Monday, 30 June 2008


Taken at St Andrews, 1942, just after arriving in Britain; he is 4th from the left on the 4th row back
Taken in Poland before the War; the inscription reads Instructors and Trainees. He is second from the right, lying down

Fliers 1942; he is on the back row, extreme right

I have received the above 3 photographs from Patrick Micel, whose father, Sgt Ferdynand Micel, fought with 304 Squadron during their Coastal Command days. Once again, I felt strange looking at the faces of the men I have been researching for so long - especially when I can now put a face to a name that I have been working with. Like so many Poles, he ran away to fight another day (in France) then again in Britain. Thank God the Poles didn't know when to give up because we'd have been in dire straits without them. Heroes one and all. Anyway, here's his story:

MICEL Ferdynand (Sgt)
Attacked and damaged a U – Boat in the English Channel on 21st June 1944. He was born in Berdjansk, Ukraine but lived mostly in Bialystock, Poland until he was captured by the Russians on 17th September 1939. He was sent to Krzywy Rog then Siewzeldorlag in Siberia on 11th September 1940 where he suffered the mental torture of at least one “mock” execution, involving a night in the condemned cell and a visit from a priest. In 1941 he was transferred to Juza camp in Iwanowska province and then, on 4th September 1941, he was able to come to the UK from Archangel. He trained on gliders at Leeming and Sutton Bank and then spent time with 304 Squadron in Coastal Command. Later he flew weather flights from RAF Aldergrove (Belfast) and served at Hullavington, Syerston and Hornchurch ending up at Gan in the Maldives. He survived the war and died on 6th April 1983 in Leicester and his ashes are buried in Wrexham, Wales beside his mother and sister.

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