Saturday, 20 March 2010


He was born on 8th January 1922 at Lublin, Poland.  He is known to have served with 301 and 304 Squadrons and transferred to 138 Squadron, flying missions for the Special Operations Executive.  He was killed, age 21, flying one such mission – Operation Neon 3 to Poland.  His Handley Page Halifax bomber BB309 had dropped two agents and containers of weapons and was on its way home when it was attacked by a German night fighter on 17th September 1943.  It crashed into a house at Slagille, Denmark and three adults and two children were killed in the wrecked and burning house; miraculously five of the family’s children and one grand child lived.

The Halifax, flying out of RAF Tempsford in Bedfordshire, was picked up by the German Radar station “Seehund” at Tybjerg, Denmark and a night fighter was scrambled.  This was a Junkers Ju88 C6 flown by Lieutenant Richard Burdyna from IV/NJG3 and he was so preoccupied with watching the conflagration that he flew into power cables, killing himself and his two crewmen.  The German airmen were interred in Vestre Cemetery, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Four of the crew died in the burning bomber and Flight Sergeant Kasprzak died later that day from extensive burns.  The pilot suffered a broken arm and leg but escaped from hospital three weeks later, with the help of the Danish Resistance, and made it to neutral Sweden.

The dead airmen were hastily buried in shallow graves in the churchyard, without a ceremony.  The horrified priest had them exhumed and reburied in coffins at a proper depth and with a Christian ceremony on 30th September 1943.  The funeral, coffins and flowers were paid for by A.P. Moller, a Danish shipping magnate and the airmen now rest in Slagille Kirkegaard Cemetery.  The seventh member of the crew, Sergeant  Roman Puchala, suffered only minor head injuries and escaped across the fields and was sheltered on a local farm, where he was captured after a few hours. He was initially taken to Dulag Luft, a Luftwaffe transit camp  near Frankfurt am Main, Germany for interrogation and then on to Stalag Luft VI Gross Tychow, near Tychowo, Poland..  Finally, he went to Stalag 357 at Fallingbostel  in Lower Saxony, Germany.

Photo courtesy of www.polishairforce


Anonymous said...

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ARCHIVE said...

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