Saturday, 16 October 2010


He was a pilot, born in Swisloczy in the province of Podlaskie in north eastern Poland; his flying career started on gliders in 1936. Immediately prior to the outbreak of the war he was a corporal pilot in the 24th Reconnaissance Squadron flying PZL23 Karas. He was evacuated to Romania and made his way to France where he served at Marseilles before moving on to Great Britain. He eventually joined 304 Squadron.

He had the good luck to survive two uneven skirmishes with German fighters. On 5th September 1942, he was involved in a fight with two Junkers Ju88s; this battle was fought virtually at sea level and required tremendous skill bearing in mind the size, slow speed and poor manoeuverability of a Wellington Bomber. About two weeks later, the aircraft did battle with a Focke Wulf 200 of the long range, elite Condor unit off the Spanish coast in the Bay of Biscay. On both occasions he escaped unscathed.

On 13th December 1942 he attacked a 3,000 ton enemy cargo ship but his stick of bombs missed by only 50 yards. He also served in 301 Squadron and 138 Special Duties Squadron.

On 3rd July 1945 he was awarded the British Distinguished Flying Cross with a citation stating that he had displayed a high degree of courage and decisiveness and had performed his tasks with great skill and efficiency. He was also awarded the Silver Cross of the Order of Virtuti Militari and the Cross of Valour four times.

He is believed to have returned to Poland after the war and one source states that he was still flying Ilyushins in the Polish Air Force in 1968 making him probably the oldest pilot there.

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