Saturday, 17 March 2012


During the September Campaign he served with 1st Air Regiment and, on 19th September 1939, he was evacuated to Hungary and interned in the camp at Eger which became a satellite concentration camp for Jews later in the war. Security was not tight and he escaped and made his way to France, in the company of a group of his colleagues. Later, he escaped from France and arrived at RAF Blackpool, the main Polish Depot where he trained as a meteorologist before being posted to 304 Squadron.

Like most Poles he wanted to fight and he successfully applied to become aircrew as a wireless operator/air gunner. For a while he remained with them on anti-submarine warfare duties and was awarded the Cross of Valour for his skill and courage in fighting off an attack by a German fighter.

In May 1944 he transferred to 1586 Special Duties Flight, based at Campo Casale, Brindisi, Italy and from here, he flew many missions to Albania, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Jugoslavia and Poland. There is a vague report that he was seriously injured in a forced landing in December 1944 and remained in a Polish field hospital in Italy, recuperating from his injuries until May 1945. I have not been able to confirm this – but he was definitely not on board the only aircraft that 301 Squadron (successors to 1586 Flight) lost in that month. However, the description I have seen says it was a forced landing and mentions no fatalities, nor does it claim the aircraft was written off. If this is true, the aircraft – most probably a Halifax – would not be listed as a loss.

On his return to England, he enrolled on a one year meteorology course, which he completed in August 1946. Two months later, he returned to Krakow in Poland and took a job as a weather forecaster for the Polish airline LOT. In 1949 he went to work for PIHM, the state meteorology department, and naturally applied his skills to aviation weather forecasting. He stayed there until 1959 when he left to become manager of the airport at Nowy Targ. From 1969 until 1989 he was employed by LOT as their manager in Krakow for the first four years and then as their manager in Milan, Italy.

He died on 12th January 2005 and was given full military honours at his funeral in the Rakowicki Cemetery in Krakow.


Fresh information from two colleagues tells me that 301 Squadron still had, and used, serviceable Liberators after the official changeover date. In addition, he and his regular crew were on board the following flights in the apparent time period. Even if he had been injured in the first, he was flying again after about two weeks on the second. This makes me doubt that any serious injury occurred – even if he received hospital treatment.

1944 December 15th - Halifax II BB440

After only 17 minutes in the air, the starboard inner engine suffered a drop in pressure and the mission was abandoned; there were no injuries. The 12 containers were jettisoned in the base dropping zone and the engine was out, and caught fire, on landing but the aircraft landed safely, fifty five minutes after take-off.

1945 February 1st/2nd - Halifax V LL465

This was another unsuccessful mission; the aircraft developed engine trouble and the mission was terminated - 15 containers and 18 packages, a total net weight of 4,971 pounds were jettisoned. The port outer engine caught fire but was extinguished by feathering and the aircraft landed safely with no injuries reported.

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