Monday, 19 January 2009


A man who never knows when to give up. In the true spirit of the fighting Poles, he is still active in Polish affairs in America - well, he's only 89 years old! See the following extracts from American websites:
Born in New Jersey of Polish-born parents, Olejarczyk went to Poland as a baby with his parents, whose extreme patriotism made them long for their homeland once it had been re-established as a sovereign nation following World War I. Ultimately, economic hardships in the newly re-formed Poland forced his father back to the States for employment while Olejarczyk remained behind with his mother, not rejoining his father until 1940. Thus began a lifelong loyalty to two nations, and during World War II, prior to the United States’ involvement, he volunteered for the Polish Air Force in Canada to help in the liberation of Poland (‘Recognize a need and fill it’). The following year he transferred to the American Air Force and was assigned as a bombardier-navigator with the 586th Bomber Squadron, flying B26s in Europe.After working many years as an analytical engineer for GM, Olejarczyk retired and devoted all of his time to the PAC following the 1981 Solidarity movement’s activities in Poland, when issues of Polish affairs faced by the organization became too absorbing for ‘part time’ attention. Thanks to his wife Bronia, whom he describes as ‘the love of his life’ (and who he met in kindergarten!), Olejarczyk is to this day a hallowed figure about the PAC Federal Credit Union, and who, regardless of age, is still identifying needs and filling them.
Mr. Olejarczyk was born in New Jersey, but grew up in Warsaw. While he was studying engineering at the Warsaw Polytechnic Institute, Germany invaded Poland and World War II began. Young Kazimierz volunteered for the Polish Air Force in exile (RAF) and transferred to the U.S. Army Air Force in 1944. At war’s end, he moved to Michigan, where he earned a BBA from the Univ. of MI and MBA and MA from the Univ. of Detroit. He worked for General Motors Fisher Body for 33 years, retiring as a senior analytical systems engineer. He also taught Mathematics and Political Science at the Univ. of Detroit. During that period he also reported for the Voice of America and translated for Radio Free Europe.

Thursday, 15 January 2009



Stanislaw Jozefiak was born on 10th September 1919 on a farm in Skalmierzycach near Ostrow Wielkopolski, a town in Central Poland. Between 1937 and 1939 he attended an aviation school where he was trained as a radio operator and air gunner. In September 1939 he was one of a group of students who were evacuated to Romania where he was interned in a camp at Timisoara, about 60 kilometres from the Jugoslavian border.
The following month he escaped and crossed into Jugoslavia, but was recaptured after five days and returned to the camp. He escaped again, in November 1939, and made it to the Polish Embassy in Bucharest, Romania from where he was taken to the port of Constanta on the Black Sea and on to Beirut, Lebanon on board the Romanian ship Transylvania en route to Marseille, where he arrived on November 1939. He made it to the Polish depot at Lyon-Bron. On 20th January 1940, he set sail from Le Havre, France to Southampton, England. On arrival in England, he learned English and finally qualified as a radio operator and air gunner and was promoted to Sergeant.
He was assigned to 12 OTU at RAF Benson and on to RAF Penrith. On 7th April 1941 he was transferred to the newly formed 304 Squadron at RAF Syerston. It was here he teamed up with his permanent crew until the fateful mission to bomb Boulogne, France on the night of 28/29 May 1941. After completing the mission on Wellington bomber R1392, the aircraft was hit by flak which destroyed one engine. Amazingly the pilot recovered control of the aircraft, which was plummeting towards the sea, and they limped back to England on the remaining engine. One of the crew baled out over Boulogne and his body was never found. Sergeant Jozefiak and another crew member baled out over England and both were injured, Sergeant Jozefiak broke his leg and spent several months in Sussex County Hospital. He had been taken there by the local Home Guard, who initially mistook him for a German pilot. The pilot and the other two members of the crew were killed when the aircraft crashed at Darwell Hole, Sussex. Many years later, as an octogenarian, Stanislaw Jozefiak returned there and build a monument with his own hands. The brass plaque and Polish eagle were supplied and made by apprentices at Rolls Royce – who made the engines for the original Wellington bomber.
At the end of January 1942, he returned to his Squadron and flew, with various crews, a total of 53 missions – far more than the obligatory tour of 30 normally expected of aircrew. His targets were mostly ports and industrial cities in France and Germany (with Bomber Command) and then against submarines in the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Biscay (with Coastal Command).
He then went on to RAF Blackpool, RAF Hucknall and various other RAF stations where he trained as a pilot flying Tiger Moths and Miles Masters. On 14th September 1944 he was assigned to 639 Squadron RAF which was an anti-aircraft co-operation unit, flying Hawker Hurricanes.
On 23rd January 1945, he moved to RAF Rednal where he flew Supermarine Spitfires, eventually moving, on 2nd June 1945, to 317 Vilnius Squadron, PAF and serving in Germany where he stayed until the dissolution of the squadron on 18th December 1946. He was promoted to Squadron Leader and was awarded the Silver Cross of the Order of Virtuti Militari and the Cross of Valour (three times).
On demobilisation he joined the Polish Resettlement Corps, finally becoming a civilian in 1949. He settled in the City of Derby, where he worked at a textile factory. In 1951, he took a job as a pilot with the American CIA but later returned to the factory, ending up as its head of security. Later he bought a furniture and carpet store which he ran until his retirement. At the time of writing, (January 2009) he still lives in Derby and maintains strong ties with Poland. In1996 he wrote his autobiography: “God, Honour and the Homeland”
Photographs kindly supplied by Stanislaw Jozefiak himself.

Friday, 9 January 2009


I have recently been contacted by another amateur historian who was seeking permission to use one of the photographs posted here. I don't hold the copyright so I had to e-mail the people who do. They answered immediately granting permission. This triangle of amateurs could teach the experts a lesson. In my researches I have been hampered or ignored by many of the so called experts; they are quite happy to accept information but very reluctant to pass it on. Of course, I don't mean ALL of the experts (but I do mean a majority of them.) I suppose some of them make money from publications and will do nothing to encourage competition - even non-profit genuine historians. Long live the amateur!


I have recently been contributing to a Polish forum and over 1,275 people have read my postings on 304 Squadron. The forum owners have decided to publish a short history of the Squadron on the associated website (in February, I think). I initially joined the forum with the intention of drawing on the knowledge of these Polish people to expand on what I have already learned; that was not successful but the interest shown has helped me achieve my other objective - to preserve the memory of thse brave Poles.


R1602 10th March 1942

This aircraft was unable to operate from its base at RAF Lindholme due to bad weather conditions and the extreme wet state of this aerodrome. It took off from RAF Swanton Morley on a mission to bomb the Krupp Works at Essen. Not all the aircraft were able to bomb the primary target but all did bomb military targets. On its return, P/O Alfred Osadzinski was forced to land at RAF Oakington because of fuel shortage. Whilst he and his crew were being debriefed, another incoming aircraft struck R1602 and both aircraft were destroyed in the ensuing fire. This is another loss that is largely ignored by many of the so called experts and is not listed as a loss on any of the major sites. It was an accidental loss but occurred at the end of a bombing mission, before the aircraft reached its home base and is arguably an operational loss.