He returned to Poland in June 1947 and rejoined the Polish army where he worked in intelligence and aerial photography and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In May 1951 he was arrested and accused of spying for England. He spent six months in a dungeon where he was subjected to torture and held in a cell measuring 2 metres by 90 centimetres (about 6 feet 7 inches by 3 feet). After a hearing lasting twenty hours per day, he was convicted on 13th May 1952 and sentenced to death. He was executed, by firing squad, on 7th August 1952 in the prison at Rackowiecka Street, Warsaw – the trial judge was powerless to commute the sentence because of the nature of the alleged crime. He was vindicated and received a state pardon on 7th May 1956. He is buried in the Military Cemetery at Warsaw but the exact location is unknown.
Sunday, 21 March 2010
WLADYSLAW BONIFACY MINAKOWSKI
On the outbreak of war he was a soldier and evacuated to Romania where he was interned in a camp in Tulcea. By November he had made it to France and moved on to England where he trained as a navigator. He was posted in to the Squadron from 18 OTU RAF Bramcote on 27th April 1942 and he was known to be still in service on 13th July 1942.
He was a crew member of a Wellington that was jumped by 6 Ju88 fighters whilst on anti-submarine patrol near Bishop Rock on 16th September 1942. In a 12-15 minute battle, fought at 30 feet above sea level, this crew destroyed one enemy plane, saw large pieces break off the tail plane of another and scored hits on three more. In return they had a two yard square section of wing torn off by cannon fire and their petrol tank was pierced. They managed a power climb into the clouds and the action was broken off. He stayed with 304 Squadron until the end of the war and flew 25 missions over France and the Atlantic Ocean.
A sad end for a hero who was awarded the Order of Virtuti Militari 5th class, the Cross of Valour (twice) and the Silver Cross of Merit.