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The Czech Mint closes the cycle with the fifth set that pays tribute to our “heavenly riders“. Four gold coins commemorate the fate of the 68th night fighter squadron RAF.
The history of our pilots in the British Royal Air Force is rich. Czechoslovaks served in a number of RAF units in addition to Czechoslovak squadrons. Most of them enrolled in the chronicle of the British 68th Squadron, which fought with the enemy in the dark. Only their own eyes, moonlight and ground lights served them in the early moments of the fight. The revolution took place at the beginning of the Second World War, when the Luftwaffe launched a series of bombing raids on English cities, using on-board radar that was invented in Britain. Serving the night fighter squadron and competing with German aircraft, vessels and missiles was even more demanding than fighting the enemy in daylight.
The Czech Mint dedicated the cycle to Czechoslovak airmen serving in the RAF on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Gradually, the following topics appeared - symbols of Czechoslovak squadrons, their aircraft, flying aces and important events. A number of collectors pointed out that 68th Squadron would also deserve its coin in addition to the four Czechoslovak squadrons - 310th, 311th, 312th and 313th. There was a large number of Czechoslovaks, so the squadron adopted the Czech motto "Always Ready". Therefore, the cycle was closed by commemorative set dedicated to the 68th Wing in 2019. Individual coins from the studio of academic sculptor Zbyněk Fojtů thematically follow the four previous sets. The reverse sides bear the symbol of the squadron (owl with a Czech motto), its first effective night fighter (Bristol Beaufighter), two air aces (pilot Miloslav Mansfeld and radar operator Slavomil Janáček ) and the scene of combat deployment (attack on the missile V-1). On the common obverse side of the coins there is the name and the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, the nominal value of 10 DOLLARS (NZD) and the year of the issue 2019, which means the attributes of the island of Niue that provides the Czech Mint with a license to issue its own commemorative coins. These attributes are supplemented with RAF symbols.
An integral part of each set is a wooden box (decorated with a thematic engraving of the night fighter de Havilland Mosquito), which hides the most narrative accompanying publication. Individual chapters follow the scenes depicted on coins, both in word and unique photographs. Authentic experiences and archives of witnesses were used as source for the publication.
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