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.