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Romualdas Marcinkus (22 July 1907 – 29 March 1944) was a Lithuanian pilot. Marcinkus participated in an early trans-European flight on 25 June 1934, and was the only Lithuanian pilot to serve in the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War. In his youth Marcinkus was a Lithuanian multifold football champion and a playing coach for the Lithuania national football team.

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  • Romualdas Marcinkus
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  • Romualdas Marcinkus (22 July 1907 – 29 March 1944) was a Lithuanian pilot. Marcinkus participated in an early trans-European flight on 25 June 1934, and was the only Lithuanian pilot to serve in the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War. In his youth Marcinkus was a Lithuanian multifold football champion and a playing coach for the Lithuania national football team.
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  • Romualdas Marcinkus
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  • Romualdas Marcinkus (22 July 1907 – 29 March 1944) was a Lithuanian pilot. Marcinkus participated in an early trans-European flight on 25 June 1934, and was the only Lithuanian pilot to serve in the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War. In his youth Marcinkus was a Lithuanian multifold football champion and a playing coach for the Lithuania national football team. While serving in the Lithuanian Air Force, Marcinkus was a paratrooper instructor, and headed the aviation sport and physical education department, and during his later years coached a junior football team. A few months before the Soviet occupation of Lithuania early in the Second World War, Marcinkus left Lithuania and enlisted in the French Air Force. After the Battle of France and the French capitulation, Marcinkus escaped to Britain, where he flew for the RAF. As a pilot for No. 1 Squadron RAF, he took part in various missions, including escorting bombers and night combat. On 12 February 1942, during Operation Cerberus, he was shot down, became a prisoner of war, and was sent to Stalag Luft III. At Stalag Luft III Marcinkus became an active member of an underground group of prisoners who organized and executed the Great Escape. Marcinkus was responsible for analyzing the German railway schedules – a vital part of the plan. On the night of 25 March 1944, Marcinkus became one of 76 servicemen who escaped the prison camp. After several days he was recaptured by the Gestapo and executed. At the end of the Second World War, Lithuania lost its independence and Marcinkus was largely forgotten. His memory was kept alive by the Lithuanian émigré press. After Lithuania regained its independence in 1990, more detailed accounts of his life were published there and abroad.
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