZ 754), when it tragically hit trees during takeoff and crashed moments later at St. Keverne, England. One crew member survived the crash. They were flying from Predannack airfield near Helston in Cornwall at the westernmost tip of England on a operational reconnaissance flight. At the time, Walter was 19 years old and ranked a Sergeant. Walter is buried with 6 of his crew members in Helston cemetery in Cornwall.
[Written by Kirk LeCompte Jan 2009]