Thursday, 15 December 2011


Here is another batch of 304 Squadron  air and ground crew who need further details to enable me to give them a proper entry on the tribute.  If you have any details or photographs of any of these men, please contact me on to enable me to add them to the tribute.  I live in hope.

LACHOWICZ L/Ac Leopold P-794370

LACHOWSKI F/Sgt Lucjan Antoni P-780110
LADRO Sq/Ldr Edmund Andrzej P-76701
LANG F/O Teodor Maksymilian P-3024
LASKI Ac2 Witold P-708646
LATOS L/Ac Teofil P-782199
LATWINSKI Sgt Jan P-792227
LAZAROW F/Sgt Aleksander P-784785
LEBDA L/Ac Jan P-781053
LEBIEDZIEWSKI L/Ac Kazimierz P-709949
LEGUN F/O Ignacy P-1663
LEJA L/Ac Sylwester Mieczyslaw P-706073
LENARCZYK Sgt Bronislaw P-780648
LENKIEWICZ Sgt Norbert P-705748
LESIK L/Ac Waclaw P-792146
LESKI F/Sgt Stanislaw P-780334
LESNIAK Sgt Roman Jan P-794831
LESZCZYNSKI Sgt Karol P-784791
LEWANDOWSKI Sgt Janusz P-705941
LEWANDOWSKI W/O Kazimierz P-703981
LEWANDOWSKI Sgt Marian P-781493
LEWARTOWSKI F/Lt Bogdan P-0849
LEWICKI F/Lt Stanislaw P-0425
LEWKONOWICZ Sgt Antoni P-784117
LICHOTA Sgt Wojciech P781604
LICZBINSKI F/O Tadeusz P-3025
LIPINSKI L/Ac Antoni P-792340
LIPSKI Sgt Bohdan Piotr Ruslaw P-793010
LOPATA L/Ac Jan P-704591
LOZOWICKI L/Ac Waclaw P-705149
LUCEJKO Cpl Mieczyslaw P-704481
LUGOWSKI Sgt Kazimierz P-703438
LUKASIEWICZ Sgt Mieczyslaw
LUKSZA Ac1 Jozef P-708826
LUTOWSKI Ac1 Alfons P-708444
LYSAKOWSKI Ac1 Wieslaw P-707340
MACHNIOWSKI Sgt Roman P-792008
MACHOWIAK Sgt Marcin P-782453
MACHON L/Ac Antoni P-793137
MACHON F/Sgt Edward P-704922
MACIEJEWSKI Sgt Stanislaw P-792647
MACKULA P/O Jan P-782310
MACZKA Sgt Jozef
MADZIA L/Ac Jerzy P-703256
MAGDZIAREK Sgt Stefan P-792277
MAJEWSKI L/Ac Franciszek P-783944
MALCZYK L/Ac Czeslaw P-707338
MALINOWSKI L/Ac Jan P-794549
MALKOWSKI L/Ac Franciszek P-782868
MALYNICZ F/Lt Lech P-0463
MANDOWSKI Sgt Antoni Witold P-782134
MARCINIECKI Cpl Jerzy P-781979
MARCINKIEWICZ Sgt Jozef P-704038
MARCINKIEWICZ F/Sgt Stanislaw P-780596
MARCZAK W/O Rudolf P-783143
MARKIEWICZ W/O Wladyslaw P-792169
MARON L/Ac Jozef P-784866
MARTON F/Sgt Bronislaw P-793886
MARZEC L/Ac Wiktor P-783964
MASLANKA F/Sgt Michal P-706763
MATECKI L/Ac Stanislaw
MATEJACK Sgt Jan P-782799
MATIAS W/O Stanislaw Antoni P-794310
MATIASZEK F/Sgt Leopold Piotr P-793158
MATJAS Sgt Stanislaw
MATLAK Sgt M Franciszek P-781111
MATOSZKO Cpl Stanislaw P-794505
MATUSIAK L/Ac Jan P-780761
MATUSIK Sgt Marian P-783707
MATUSZEWSKI P/O Boleslaw Robert P-1968
MATYLIS F/Lt Nikodem P-1176
MAZUR vel BUTYNSKI L/Ac Stanislaw P-793973
MEISNER Ac1 Edward P-708653
MEITLIS F/Lt Ignacy P-2068
MEKWINSKI L/Ac Stefan P-782194
MENTLAK Sgt Antoni P-780246
MIARA Junior Ac2 Franciszek P-709148
MICHALAK F/Sgt Stanislaw P792092
MICHALEWSKI F/Lt Witold P-2473
MICHALOWSKI Sgt Witold Jan P-705479
MICHNOWSKI L/Ac Wladyslaw P-793189
MIECYJAK Sgt Jozef P-782095
MIEDZIAK P/O Franciszek P-1945
MIELECKI F/Lt Leopold P-76675
MIELNIK L/Ac Boleslaw P-707524
MIERNIK F/Sgt Czeslaw P-704928
MIGDAL F/Sgt Franciszek P-782461
MIGDULA L/Ac Jozef P-784226
MIGLUS W/O Wladyslaw Zbigniew P-704217
MIKA Cpl Andrzej P-783824
MIKA L/Ac Antoni Lukasz P-793144
MIKOLAJCZAK L/Ac Zygmunt P-703478
MILSKI Sgt P-781069
MINIAKOWSKI Sgt Stefan P-782238
MIRABEL Sgt Ryszard
MIRONOW F/Sgt Jan Kazimierz P-780600
MISIAKIEWICZ P/O Walery Marian P-0641
MISTEWICZ L/Ac Kazimierz P-780951
MLYNARSKI F/Lt Edward Jerzy P-0999
MLYNARSKI Sgt Wladyslaw P-781558
MOCHLINSKI F/Lt Kazimierz P-1987
MODRZEWSKI Sgt Marian Jerzy P-780963
MOLL L/Ac Jozef P-708654
MOLLER Sgt Jerzy P-784460
MONKIEWICZ Sgt Czeslaw P-792734
MORAWSKI L/Ac Zdzislaw Franciszek P-780849
MOSZORO F/Sgt Leszek P-705549
MROZEK Ac2 Edward Andrzej P-708453
MUCHA F/Lt Tadeusz
MULLER Sgt Wictor
MURLOWSKI Sgt Stanislaw P-783203
MUSIAL F/O Jan HG P-1374
MUSZALA Sgt Edward
MUZYKA Cpl Roman P-784416

Thursday, 8 December 2011


He was born on 25th September 1914 at Szamotuly near Poznan. In 1935 he was conscripted into the army and joined an aviation regiment and a year later he transferred to the Aviation Technical Training School in Bydgoszcz.

After his military service he worked in an engineering factory but at the end of August 1939 he received instructions to report to 6 Air Regiment in Lvov due to the imminence of war with Germany. His time there was very short following heavy German bombing of the city and air base and he was transferred to Siedlce in Eastern Poland, soon after transferring to 161 Squadron based in Lublin. On 18th September 1939 they all crossed into Romania at Sniatyn (now Ukraine) where they were interned by the authorities.

He survived the German bombing of the airport and escaped to Romania where he was interned but he escaped in January 1940 and reached the Polish Embassy where he was given money and false papers in the name of Jan Krzyszowski. He took a ship at Constanta to France via Athens (Greece), Constantinople (now Istanbul in Turkey), Malta and Salerno (Italy), arriving at Marseilles in early March 1940. He worked in Toulouse at the Dewoitine aircraft factory whilst awaiting military service then was taken to Port Vendres by train and on to Casablanca in Morocco on a French destroyer. From there he made his way to Gibraltar and took ship to Glasgow.

By early August 1940 he had gone through all the preliminary training and was assigned as a mechanic to the newly forming 304 Squadron at RAF Bramcote in Warwickshire. Around the end of January 1941 he was posted to 306 Squadron at RAF Northolt, Middlesex for about three years and then on to the No 16 Service Training Flying School at RAF Newton at Nottingham. In 1944 he applied for pilot training; he was accepted and started training on heavy four engine bombers. He was promoted to Sergeant and transferred to 300 Squadron where he made several bombing missions over Germany and many more humanitarian food drops to the Belgian and Dutch people.

He was demobilised in December 1947 and returned to his wife and children in Poland. He had two more children but his wife died in May 1952. He remarried in 1959 and they had another child. He died in Poznan on 3rd August 2001 and was buried in Junikowskim Cemetery.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


He was born on 29th January 1914, in Warsaw, the son of Stanislaw Kicinski and Stanislawa Domagalska. He was educated in Warsaw and trained as a hairdresser. In 1934 he joined the army and served in the Ostroleka horse artillery, where he completed his non-commissioned officer training. He later trained as a glider pilot at the military school at Ustianowa near the border with Ukraine. He transferred to the Air Force and trained as a pilot in Warsaw

At the end of 1938, he left the military and went to work as a clerk for the Warsaw public transport corporation but, when war was imminent, he was mobilised and rejoined the air force in Warsaw. Little is known of him after that except that he escaped to France through Romania, arriving in France on 22nd January 1940.

His route is not known, except that he arrived at Marseilles by sea, in a group of Polish pilots, on one of two voyages made by the French liner Explorateur Grandidier from Beirut to repatriate French soldiers from the Levant (now broken up into Palestine, Israel, Jordan,Syria and Lebanon). This vessel was later scuttled near Marseilles by the Germans. On making contact with the Polish authorities, he was posted to the aviation school at Lyon but did no training or fighting. On the capitulation of France, in June 1940, he went to England by sea but his route is unknown.

He was based in the cluster of RAF Stations around Blackpool. He spent over a year under training and learning English, he moved, on 1st September 1941 he went to RAF Leuchars at St Andrews, Fife in Scotland.

He learned to fly British aircraft on De Havilland Tiger Moths at 25 EFTS at RAF Hucknall and later on Airspeed Oxfords at 16 FTS at RAF Newton – both in Nottinghamshire. After finishing these courses, he qualified and was promoted to Sergeant. He was then, September 1941, posted to 3 Air Gunnery School at RAF Castle Kennedy in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Here, his tasks were flying the gunners under instruction and flying the aircraft which towed the targets. The aircraft he flew were Bristol Bolingbrokes and Blackburn Bothas.

On 15th July 1943, he was posted to 3 School of General Reconnaissance stationed at RAF Squires Gate (Blackpool). His main task was to learn to navigate over water for the duties that would be required by Coastal Command – seeking out U-boats and enemy surface vessels. He was then posted to 6 OTU at Silloth, Cumberland, for operational training. The purpose of this was to bond the crews of the U-boat hunters and their Wellington bombers.

On 29th February 1944 he joined 304 Squadron at RAF Chivenor, Barnstaple, Devon who were then dedicated to Anti-Submarine Warfare. His first operational flight was in March 1944 and he went on to fly several missions filling in for crew who were sick or on leave. At the beginning of August 1944 he was posted to 6 OTU at RAF Silloth, Cumberland, to form a team of his own for future missions. He returned to 304 Squadron, after the six week course, with his own regular crew – but by this time they had moved to RAF Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides.

Soon after the war ended, at the end of May 1945, he was posted to RAF North Weald, Essex with the rest of the squadron, which became part of Transport Command and later to RAF Chedburgh in Suffolk. Their task was to fly men and supplies between England, France, Italy and Greece. The aircraft they used were Wellingtons, Warwicks and Halifaxes – all ex bombers converted to cargo planes. He stayed with them until the squadron was disbanded in December 1946 and then transferred to the Polish Resettlement Corps to stay in uniform but also to prepare for life as a civilian in Britain. During his time with 304 Squadron, he won the Cross of Valour twice.

He stayed in Britain until 1957 when he moved his family to Melbourne, Australia. He became an artist and had several exhibitions there. He died there on 22nd January 1992; he was cremated at the Springvale Botanical Cemetery. He is recorded there as Frank Kicinski.

Photo courtesy of Wojciech Zmyslony

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


He was born on 24th March 1916 at Partyn, near Poznan to Jozef Czerniejewski and Kamila Kuzdrzal; he was one of eleven children (six girls and five boys). He was a Boy Scout at the school in Srem and became an Eagle Scout, leader of the table tennis team and assistant to the Scout Master.

After leaving school, he took employment at a sawmill owned by Mr Jozef Lozynski. He is described as an educated worker and was probably more than a simple manual labourer. Later, he went to Krakow where he lived with his brother whilst he studied to be a plumber. At this time he became a Scout team leader and spent a lot of his spare time organising scout camps in Nowy Targ. This is a town that was invaded by the Germans on the first day of the War, and saw the formation of the Tatra Confederation resistance movement in 1941 and the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in August 1942.

He was conscripted into the army and, from 6th February 1938, he was based at the Air Force base at Krakow, where he did his basic training. On the first morning of the war, at first light, this base was devastated by wave after wave of Heinkel 111, Junkers Ju87 Stuka and Dornier Do17 “Flying Pencil” bombers. The military students were evacuated to the Romanian border for safety and, eventually, crossed into Romania. Their destination was France where they hoped to reform and re-organise to carry on the flight. Their route is uncertain but they would probably have gone via Bucarest where the Polish Embassy would probably have supplied them with false travel papers, money and tickets to get to France. He may have been interned, for a while, because it took him until 23rd January 1940 to make contact with the Polish forces there.

 His French l'Armee de l'Air Identity Card

As time passed the French became hostile to the Poles and even some of the French military wanted to hand them over to the Germans! This was an early step towards Vichy collaboration and one reason why so many ex-Polish military despise the French. But very little is known of his time in France.

He arrived in England on 27th June 1940, probably on board the Arandora Star which had arrived at Liverpool that day from St Jean de Luz, almost on the Spanish border. This was the port used by many Polish military evacuees from France and was relatively close to the air base at Lyon-Bron where he served – his French identity card for l’Armee de l’Air shows he was resident at Bron. If this is correct, his luck held because on, arrival at Liverpool, this vessel was narrowly missed by a German bomb. Sadly it was torpedoed and sunk , with enormous loss of life, a few days later on 2nd July 1940 en route to Canada with German and Italian internees and prisoners.

He then underwent his basic training in gunnery and probably wireless operating and he would also have taken lessons in English and a familiarisation course on British aircraft and the different layout of their controls from French and Polish planes. On completion of the training regime, he would be promoted to Sergeant and posted to a squadron. This happened on 21st April 1941 when he was posted to 304 Squadron at RAF Syerston, near Newark in Nottinghamshire. At this time they were still part of Bomber Command. In the intervening months he was based at the main Polish base at Blackpool with various long courses elsewhere in the country including operational training, probably with 18 OTU – which was a Polish unit.
With an unknown friend at an unknown location in England
after qualifying - note the Sergeant's stripes 

On the night of 17th/18th July 1941, he was on a successful mission to bomb the docks at Rotterdam and he was almost home when his plane was jumped by a Messerschmidt Me110 intruder. An intruder is a fighter which lurks around air bases and attacks returning bombers whose crews are tired and less alert after a long, arduous mission. They were attacked and shot down just 2 miles from Cowtham House Farm, Balderton just two miles from their base at Newark, Nottinghamshire.

The whole crew, pilot F/O Janusz Tomaszewski, navigator F/O Bronislaw Klatt, wireless operator Sgt Jan Sylwestrowicz, co-pilot Boleslaw Kuzian and air gunners Sgt Jan Podziemski and Sgt Marian, Czerniejewski were all killed. They are buried in Newark Cemetery – the largest Polish Air Force cemetery in the world

Original grave marker at Newark Cemetery 

Many websites have missed this crash, or attributed it to 301 Squadron because 304 Squadron had lost so many planes that they had to borrow it for the mission.

For his courage on this and earlier missions, he was awarded the Cross of Valour.

His Cross of Valour

KIA Death Certificate

All photographs and documents courtesy of Dagmara Plociennik


With thanks to Chris Kropinski, I have amended Jan Blazejewski's entry to include a copy of the recommendation, by Air Vice Marshall Oxland, for his DFC.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


The following is yet another batch of missing airmen.  They are all on the tribute but mostly only names ranks and numbers.  I never give up hope that someone out there will give me the information to give these men their rightful place on the tribute - rather than just the basic details.

KACALSKI Sgt Jozef P-784152

KACZAN Sgt Wladyslaw P-704211
KACZMAREK L/Ac Stefan P-708704
KAFEL Ac2 Zdzislaw P-706640
KALECKI Cpl Zygmunt P-784412
KALINOWSKI W/O Franciszek P-704609
KALINOWSKI W/O Franciszek P-704609
KALODZIEJ Sgt P-781200
KAMINSKI L/Ac Bronislaw P-784623
KAMYSZEK Sgt Tadeusz P-783875
KANAS F/Sgt Mieczyslaw Tadeusz P-706498
KANIA L/Ac Medard P-704732
KAPECKI Cpl Julian P-703674
KARAMUCKI L/Ac Kazimierz P-793087
KARASINSKI Ac1 Henryk P-705512
KARCZ Sgt Stefan P-704480
KARCZEWSKI F/O Leszek Jerzy P-0336
KARDAS Sgt Marian P-781093
KARNACEWICZ F/O Wladyslaw P-27
KAROL F/Sgt Witold P-706489
KARPA L/Ac Jan P-782192
KARWOT L/Ac Alfred P-781077
KASPROWICZ W/O Waclaw P-781065
KASPRZAK L/Ac Ludwik P-706636
KASPRZYK F/Lt Alfred A P-1327
KATAN F/O Karol P-2519
KAUCZ F/O Antoni P-0565
KAWA F/O Stanislaw
KAZIMIERCZAK L/Ac Zygmunt P-781034
KEGEL Sgt Leon
KEMPNY Cpl Rudolf P-704845
KEPKA F/Sgt Stanislaw P-783807
KESKA L/Ac Jozef P-794250
KESKA F/Lt Pawel P-1136
KIBORT L/Ac Tadeusz Jozef P-780839
KICINSKI Sgt Franciszek P-784754
KIELAN P/O Sylwan Jozef P-2148
KIELKUCKI L/Ac Henryk P- 792376
KIELPINSKI L/Ac Czeslaw P-780574
KIELTY Stanislaw
KIELTYKA Sgt Stanislaw P-784039
KIJOWSKI Cpl Stanislaw P-782105
KIRIJEWICZ L/Ac Mikolaj P-707739
KISZCZAK L/Ac Kazimierz P-792673
KLATT F/O Bronislaw P-0486
KLEIN L/Ac Henryk P-780576
KLEMBA L/Ac Piotr P-794408
KLIMIUK Sgt Ryszard P-780877
KLOS F/Sgt Andrzej Mieczyslaw P-782071
KLUCZYNSKI L/Ac Lucjan P-782382
KLUS Sgt Zenon P-792070
KNAPINSKI L/Ac Jan P-792380
KOBIERSKI L/Ac Wladyslaw P-784036
KOCYK W/O Boleslaw P-781329
KOCZAN L/Ac Piotr P-705469
KOLANKO F/Lt Tadeusz Franciszek P-0966
KOLANO F/O Julian P-1831
KOLINSKI Sgt Stanislaw P-704004
KOLODZIEJ Sgt Wlodzimierz
KOLODZIEJSKI F/Lt Tadeusz P-1248
KOLOSOWSKI W/O Czeslaw Tomasz P-705019
KOMLACZ F/O Jan P-0301
KOMOSA Sgt Stefan
KOMORNICKI F/Sgt Zbigniew Andrzej P-781043
KONARZEWSKI F/O Wladyslaw P-0769
KONDRAT Sgt Antoni P-794376
KONKIEL L/Ac Florian P-782099
KONSKI F/O Jan P-1832
KOPTA Sgt Kazimierz P-703004
KORNACKI L/Ac Piotr P-793995
KORZENIEWSKI Cpl Franciszek P-782204
KOSIECKI L/Ac Jerzy P-708387
KOSTECKI F/Lt Marian P-1908
KOSTUCH F/O Marian Walenty P-0027
KOSTURKIEWICZ F/Sgt Antoni P793332
KOSTYRKA W/O Zdzislaw Eugeniusz P781595
KOT L/Ac Jan P-782072
KOTOWICZ L/Ac Tadeusz P-780471
KOTOWSKI L/Ac Aleksander P-707413
KOWALCZYK L/Ac Antoni P-780272
KOWALCZYK Sgt Kazimierz Ryszard P-703027
KOWALCZYK F/O Leon Wojciech P-2660
KOWALCZYK L/Ac Stefan P-708628
KOWALECKI L/Ac Alfons P-793308
KOWALEWICZ Sgt Pawel P-703968
KOWALEWICZ Sgt Zygmunt P-783173
KOWALEWSKI L/Ac Maksymilian Alojzy P-793047
KOWALSKI F/Lt Edward P-0131
KOWALSKI L/Ac Lucjan P-792616
KOWALSKI L/Ac Stanislaw P-793102
KOWALSKI F/Lt Stefan Jakub P-0129
KOWALSKI Sgt Stefan Ludwik P-703093
KOWALSKI W/O Tadeusz P-705017
KOWALSKI F/Sgt Zbigniew P-703217
KOZIEL Sgt Eugeniusz
KOZIEN L/Ac Stanislaw P-703150
KOZIOL L/Ac Stanislaw Ignacy P-782159
KOZYRO L/Ac Zygmunt P-706403
KRAJEWSKI F/Lt Albin P-0296
KRAJEWSKI F/Lt Czeslaw P-0181
KRAJEWSKI L/Ac Kazimierz P-706396
KRAJEWSKI F/O Konstanty Jerzy P-2469
KRAMIN P/O Jan P-1604
KRAWCZYK F/O Stanislaw P-1347
KRAWIECKI Sgt Stanislaw P-781176
KREIZA L/Ac Edward Jozef P-780872
KREMPA P/O Ludwik P-1723
KRETOWICZ Sgt Lucjan P794930
KROKOWSKI Ac1 Stanislaw P-708581
KRYCZKOWSKI Cpl Wladyslaw P-794354
KRYDNER Sgt Oswald Waldemar P-782181
KRYSTECKI L/Ac Anatolius Roman
KRZECZEWSKI F/Sgt Eugeniusz Stanislaw P-781609
KRZEMPEK F/Sgt Wladyslaw P-781622
KRZEPISZ Sq/Ldr Zygmunt Edmund P-0396
KRZYWKOWSKI Cpl Stefan P-782993
KRZYWON Sgt Tadeusz
KRZYZANOWSKI Ac1 Wladyslaw P-703188
KRZYZOSIAK F/Sgt Ludwik P-784030
KSZCZOT W/O Waclaw P-705704
KUBACIK Sgt Franciszek P-793053
KUBACKI L/Ac Tadeusz P-704396
KUBAS L/Ac Jozef P-782000
KUBICKI Cpl Feliks P-704844
KUBIT F/O Jan P-2889
KUC Sgt Henryk P-792037
KUCHAREK F/Sgt Henryk Bronislaw P-706422
KUCHARSKI Sgt Stefan (or F/O M? According to some reports)
KUFLIK Sgt Pawel Naftali Hirsz P-794712
KUJANA Sgt Antoni P-780833
KULAGIN Sgt Michal P-794933
KULAGOWSKI Sgt Andrzej Eugeniusz P-792582
KULCZEWSKI Sgt Marian P-783094
KULCZYCKI L/Ac Edward Leopold P-703880
KULCZYCKI Sgt Tadeusz Pawel P-780847
KULICKI P/O Jozef P-1960
KULIG L/Ac Jozef P-707269
KUNA L/Ac Jan Jozef P-782168
KUPSC L/Ac Jerzy P-705370
KUREK F/O Janusz Augustyn Henryk P-0035
KUREK Sgt Kazimierz Marian P-792635
KURNIK Sgt Jan Boleslaw P-783201
KUSZCZYNSKI F/O Bronislaw P-0009
KUTUZOW L/Ac Jozef P-792521
KUZIAN F/O Boleslaw P-0401
KUZMINSKI Cpl Telesfor Marek P-782206
KUZNIAR L/Ac Alfred P-707343
KUZNIAR L/Ac Stanislaw P-704518
KWAK Sq/Ldr Tadeusz Jan  P-0608
KWASNIEWICZ L/Ac Jozef P-704502
KWASNY L/Ac Jan Kanty P-781635
KWIATKOWSKI Sgt Stanislaw P-793733
KWIECIEN Sgt Andrzej P-782129
KWOKA Cpl Witold P-784475

Friday, 25 November 2011


He was a pilot, born on 2nd October 1920 in a coal mining town near Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA. On graduating from high school he worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps at Quantico, Virginia in a quarry, mining stone for roads, dams and bridges in a National Park.

In August 1941 he went to Toronto, Canada and did his basic training in Owen Sound, Ontario before being sent to England via Liverpool in order to fulfil the desperate need for pilots and aircrew. After further training in England, he earned his pilot’s wings and was sent to the air gunnery school at RAF Tranwell near Morpeth, Newcastle upon Tyne where he flew target towing aircraft. He was later posted to 304 Squadron who were, at that time, in Coastal Command. His duties there were anti-submarine warfare, convoy protection and harassment of enemy shipping.

In May 1943, he was one of many Americans who were compelled to join the USAAF and was sent to Texas for training as a fighter pilot. He was posted back to Europe in January 1945 and flew Mustangs in the European Theatre until the end of hostilities. Towards the end of the war he flew ground support missions over Germany as part of the 48th Fighter Group; his aircraft was a Republic P47 Thunderbolt. In 1947, he returned to the United States.

After the war he was based at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona where he trained cadets to fly the modern fighters, later teaching combat tactics at Nellis Air Force Base in the Nevada desert.

In 1950 he played an active role in the Korean War, volunteering to fly with the 49th Fighter group. He flew Lockheed F-80C Shooting Stars as ground support to the land forces. In that conflict he extended his tour of duty on three occasions. After the war ended he continued to fly fighters until 1957 – but even then he transferred to the Reserves at Long Beach, California, finally retiring in 1972.

In an illustrious career, he was decorated by the Polish Government in exile, the British, the French,
the South Koreans, the United Nations and both the US Army and the US Air Force.

After his military service he worked as a Technical Writer for McDonnell Douglas and the Rockwell Corporation, finally retiring at the age of 72. He died on 28th March 2000 at Long Beach, California, USA.

Friday, 18 November 2011


Welcome to B.Bogatek.  I do notice new followers of the blog and it gives me pleasure to see them appear because it makes me think people are interested in what I am writing.  I particularly noticed you because of a triple coincidence that the last Polish airman I wrote about was Marian Bogatek, there has been a surge of interest in the site from Australia and viewings of the site have gone up by about 60% since I wrote about him.  I would be interested to know if he was a member of your family - please feel free to contact me on the email address in the missing airmen entry - and please feel free to criticise if you think I have got it wrong!.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


Nobody could call it a dramatic success, but since I have started to publish the lists of Polish airmen, I have had three responses.  One of these has led to a really good entry (Marian Bogatek) and both of the others have promised information that I hope will lead  to the same result.  It is sad that men should be missed off the tribute they so richly deserve just because there is no information in the public domain.

Saturday, 12 November 2011


Here is a further batch of Polish airmen who need further information.  If anyone can help, please contact me on I would really like to add these men to the tribute but I have no sources of information on them.


HALIK Sgt Piotr P-794225
HALKIEWICZ F/Lt Tadeusz Jerzy P-2032
HARMUSZKIEWICZ Sgt Czeslaw P-782633
HAUSMAN Sgt Marian Romuald P-706614
HEBDA F/Lt Jozef P-0812
HEDINGER F/O Przemyslaw P-1522
HENSOLDT Sgt Jerzy P-705854
HENZ W/O Franciszek P-705503
HERESZTYN Cpl Antoni P-784231
HERSTKO W/O Aleksander P-703914
HILAROWICZ L/Ac Henryk P-792476
HOMKA Cpl Jan P-781908
HONINGSBERG L/Ac Leopold P-707737
HORBATOWSKI W/O Czeslaw Boleslaw P-794390
HOROSZKO F/O Tadeusz P-2910
HRYNIUK Sgt Stanislaw P-705006
HRYSZKIEWICZ L/Ac Antoni P-703604
HUBICKI F/Lt Edward P-1415
HYCZKIEWICZ W/O Marian P-703916
ILUCHIN W/O Aleksander P-705595
IRCHA L/Ac Antoni P-792018
ISEPPI Cpl Jerzy P-782582
IWANCZEWSKI Cpl Tadeusz Roman P-784649
IZYCKI F/Lt Jan Piotr P-1275
JABLONSKI F/Sgt Ludwik P-780864
JABLONSKI F/Sgt Piotr P-703670
JACHIMOWICZ Sgt Marian P-794910
JACHNIK L/Ac Mieczyslaw P784372
JAGER W/O Wladyslaw Jerzy P-703868
JAGIELLO F/Lt Wladyslaw P-1193
JAGODZINSKI F/Sgt Ryszard Franciszek P-706612
JAKSZTO L/Ac Piotr P-707404
JAKUBIEC W/O Jerzy P-705009
JANCZAREK Ac2 Ryszard P-706609
JANDURA Cpl Andrzej P-780236
JANICKI Sgt Bronislaw P-780865
JANICKI L/Ac Sylwester P-706617
JANIK Sgt Jozef P-784142
JANKOWSKI W/O Bohdan Adam P-794852
JANKOWSKI Sgt Wladyslaw P-782335
JANUS L/Ac Stanislaw Wojciech P-783275
JARKOWSKI L/Ac Leopold P-705305
JARNO Ryszard Marian P-792047
JARNOT Cpl Wladyslaw P-792297
JAROSZ W/O Jan Franciszek P-780960
JAROSZ W/O Pawel P-706478
JAROSZEWICZ L/Ac Bronislaw P-705863
JAROSZEWSKI L/Ac Jerzy P-793145
JAROSZYNSKI F/Lt Zbigniew Marian
JARUSZEWSKI Cpl Feliks P-780325
JASIUKIEWICZ P/O Stanislaw P-2744
JASKIEWICZ L/Ac Kazimierz Zdzislaw P-784919
JAWOROSZUK W/O Jozef P-793800
(Name spelled JAWOROSIUK in some reports)
JAWORSKI W/O Franciszek P-705010
JAWORSKI Sgt Henryk P-703242
JEDRZEJEWSKI L/Ac Apolinary P-783277
JEDYNAK L/Ac Jan P-704664
JEZIOROWSKI F/Sgt Stanislaw P-794727
JEZIORSKI F/Lt Andrzej Franciszek Ksawery P-2411
JONCZYK Sgt Jozef P-793311
JONSKI F/Sgt Edward P-782677
JOZEFOWICZ W/O Edward Lubomir P-704438
JOZWIAK Sgt Kazimierz
JUK W/O Jan P-780046
JUNGOWSKI F/Lt Jerzy Leon Antoni P-0208
JURA F/O Stanislaw Michal P-2887
JURCZYSZYN W/O Marian Jozef P-783714
JUREK Sgt Kazimierz Zygmunt P-706608
JURJEWICZ Sgt Jan P-783208

Thursday, 3 November 2011



He was an electrician, son of Vojciech Bogatek and Aleksandra Modzielewska and was born on 2nd August 1906 in Warsaw. It was obvious that war was coming and, at the beginning of 1939, he was conscripted into the Air Force where he rose to the rank of sergeant and was involved in the September Campaign until Poland was overwhelmed by the combined might of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. He was captured by the Russians and was part of the mass deportation of Poles to Russia and described how he often had to sleep in the snow and had to get out of his frozen greatcoat in the mornings and physically remove it from the ground. He also describes how he was marched around the country escorted by Russian soldiers – which suggests that he was in enforced labour at the logging camps, one of the main uses of prisoners of war but, in reality, slave labour.

In June 1941, Germany turned on Russia and most of the Polish prisoners were released to join an army being raised by General Anders in the Middle East.  This mass release came under pressure from General Sikorski and Winston Churchill.
We can only speculate on his route but the main route out of the Soviet Union was via Kermine in Uzbekistan, boarding ship at Krasnovodsk (now Turkmenbashi) in Turkmenistan and crossing the Caspian sea to Pahlavi in Iran (now Bandar e Anzali). After many months of hard labour and living on a totally inadequate diet, he was in pretty poor condition. In his own words, his knees were bigger than his thighs and he could not believe that the emaciated body he saw in the mirror was his own. The gaunt looking face above says it all – suffering in capital letters. The above photograph was taken soon after his release by the Russians.

After a time spent recuperating from the illnesses that they all carried and getting used to proper food (many died from the sudden change to an over rich diet from starvation rations they had received in Russia), the men were taken overland to Palestine (now Israel) or to the Persian port of Bandar Shahpur (now Bandar Khomeini). The latter seems more likely in Marian’s case as there was a troopship service to the far east – possibly the SS City of Canterbury – which would take them to Bombay where they would tranship to another vessel, probably the SS Awatea which they would take via Cape Town, South Africa. The ship then routinely sailed far out into the Atlantic Ocean, up the West Coast of Ireland then around the north of Ulster to Glasgow.  The Awatea was capable of 23.5 knots and was considered fast enough to sail without a naval escort - it was one of the fastest civilian ships afloat at the time.
This is more than just speculation as Marian’s widow remembers that he came on a New Zealand troopship (of which there were not many –the New Zealand Navy was only formed in 1941) and the SS Awatea was a New Zealand ship.  This and the other vessels and the ports mentioned were all used in the early movement of Polish airmen to Britain from the Middle East.  Like all the others, at Glasgow he would be fed, given a gift of ten shillings (50p) from the King, and then put on a train to Blackpool which was the reception and assessment centre for the Polish Air Force in exile.  The photograph above shows the improvement after decent food and rest had taken the place of malnourishment and hard physical work.

After further training on British aircraft he was posted to 304 Squadron and spent the rest of the war maintaining their aircraft, often working 20 hours a day to keep them flying.  His time with the squadron coincided with their time in Coastal Command as submarine hunters and he was posted to places as bleak as RAF Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides, RAF St Eval in Cornwall and RAF Dale in Wales – all beautiful in summer but inclement in winter.  And all necessary in the fight against the U-Boats.  After demobilisation in 1946 he served for two years in the Polish Resettlement Corps.
A group of 304 Squadron ground crew – Marian is second from the left in the back row

For his wartime services he was awarded the British Defence Medal and the War Medal often, (and wrongly) known as the Victory Medal and the Polish Air Force Active Service Medal.

In 1948 he made the decision to emigrate to Australia. On arrival he was taken from Sydney to a refugee camp in Bathurst, New South Wales . The accommodation had no heating and the temperature was below freezing every night. He said they were all suffering badly from the cold which was something they had not expected in Australia.

Travelling within Australia, he found the vast distances, and the fact that they could travel hundreds of miles without seeing another person, overwhelming However there were good things at which he and his weary travellers also viewed with astonishment. They were allowed off the ship at the different ports and when they first arrived in Australia they could not believe the food available to them – they could order a steak in a cafĂ© for very little money and it was huge and of the best quality. To those who had been prisoners of war in the worst possible conditions, food was never again taken for granted.

Although not easy for some years, life continued in Australia. Then, in 1950, while he was working on the railway at Bowning in NSW, he saw a little boy and his mother struggling with a suitcase. It was Betty Weekes and her son John. Marian’s gentlemanly offer of help, led to friendship and the first real stability in his life since before the war. Betty and Marian married in Yass, New South Wales, on 25 June 1952 and that year, they moved to Cooma where, in time, four children were born to to them; Joe, Robert, Jane and Andrew. And it was here that this picture was taken in happier days when all the conflict and suffering of his youth was over.
It was at Cooma that Marian again picked up his electrician’s trade, at the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme and, like most of the European settlers in Australia, he was a very hard worker and never missed a day’s work. He worked on the Snowy Scheme until his retirement in 1971. He then worked part-time for Ortner Electrics in Cooma until he was 80 years old.

As a man, Marian was most known for his integrity; he was a competent tradesman and was highly respected by all who knew him. He kept contact with war-time friends during his lifetime. Marian had a keen intellect, open mind, wide knowledge and interest in many subjects including history, music, philosophy and science. One of the greatest gifts he bestowed upon his children was to treat them as intellectual equals from when they were very young and the house was always filled with lively debate on interesting topics.

As a man who had a very diverse life which included both world wars, a great deal of travel, a long single life, a long married life, several children and grandchildren, Marian had a deep wisdom about life which was often mixed with his dry wit. On one occasion he was asked if he thought life was fair and he said he had noticed that there were always compensations in life. For instance, if you see a man with one short leg – if you look closely – you’ll notice that the other one is always a little bit longer. Perhaps humour born of the difficult times in his life – a life that deprived him of everything as a young man, even a birth certificate. See the picture below of the military issue replacement.
Marian remained active, walked every day, played his violin, drove his car and had his keen intellect and all his faculties intact until the very end of his life on earth on 27 February 1993 when he sadly died of a cardiac arrest .  He is buried in the Cooma Lawn Cemetery.
All photographs courtesy of Betty Bogatek

Betty as a young woman
I have the sad duty to inform you of the death of Betty May Bogatek nee Weekes who was born on 30th September 1923 at Burrinjuck in New South Wales. She died peacefully at her home in Cooma, on 29th September 2014, the day before her 91st birthday.   As a child, her father had to follow work wherever it was available and they lived in various places across Queensland and New South Wales where they were building hydro-electric dams.

As a young woman she worked as a cook; she lived in Sydney for a time where she met and married and had a little boy, John.  Her first marriage ended and she and John returned to Bowning to live with her family.

She met Marian Bogatek, one day on Bowning railway station when he offered to carry her suitcase. In time, they got to know each other and eventually married on 25th  June 1952 in Yass. It was also in that year that they moved to Cooma. Together they had five children, ten grandchildren and one great grandchild after a long and happy marriage.

She was an accomplished dressmaker and trained pattern maker and made many of their clothes. She also did paid dressmaking.  As a mature student, she went to Cooma Technical College for three years to do secretarial studies and in those days it covered book keeping, shorthand, typing and all sorts of business studies.  Over the years, she also did courses on pottery, painting, writing, the Internet and various other things.  During that time she also worked briefly as a housemaid at the Marlborough Motel and longer term, as a cleaner in Cooma North.

Betty just a few days before she died
She loved to paint and she painted many pictures and always of beautiful things, flowers and birds and things like that.  She could write well too and one of her stories about the Snowy Mountains Authority is held as part of a collection at the National Library in Canberra.

Two of Betty's paintings


Here is a third batch of 304 Squadron men for whom I have little or no information.  There must be someone out there who has information on at least some of them.  If you can help, please contact me on

EDELMAN Sgt Tadeusz P-703907
EHRLICH Sgt Stanislaw P-703908
EJSMONT Sgt Konstanty P-783952
EKIERT Sgt Edward Stanislaw P-793833
EMERLE L/Ac Bronislaw P-782203
FABIS Cpl Wladyslav P-792443
FABRYCY (OR FARRYCY) Sgt Antoni Mieczyslaw P-704200
FACHLER Ac2 Adam P-70659
FAJA Sgt Ernest P-706799
FALANDYSZ Cpl Antoni P-781579
FALCZYNSKI F/Lt Jan Jozef P-2500
FALKENSTEIN L/Ac Czeslaw P-703361
FAMULSKI F/Sgt Ewald Franciszek P-706456
FEDAK Sgt Jerzy P-793586
FEIGE L/Ac Tadeusz P-782741
FELSKI L/Ac Henryk P-708248
FERCHMIN F/O Boleslaw P-0170
FERENC Sgt Stefan P-792687
FIDLER Sgt Jozef P-781167
FIEBIG Cpl Alfons P-793986
FIENKO L/Ac Wlodzimierz P-703362
FIGURA F/O P P-780903
FIJALKOWSKI F/Lt Franciszek P-0385
FILIPOW Sgt Kazimierz Jozef. P-782096
FILIPOWICZ F/Lt Stanislaw P-0813
FISZER L/Ac Michal Stanislaw P-781137
FLORCZAK W/O Stanislaw Henryk P-784115
FRANCZAK Sgt Stanislaw Mieczyslaw
FRANKIEWICZ Cpl Mieczyslaw P-703876
FRANKIEWICZ L/Ac Tadeusz P-706373
FREJER Cpl Kazimierz P-703363
FREYER F/Lt Antoni P-1828
FRONCISZ Cpl Edward P-782571
GAJDA L/Ac Bronislaw Edward P-783262
GAJDZINSKI Cpl Henryk P-783562
GAJEWICZ F/O Wladyslaw P-2983
GAJEWSKI L/Ac Stanislaw P-781569
GAJSZYN W/O Stanislaw P-703997
GALAZKA F/Sgt Zygmunt P-704885
GALCZYNSKI F/O Zbigniew Mieczyslaw P-0023
GALECKI L/Ac Hieronim P-782098
GALUSZKA L/Ac Wladyslaw P-708361
GAPINSKI L/Ac Jan P-781422
GARBACZ Sgt Wincenty P-781505
GARBICZ F/Sgt Stanislaw P-782190
GARSTECKI F/Lt Kazimierz Stanislaw P-2309
GARSTKA Sgt Stanislaw P-783661
GASIORSKI W/O Witold Tadeusz
GAWERSKI Cpl Witold Zygmunt P-784164
GAWINOWICZ W/O Edward P-704113
GAWLIK Sgt Konstanty P-794102
GAWOR P/O (Spelling may be GOWAR)
GEBICKI Sgt Henryk P-782121
GEBICKI F/Sgt Stefan P-0188
GEMSA Sgt Ryszard
GIBAS Sgt Ludwik
GIEMBICKI L/Ac Czeslaw P-707118
GIERCZAK L/Ac Waclaw P-792288
GIERSZAL Sgt Bronislaw P-780773
GIMBUTT F/Sgt Wladyslaw P-783175
GISMAN F/Lt Adam Edward P-0025
GLABICKI L/Ac Jozef P-794093
GLAPA Cpl Ludwik P-784224
GLEBOCKI F/Lt Jerzy P-0604 (changed to 500385 on conversion to RAF)
GLEGOLSKI F/Sgt Konstanty P-784535
GLINSKI Sgt Napoleon P-781488
GLOWACKI F/Lt Jerzy P-1921
GLOWINSKI W/O Edward P-705579
GLUSKI F/Lt Ryszard Andrzej P-1660
GLUSZEK Wawrzyniec P-703601
GOLABEK Sgt Boguslaw P-793867
GOLEBIOWSKI Cpl Jozef Stanislaw P-782082
GOLISZ L/Ac Jozef P-703238
GONCERZ Cpl Wladyslaw P-782349
GORALIK L/Ac Jozef P-783242
GORALSKI W/O Stanislaw P-780804
GORECKI F/O Jerzy P-0739
GORKA Sgt Franciszek P-794717
GRABOWSKI Sgt Boleslaw P-782069
GRABOWSKI W/O Eugeniusz P-781607
GRABOWSKI F/Sgt Henryk P794908
GRABOWSKI L/Ac Jerzy P-705846
GRACZYK F/Sgt Witold P-2464
GRACZYK F/Sgt Wladyslaw Stanislaw P-780233
GRAJNERT Sgt Dominik Marian P-783452
GRAMIAK Sgt Grzegorz Piotr P-794786
GROM Sgt Piotr Pawel P782838
GROMEK F/Sgt Zygmunt P-780176
GROMZYNSKI L/Ac Antoni P-794419
GRUDZIEN Cpl Borys P-782631
GRUSZECKI Cpl Tadeusz Stanislaw P-781961
GRUSZKIEWICZ Cpl Witalis P-781948
GRYGIER L/Ac Stefan P-792194
GULCZYNSKI Zenon Kazimierz P-784942
GULUK F/Sgt Dymitr P-706132
GUMIELA Sgt Jozef P-792630
GURA F/O Alojzy P-0426
GUSTOWSKI W/O Zdzislaw P-780680
GWOZDZIEWICZ F/Sgt Jan Stanislaw P-783601

Thursday, 13 October 2011


Here is a second batch of 304 Squadron men for whom I have little or no information.  There must be someone out there who has information on at least some of them.  If you can help, please contact me on

CIELUCH W/O Henryk P-704295
CIESIELSKI L/Ac Mieczyslaw P-794298
CYBULSKI Ac1 Krzysztof P-706945
CYBULSKI F/Lt Marian P-2442
CYGAN Cpl Jan P-780549
CYLWIK W/O Stanislaw P-704107
CYMBORSKI Sgt Jan Adam P782182
CZAJA W/O Waclaw P-794899
CZAJKOWSKI Cpl Mieczyslaw Michal P-780550
CZAPSKI Cpl Jerzy P-792508
CZARNECKI Sgt Kazimierz P-703390
CZECH L/Ac Tadeusz P-792665
CZEKALSKI Sgt Franciszek P-792381
CZEKALSKI Sgt Waclaw P784143
CZELADKA F/Sgt Wilhelm Jan P-706443
CZERNIEWSKI Sgt Stanislaw P-794362
CZERNIEJEWSKI Sgt Marian Jozef P-793025
CZERNIEJEWSKI Sgt Marian Jozef P-793025
CZERNIUK L/Ac Aleksander P-792657
CZERNY-HOLOWNIA Sgt Kazimierz P-703902
CZERPAK Sgt Wladyslaw P-783361
CZERWINSKI Sgt Wladyslaw P-782094
CZESZNIEWSKI W/O Albert P-704992
CZWIENCZEK L/Ac Wilhelm P-708652
CZYZ Ac1 Longin Wladyslaw P-793983
CZYZUN P/O Hieronim P-1813
DABEC F/O Lucjan P-2629
DABROWA L/Ac Mieczyslaw P-706531
DABROWSKI Sgt Jan P-706454
DABROWSKI F/Lt Zygmunt Zdzislaw Claude P-2460
DADACZ Sgt Antoni P-781916
DAJNOWSKI Cpl Wladyslaw P-781474
DANGEL Sgt Jerzy Marian
DARKOWSKI F/Lt Bronislaw P-2181
DARNA L/Ac Wladyslaw P-780743
DATKIEWICZ F/Sgt Brunon P-784898
DEBSKI Sgt Bronislaw P-704524
DEC L/Ac Jan P-794363
DEJLIDKO Cpl P-793775
DEMAND Ac1 Jan P-708650
DEMBSKI Ac2 Antoni Wiktor P-783967
DLUGOSZ L/Ac Stanislaw P-793681
DOBCZYNSKI Cpl Franciszek Jozef P-78120
DOBROWOLSKI L/Ac Edward P-703172
DOBRUCKI Sgt Tadeusz Edward P-704994
DOKURNO Cpl Kazimierz P-707988
DOMAGALA F/O Boleslaw P-3015

DOMANSKI F/Lt Zbigniew Jan P1815
DOMZALSKI L/Ac Stanislaw P-708977
DONAJGRODZKI L/Ac Stanislaw P-780257
DOWKONTT F/O Szymon Boguslaw P-2241
DRAGANIK Cpl Otto Jan P-783212
DROZDZ F/Sgt Henryk P-780262
DROZDZ Sgt Jozef P-780987
DROZDZ Cpl Michal P-709967
DROZDZIOK Sgt Pawel P793787
DRWIEGA Cpl Wladyslaw P-793288
DRUCIAK Sgt Wlodzimierz S
DRUZYNSKI L/Ac Dezyderiusz P-703535
DRWIEGA Cpl Wladyslaw P-793288
DUBIEL Sgt Karol P-782075
DUBIEL F/O Wladyslaw P-2869
DUCHNICKI P/O Stanislaw P-0022
DUCHNOWSKI Sgt Jozef P-783728
DUCZYNSKI Sgt Andrzej Zygmunt P-704109
DUDEK L/Ac Marian P-780944
DUDEK Sgt Tadeusz Franciszek P-704197
DUDEK Cpl Wladyslaw P-780451
DUDZICKI L/Ac Jozef P-784654
DUNCZEWSKI F/O Zbigniew Kazimierz Bronislaw P-0441
DUNSKI Sgt Zygmunt P-792244
DUSZA Ac2 Mieczyslaw P-709640
DUSZCZAK Sgt Remigiusz P-794723
DUTKIEWICZ L/Ac Janusz Kazimierz P-781448
DWORZNIK Cpl Czeslaw P-780557
DYBALA Sgt Wladyslaw P-781133
DYNOWSKI W/O Henryk Jerzy P-703849
DZIEDZIC F/Lt Jan P-1716
DZIERZBICKI P/O Lech Stanislaw
DZIEWULSKI L/Ac Jozef P-793679
DZIUBA Cpl Jozef P-781165
DZIUBA Cpl Stefan P-781154