Monday, 4 October 2010


He was born on 17th September 1917 at Choron near Czestochowa and joined the training school in Bydgoszcz in 1934; he qualified as an aircraft mechanic in 1937. His initial posting was to the 2nd Air Regiment in Krakow attached to 121 Fighter Squadron. His unit was involved in the September Campaign until they were evacuated to Romania, crossing the border on 17th September 1939.

His escape route is unclear but he travelled to Beirut and probably took ship from there until he reached France. He was sent to the Armee de l’Air base at Lyon-Bron and was utilised as a mechanic with the fighter group. On the capitulation of France he made his way to England, possibly via St Jean de Luz on the Basque coast, just north of the Spanish border. He arrived in England in early July 1940.

He was posted to 304 Squadron, where he trained as a fitter, and stayed with them until January 1943 when he began training as a flight engineer. On completion of this course, six months later, he was posted to 138 (Special Duties) Squadron based at RAF Tempsford in Bedfordshire. This was very hazardous duty but he completed a tour of duty with them in June 1944, comprising 28o hours flown on 28 missions.

After only one week of rest he was posted to 1586 Flight of 301 Squadron as a mechanic on B-24 Liberators (also Special Duties) until 14th March 1945 when he was posted to 4 School of Technical Training at RAF St Athan near Cardiff, Wales as an instructor.

On 3rd January 1946 he returned to 304 Squadron as a pilot. By this time they were part of Transport Command and based at RAF Chedburgh in Suffolk where their duties involved flying supplies to Italy and Greece and bringing back released prisoners of war. One source suggests that on 30th November 1946 he was transferred to 301 Transport Squadron. If true it seems pointless as both squadrons were disbanded in December 1946. It seems more likely that he was transferred to the Polish Resettlement Corps as he was not demobilised until 1948.

He was awarded the Silver Cross of the Order of Virtuti Militari, the Cross of Valour, the Partisan Cross and the Air Medal. After his discharge he was awarded the civilian version of the Silver Cross of Merit for his welfare work in the Polish community.

As a civilian, he emigrated to Canada and went to work as a mechanic and then for Air Canada.  He died on 15th May 1997 at Montreal and was buried in the Field of Honour in the Veterans Cemetery at Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada.


Sophie said...

Hey wow this is my grandfather! Thank you for writing this post, it's very interesting. I would love to know about your sources if you still have them!

ARCHIVE said...

Hello Sophie,

Writing this post was my pleasure. Please contact me directly and I will give you my sources.