Sgt Jerzy Dominik Budzynski was born on 4th August 1918 and was a wireless operator/air gunner in 300 Squadron Wellington R1705 (BH-U). On the night of 7/8th November 1941 the aircraft was damaged by flak on a raid to Mannheim and the crew baled out south of Lille. Four of the crew were captured but Budzynski and P/O Groyecki were sheltered by local civilians until they could be passed on to an organisation known as the Pat Line which took its name from Pat O’Leary which was the code name of a Belgian who was one of the main operators.
At the end of November the two crewmen joined a group of evaders who were taken across France, via Abbeville and Paris, to cross the demarcation line near Nevers into the relative safety of Unoccupied (Vichy) France and on to a Pat Line safe house at Nimes.
On 11th December Budzynski, Groyecki and three other evading servicemen were taken by train to Port Vendres, near the Spanish border. The following night, a Spanish guide took the party across the Pyrenees from Banyuls to Figueras in Spain and on to the British Consulate at Barcelona, arriving 14th December. A few days later they were driven to the British Embassy in Madrid where they stayed for Christmas and New Year before being driven to Gibraltar. Sgt Budzynski left Gibraltar on 4th March 1942 and returned to the UK on board the converted Polish liner SS Batory.
He returned to active duty in May 1942 and was transferred to 304 Squadron about a month later.
He survived the war and died on 30th March 2004 at Croyde, Devon; he was cremated at Braunton, Devon.