Thursday, 4 February 2010


He was born on 28th March 1918 at Potapowicze, Poland (now Belarus).  In 1938 he graduated from the School of Aviation in Bydgoszcz. W 1939 walczył przeciwko nacierającym Niemcom. In September 1939 he fought against the Germans during the invasion of Poland and when his unit was disbanded, he went east to try to rescue his family. W czasie próby ratowania swojej rodziny został schwytany przez Rosjan i osadzony w obozie sowieckim gdzie spędził kilka lat. He was captured by the Russians and spent some time in a prison camp.

His escape route is unknown but he was probably one of those released by the Russians to join Anders’ army before making his way to Britain.

He served briefly as a wireless operator and air gunner with 304 Squadron (known to be in service on 8th July 1943) and later with 301 Squadron and 138 (Special Duties) Squadron and flew about 60 operational missions

He was based at RAF Brindisi and was on board Handley Page Halifax bomber JP283 (GR-G) which was shot down by a night fighter over Hungary, near Szantes about 150 kilometres from Budapest, on 2nd August 1944 whilst on a supply drop to the Polish resistance network – in support of the Warsaw Uprising.  He baled out and was injured and became a Prisoner of War.  He was captured by the Hungarians and handed over to the Germans and ultimately released by the British Army in 1945.  He had survived the Nazi enforced 700 mile Death March through Northern Germany during the winter of 1944/45; many hundreds of airmen died along the way.  Because of his escape by parachute he became a member of the Caterpillar Club – eligible only to those whose life had been saved by a parachute.

He survived the war but could not return to Russian occupied Poland and settled in England, where he became an aviation engineer and a test pilot.  He worked for Rockwell Collins in the field of aviation electronics, working on the design and installation of autopilots, gyros and navigation equipment.

He emigrated to Iowa, USA in 1966 and was appointed by the US Department of State to conduct research into autopilots.  During the Nixon administration he was involved in the installation of an autopilot on Air Force One.

He died on 8th April 2009 and is buried at Sharon Hill Cemetery, Kalona, Iowa.

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