Sunday, 21 March 2010


He was born on 17th July 1913  and he was awarded the Polish Krzyz Walechznych (Cross of Valour) on 21st November 1942 by Air Vice Marshal Ujejski, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.  On 26th October 1941,  W5720 was hit by flak and crashed into the sea.  After many hours in the water, all but one of the crew was rescued; this flier survived the crash but F/O Stenocki was killed.  By 5th January 1942 (F/O) Ladro’s rank is reported as P/O and he was promoted to Flight Lieutenant on 6th February 1942.  On February 9th 1943 he was jumped by 4 Junkers Ju 88s and successfully evaded them for almost an hour; his rear gunner accurately fired into the attackers (even though he was wounded) and their distress signals were picked up and a group of Bristol Beaufighters arrived and shot down at least 3 of the German aircraft.  This battle was fought almost at sea level and the aircraft was riddled with machine gun bullet holes and was hit by a single 20mm cannon shell which ripped away a 6 foot section of the starboard wing.  He was awarded the Order of Virtuti Militari Silver Cross, 5th class.
He died in July 1996 in Windermere, Cumbria.

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