Thursday, 4 February 2010


He was a mechanic and was born on 25th May 1918 in Bochnia, a small town in Southern Poland, about 35 kilometres from Krakow.  Shortly before the war he joined the army and was assigned to the 2nd Air Regiment in Krakow and on the outbreak of war he was among the first to be hit by the Luftwaffe bombing campaign as his airfield was destroyed.

He crossed the border into Romania and was immediately interned and marched to a camp at Pitesti, a major  city in the Wallachia region.  After some time there, he heard that the British and French were recruiting air and ground crew and he made his escape.  He was caught and returned to the camp where he was subjected to severe punishment.  Shortly afterwards he escaped again.  This time he was successful and made his way by sea to Beirut, Lebanon.

From there he went to Haifa in Palestine (now Israel) and on to Alexandria in Egypt.  Ultimately he made it to Marseilles and was posted to Le Bourg with many other Poles.  His next moves are unclear but he came to England and spent three months at RAF Eastchurch, learning English and doing initial training on British aircraft.

He was sent to the Polish Depot at RAF Blackpool and was allocated to 304 Squadron ground crew at RAF Syerston.  He stayed with the squadron during most of its time in Coastal Command and transferred to 663 Artillery Observation Squadron, based in Italy, probably in the summer of 1944.  By this  time he appears to have been aircrew although it is not certain whether he was a pilot or an observer, flying in unarmed Auster planes.  He stayed in Italy until 1946 when he returned to Britain.

After the war he settled in Britain and worked in the motor industry until he retired in 1984.  He died in Devon on 23rd November 2008.

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