He was born in 1920 and arrived in Plymouth in June 1940, aged 20.He underwent a nomadic training regime within Britain before joining 304 Squadron; initially he was dispatched to St Andrews, Fife, which appears to have been a major gathering point for Poles.Hethen went to RAF West Kirby near Liverpool and then RAF Blackpool (Squires Gate) for training.He learnt English and became an interpreter with 306 Squadron at RAF Turnhill (Shropshire) and then on to RAF Padgate.
After six months he transferred to St Andrews (RAF Leuchars?) and then, for training on Tiger Moths, to RAF Hucknall (Nottinghamshire).After this he went to the Navigation School at Eastbourne, the observer training at RAF Jurby (Isle of Man) and then on to RAF Silloth (Cumbria).Finally, he joined 304 Squadron and flew 50 missions with them before being posted out to North Berwick in East Lothian, for Officer training.
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.