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Oldest Czech war veteran Andela Haida dies in Britain

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Prague, April 8 (CTK) – Andela Haida (born Benickova), the oldest Czechoslovak World War Two veteran, died in Britain on Saturday at the age of 104, the Czech Defence Ministry spokesman Jan Pejsek told CTK on Sunday.

Pejsek said the date of Haida’s funeral has not been set yet.

Haida joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1942 and worked for it as a driver for one year. She was released for health reasons.

Haida stayed in Britain even after WW2 ended. Last year, she received a medal foe heroism from Czech President Milos Zeman.

Czech Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky expressed regret over Haida’s death.

“We thank her for the heroism she showed in the hardest moments of the fight for humanity.” he tweeted. The Czech nation would not exist now if there had not been people like Andela Haida, Stropnicky added.

Defence Minister Karla Slechtova also paid respect to the deceased Haida on social networks on Sunday.

The Czech Defence Ministry now registered nearly 500 living WW2 veterans whose average age is 95.

Eduard Stehlik, who heads the ministry’s section for war veterans, said up to ten living veterans had been RAF members.

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