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Jan K Ambrus
Born (1899-05-19)19 May 1899
Died 2 January 1994(1994-01-02) (aged 94)
Place of birth Gorna Mitropolia, Bulgaria
Place of death Chicago, USA
Allegiance  Slovak Republic
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Years of service 1939–1946
Rank Wing Commander
Unit No. 310 Squadron RAF
No. 312 Squadron RAF

World War II

Awards OBE

Wing Commander Jan K Ambrus (1899–1994) OBE was a Slovak fighter pilot who flew with the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain.[1]

Early life[]

Ambrus was born in Gorna Mitropolia, Bulgaria in 1899. After leaving school, he studied at the Budapest Academy Lodovika Military Academy. Upon graduation in 1923, he was commissioned as an officer in the Czechoslovakian Air Force.[2]

Ambrus was a highly resepcted pilot and had won awards at aerobatic competitions, including at Vincennes in 1934, and at the 1936 Summer Olympics. In 1938, he was commanding officer of the Czechoslovak Air Force Test Group in Prague.[citation needed] In that year, he flew the Tatra T.101 on its record-breaking flight from Prague to Khartoum, Sudan.[3]

Among the medals award to Gen. Ambrus was the Order of the British Empire.

World War II[]

In 1939, he became a squadron commander in Prague. After serving in France in mid 1940,he came to the UK and joined to No. 310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron at Duxford as a P/O on 12 July 1940. Converting onto the Hawker Hurricane in August 1940 at No. 6 O.T.U at Sutton Bridge, he ws theen posted back to Duxford to the newly created No. 312 Czechoslovak Squadron, and on 10 September took the command as a Squadron Leader.

On 17 December, he left No. 312 Squadron to work with the Czechoslovak Inspectorate General (CIG) in London until the end of 1941. In 1942 he was promoted to the rank of Wing Commander and he was posted to Canada, where he worked as Czechoslovak Air Attache (CAA) in Ottawa till the end of war. After the war he became commander of the 4th Aviation military wing.

Later life and death[]

He left Czechoslovakia after the Communist takeover. Ambrus emigrated to the USA in 1948, and settled in Chicago.He worked as a design engineer, planning for highways, airports, air-pollution control systems and chemical plants.

He died, aged 94, at the Bohemian Home for the Aged in Chicago, where he had been resident since 1985.[4] After his death his remains were repatriated to his homeland and buried in the Slavičím valley, near Bratislava (in the present-day Slovak Republic).[2]

Honours, awards and legacy[]

Ambrus was awarded the following:[5]


  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. Degraef, Stefan; Borremans, Edwin. "Moravian Silverwing. The rebirth of Tatra's Khartoum Flyer". Cudham: Kelsey Publishing. pp. pp 28–32. ISSN 0143-7240. 
  4. Heise, Kenan (25 January 1994). "Gen. Jan Ambrus, 94". Chicago Tribune. 

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