Thursday, 4 November 2010


He was born on 1st January 1916 near Uniejow where he was educated and then trained as a locksmith in Lodz between 1932-1936. In 1937 he trained as a glider pilot.

On 11th January 1938 he was conscripted into the army. He was attached to the 3rd Air Regiment in Poznan and completed his pilot training at Brzostek aerodrome. Because war was imminent, on 28th Aug 1939, he travelled to Lwow, arriving there on the day that war broke out. On 17th September 1939 he was ordered to fly his regretsplane to Chernivtsi airport in Romania (now Ukraine).

On 5th November 1939 he sailed on the SS Patris, probably from Constanza on the Black Sea and reached Valletta in Malta six days later. He transhipped onto the Cunard liner SS Franconia and sailed for Marseilles. On 20th November 1939 he arrived at Lyon-Bron but was bitterly disappointed at the very poor living conditions and their total inactivity.

However, in late February 1940, he was chosen to go to England and did so without without regret – he wanted to fight! He left Cherbourg on 2nd March 1940 to sail to bound for Southampton. He joined the Polish Air Force in exile the following day at RAF Eastchurch in Kent. He was sent on to RAF Manston in Kent and then to the Polish Depot in Blackpool where he was assessed and sent on to RAF Hucknall in Nottinghamshire on 18th May 1941 to begin familiarisation with British aircraft. His next move was to RAF Montrose in Scotland where he trained on Miles Masters and Hawker Hurricanes. He completed his training on 8th August 1941 and was given his RAF Wings –effectively his licence to fly – and with it, promotion to Sergeant.

His training so far had been on fighters so it is odd that, almost exactly a year later, he was posted to 304 Squadron at RAF Dale in Pembrokeshire, Wales. His task was anti-submarine warfare, Allied shipping protection and Axis shipping harassment.

On 26th August 1942 he flew his first mission and continued until June 1943, presumably completing his tour of duty. After this his whereabouts is unclear (except that he was still on the squadron strength on 8th July) until 13th November when he was transferred to 138 Special Duties Squadron at the secret airfield at RAF Tempsford in Bedfordshire. His job here was flying supply missions and dropping agents into occupied Europe and he was promoted to Second Lieutenant.

On 1st September 1944 he completed his tour of duty with them and was posted to 6OTU at RAF Silloth in Cumberland (now Cumbria) as an instructor and then later to the Advanced Flying Training School at RAF Newton in Nottinghamshire.

His final posting was to the Photographic Reconnaissence Interpretation at RAF Dunholme Lodge in Lincolnshire. He was demobilised on 3rd December 1948. He settled in Sheffield, Yorkshire but made many visits back to Poland. On one of these visits he died suddenly on 21st February 1995 in Lodz and is buried in the Military Cemetery in Lodz-Doly He was awarded the Cross of Valour three times.

No comments: