Saturday, 2 October 2010


He was born on 16th May 1918 in Wrzesnia near Poznan and in 1935 he joined the training school in Bydgoszcz, qualifying as a wireless operator in 1938. His first posting was to the 1st Air Regiment in Warsaw where he joined 213 Squadron for bomber training. He finished the course on 30th April 1939 and was posted to 217 Bomber Squadron. He took part in the September Campaign and was evacuated to Romania on 18th September 1939.

There are no details of his escape route but he reached France on 29th October 1939 and immediately applied for service in England. He arrived here on 18th January 1940 and undertook further wireless operator/air gunner training until 18th March 1941 when he was allocated to 304 Squadron which was then at RAF Syerston in Nottinghamshire.

During his tour of duty he was awarded the Silver Cross of the Order of Virtuti Militari on 21st November 1941 by Air Vice Marshal Ujejski, having previously been awarded the Cross of Valour on 28th June 1941. He was awarded the latter on two further occasions and also the Air Medal.

On 4th March 1942 he was seconded to RAF Boscombe Down near Amesbury, Wiltshire for the purpose of “experimental flying” which was actually evaluating new radio equipment. On 2nd May 1942 he rejoined 304 Squadron for a second tour of duty. On 28th January 1943 he was grounded for medical reasons and posted to 1 Signal School at RAF Cranwell at Sleaford, Lincolnshire two weeks later. His duties here were as an instructor.

On 10th July 1944 he was posted to 16 Service Flying Training School at RAF Newton, Nottinghamshire but in September he was sent to RAF Faldingworth in Lincolnshire, taking up the post of Chief Signals Officer until 18th December 1945 when he returned to 16 SFTS.

After his discharge he changed his name to Cunningham and went to work in the coal mines. He retired early due to ill health and died in Coventry on 9th December 1988.

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