He was a navigator/air gunner, born on 10th August 1912 and killed when R1443 was shot down on 6th May 1941 by a night fighter near Le Havre, France. He was posthumously awarded the Cross of Valour, for bravery in action, by Air Vice Marshal Ujejski on28th June 1941; he was also a recipient of the Order of Virtuti Militari fifth class. Immediately before the war he was a member of 21 Eskadra Bombowa Lekka, flying mainly in PZL23B Karas.
Photograph courtesy of the Aircrew Remembrance Society
I am a local historian who got involved with the Polish Air Force because one of their aircraft fell out of the sky near the village where I was born. That was in December 1940 and I never even heard of it until September of 2007. It started as a local history project, then snowballed into an obsession as I realised the huge contribution made by Polish exiles who fought for our freedom. I never realised just how big was the Polish contribution, nor how badly the British and Americans treated them at the end of the War - just to appease Joseph Stalin's territorial ambitions - a matter of expediency taking precedence over decency and with no justifiable reason.
Now that all, or almost all, of these Polish heroes are dead, it is not too late to ensure that these brave men are remembered and that those memories are preserved forever. It's time the British showed the Poles that some of us remember and appreciate just how much they did for us. They fought, and very often died, for our freedom - and we owe them a debt of honour.