Tuesday, 30 October 2012

LIPSKI

Would the grandson of Andrzej Lipski, please, contact me.  You have set the cat amongst the pigeons!  Please get in touch again on one of the email numbers shown on my site.  This is a mystery I would love to solve - and your Grandfather has a place of honour on my site.
 
Please get in touch, as I cannot contact anonymous commentators on my site.

Monday, 29 October 2012

EDWARD WRONA

WRONA L/Ac Edward P-782160
© Mme A Heritier

He was born on 6th October 1918 at Jaworzno, Upper Silesia, Poland. He escaped from Poland at towards the end of the September Campaign and made his way to France, via Romania, and Lebanon. On the capitulation of France, he escaped again and made his way to Scotland, probably by sea from Marseilles or St Jean de Luz – either way, a very hazardous journey.


He was a member of the ground crew (mechanic) who was on board R1413 when it crash landed at Micklefield, near Leeds, West Yorkshire on 1st October 1941, It was repaired but shot down over the Bay of Biscay on 16th October 1942 with the loss of the whole crew.

Unlike that bomber, he survived the war and he was thought to have returned to Poland in 1947 but his daughter, Aline, informed me that he was demobilised in that year and moved to Douai, near Lille, in Northern France. He lived there for the rest of his life; he died there on 29th August 1985. She also told me that he met her mother there during 1945-1946, which suggests that he left 304 Squadron and joined another Polish Squadron, operating as part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force (2TAF) following the Normandy landings after D-Day (6th June 1944).

The photograph shows a POLAND shoulder flash, which indicates that it was taken after he joined the exiled Polish forces in Great Britain.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

STANISLAW KIELTYKA IN ARGENTINA

KIELTYKA Sgt Stanislaw P-784039

He was a pilot, born on 1st January 1920, in Libusza, Gorlice County, Poland and known to have been in service on 8th July 1943 and on 17th July 1943 he baled out of Wellington Mk X HE304 which crashed near Ballickmoyler, Co Laois in the Irish Republic. He attacked a U–Boat on 12th February 1944. He survived the war and died in ARGENTINA on 26th July 2002.

If anyone can help with photographs or information on him and any of his fellow crew members please contact me on the number shown in contacts. I would be very happy to hear from anyone who knew him in Argentina and to give him a better entry in this tribute.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

MIKOLAJ PAWLUCZYK

He was born on 1st or 15th November 1914 (accounts vary) in Minsk, Russia and he joined the training school at Bydgoszcz in 1930 but appears to have failed the course as he was released after two years. In August 1939 he was conscripted and sent to 6 Air Regiment in Lwow. He was evacuated after the September Campaign and arrived in France in January 1940. He stayed there until the fall of France and arrived in Britain on 27th June 1940.

After a period of training he was posted to 307 Fighter Squadron on 27th September 1940 at RAF Kirton in Lindsey in Lincolnshire. He requested aircrew duties and began wireless operator training at the Blackpool Depot on 24th November 1941; he completed the course at 1 Signal School RAF Cranwell, Sleaford, Lincolnshire on 17th September 1942. Next day he went to 8 Air Gunnery School at RAF Evanton, Invergordon, Scotland where he qualified on 16th October 1942. On 16th December 1942 he went to 7 Signal School and then on to 6OTU at RAF Silloth in Cumberland (now Cumbria) for operational training. On 15th April 1943 he was posted to 304 Squadron at RAF Docking in Norfolk.

He was on board Wellington bomber HE304 on 17th July 1943 when it ran out of fuel on the return journey from the Bay of Biscay. The whole crew bailed out and landed safely at Carlow in the Irish Republic and the plane crashed near Ballickmoylar, County Laois. He managed to send out an SOS and three aircraft were sent out to look for them but they failed to find the crash because they were unable to violate Irish neutrality and the visibility was so poor.

I have not been able to trace his immediate movements after this, perhaps he was detained in Ireland for a while. However, I have traced a further 27 missions flown with 304 Squadron between December 1943 and June 1944, with a regular crew:

Some missions flown by Sgt Mikolaj Pawluczyk after the crash of Wellington HE304 in Ireland and with his new regular crew during his time in Coastal Command.

The normal crew referred to in this partial reconstruction of his missions was as follows: F/O L. Krempa, Sgt J. Zientek, P/O S. Sawicki, Sgt W. Szerszun, Sgt M. Pawluczyk and Sgt J. GumiƄski

19 Dec 43     Wellington XIV     2E (HF198)
Anti-submarine patrol      T.3 Percussion extended to 49.30N
Normal crew flying out of RAF Predannack

None of the crew on this mission were on board this aircraft when it crashed into the sea, for unknown reasons, on a training flight between RAF Predannack and Cardigan Bay (Wales), less than four weeks later, on 14th January 1944. All five crew were killed.

13/14 Jan 44    Night     Wellington XIV     2F (HF199)
Anti-submarine patrol T.3 Percussion
Normal crew flying out of RAF Predannack

20/21 Jan 44    Night     Wellington XIV     2R (HF275)
Anti-submarine patrol M.3 Percussion
Normal crew flying out of RAF Predannack

28/29 Jan 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2V (HF121)
Anti-submarine patrol N.1
Normal crew
Flying out of RAF Predannack

None of the crew on this mission were on board this aircraft when it was shot down on the night of 7/8 April 1944 whilst on patrol over the Bay of Biscay. The crew managed to send off an SOS call but all were killed. This was the second off last 304 Squadron plane to be lost to enemy action.

05/06 Feb 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2F (HF199)
Anti-submarine patrol M.2 Percussion
Normal crew flying out of RAF Predannack

08/09 Feb 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2G (HF202)
Anti-submarine patrol M.1 Percussion
Normal crew flying out of RAF Predannack

20/21 Feb 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2H (HF200)
Anti-submarine patrol Patrol No 2
Normal crew flying out of RAF Predannack

24/25 Feb 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2D (HF196)
Anti-submarine patrol Patrol No 3
Normal crew flying out of RAF Predannack

28/29 Feb 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2P (HF181)
Anti-submarine patrol Patrol No 2
Flying out of RAF Predannack

F/O Ejbich replaced Sgt Zientek
Bohdan Ejbich is still alive and living in Canada – he is now a novelist and PAF Historian

02/03 Mar 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2H (HF200)
Anti-submarine patrol Patrol No 3 flying out of RAF Predannack

F/O Ejbich replaced Sgt Zientek
Bohdan Ejbich is still alive and living in Canada – he is now a novelist and PAF Historian

04/05 Mar 44  Night    Wellington XIV    2R (HF275)
Anti-submarine patrol T.2 Percussion
Normal crew  flying out of RAF Predannack

07/08 Mar 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2R (HF275)
Anti-submarine patrol Patrol B
Normal crew flying out of RAF Predannack

10/11 Mar 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2C (HF179)
Anti-submarine patrol R.2 Percussion
Normal crew flying out of RAF Predannack

15/16 Mar 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2R (HF275)
Anti-submarine patrol S.1 Percussion
Normal crew flying out of RAF Predannack

19/20 Mar 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2P (HF181)
Anti-submarine patrol S.4 Percussion
Normal crew flying out of RAF Predannack or RAF Chivenor. 19th March 1944 was the official movement date to the latter RAF Station.

22/23 Mar 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2A (HF188)
Anti-submarine patrol R.1 Percussion
Normal crew flying out of RAF Chivenor

None of the crew on this mission was on board this aircraft when it was shot down by German fighters on a patrol over the Bay of Biscay, less than three weeks later on 11th April 1944. The crew managed to send off an SOS but all were killed. This was the last 304 Squadron plane to be lost to enemy action.

25/26 Mar 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2A (HF188)
Anti-submarine patrol T.3 Percussion
Normal crew flying out of RAF Chivenor

Shot down over the Bay of Biscay on 11th April 1944 (see previous entry)

05/06 Apr 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2B (HF185)
Anti-submarine patrol Patrol A
Normal crew flying out of RAF Chivenor

27/28 Apr 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2N (HF330)
Anti-submarine patrol Patrol No.2
Normal crew flying out of RAF Chivenor

30 Apr/01 May 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2K (HF388)
Anti-submarine patrol Patrol No.2
Normal crew flying out of RAF Chivenor

06/07 May 44    Night   Wellington XIV    2D (HF386)
Anti-submarine patrol Patrol No.4
Normal crew flying out of RAF Chivenor

11/12 May 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2M (HF334)
Anti-submarine patrol Patrol No.4
Normal crew flying out of RAF Chivenor

16/17 May 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2M (HF334)
Anti-submarine patrol Patrol No.4
Normal crew flying out of RAF Chivenor

23/24 May 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2M (HF334)
Anti-submarine patrol Box 1 patrol
Normal crew flying out of RAF Chivenor

09/10 Jun 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2Q (HF420)
Anti-submarine patrol Patrol V
Normal crew flying out of RAF Chivenor

14/15 Jun 44    Night    Wellington XIV     2Q (HF420)
Anti-submarine patrol Patrol No.52
Normal crew flying out of RAF Chivenor

21/22 June 44    Night    Wellington XIV    2K (HF388)
Anti-submarine patrol Patrol Y
Normal crew flying out of RAF Chivenor

He returned to the Blackpool Depot and was later posted to RAF Morecambe Polish training wing in Lancashire on 16th November 1944. Subsequently he was commissioned as an officer and transferred to 133 Wing as adjutant. On 3rd September 1945 he received his final posting to RAF Dunholme Lodge in Lincolnshire which appears to have been a storage facility for Hamilcar gliders at this time. He was awarded the Cross of Valour three times and the Air Medal.

After his discharge he returned to Poland and later joined the Merchant Navy, travelling the world until his death from a heart attack on 6th December 1975; he is buried in the Central Cemetery in Szczecin, Poland.

Unfortunately, there are no wartime photographs available.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

PERSONAL

I have often wondered why I bother doing this blog; but I have never even entertained the idea of giving it up!  The answer struck me this morning when I accidentally uncovered the flying log of my own Uncle Jack (who was not Polish) and I read it properly - for the first time.  He was a nice, gentle, man who I cannot envisage as a fighter. 


He always told me that he was only in the war "for the last five minutes" because he was too young to have  been a hero.  He said that the most dangerous thing he ever did was "chuck tinsel (chaff) out of bombers to confuse enemy radar and the worst injury he had suffered was varicose veins caused by spending time in draughty and unheated aeroplanes."


That was not strictly true!  This morning I discovered that he was only in the war for the last few months but that he had flown 13 (!!!) operational missions as a Flight Engineer - all of them over Germany - in Halifax or Lancaster bombers.


This is typical of the men of all the Allied Air Forces (and probably the Axis Air Forces too).  Ignore the politics and look at the men who had to do the fighting and you will see why I continue to do it.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

STANISLAW JOZEF BORZECKI

 

He was a pilot, born on 5th August 1921 at Slobodka Dzurynska in the Tarnopol province, Poland (now Ukraine) and he was the youngest of four children of Jan Borzecki and his wife Maria. He was educated in Trembowla and applied for the SPL in Deblin in 1938. He joined 54 Infantry Regiment on 30th September 1938 for a basic course which he completed on 3rd January 1939.

He went on to join No 1 Squadron attached to the Air Force Academy in Deblin where he initially studied theory and followed that up with a flight course from 1st April 1939 until 10th June of that year; this training was cut short because of the imminence of hostilities with Germany. He was promoted to Corporal at the end of August and, with the other cadets under the command of Major Moszkowski, he crossed the border into Hungary during the September Campaign. They were immediately interned in the camp at Nagy-Kata.

At this early stage in the war, the regime was not harsh and he escaped from the camp on 16th October 1939 and made his way via Budapest, Belgrade (then Jugoslavia – now Serbia) and Thessaloniki to Athens in Greece. This was almost certainly with help from the Polish Diplomatic Corps along the way. Wherever possible, they provided false papers and money to help military personnel to reach the West.

On 25th October 1939, he sailed from Piraeus, the port of Athens, for Marseilles in France, where he rejoined the Polish forces in exile. He arrived at Lyon-Bron but had no opportunity to continue his flying training. When France capitulated, he left Lyon-Bron and made his way to Britain by sea, and arrived here on 1st July 1940.

He was sent to RAF Kirkham, Lancashire and later, on 5th August 1940, to the Polish Depot at nearby Blackpool, where he joined the Polish Air Force in Exile and was given the service number P-783410, where his tasks were learning English and familiarising himself with British equipment and methods.

During the six months from 23rd January to 23rd July 1941 he attended courses at No 1 Polish Flying Training Unit at Hucknall, Nottinghamshire; No 10 Bombing and Gunnery School at Dumfries, Scotland and 18 OTU at Bramcote, Nuneaton, Warwickshire. He was posted to 304 Squadron on 24th July 1941 at RAF Lindholme near Doncaster, Yorkshire.

On the night of 5th/6th August 1941, he flew his first combat mission to Frankfurt as second pilot to P/O Onoszko.

N2852 (NZ - D FOR Dolores) probably at RAF Lindholme in the summer of 1941

On the night of 11th/12th August 1941 he survived the forced landing of Wellington N2852 (NZ-D) at RAF East Wretham in Norfolk. They had been on a bombing mission which was recalled due to bad weather. They failed to hear the recall and could not find the primary target so they bombed Essen instead. On the return journey, the port engine seized and they were forced down. On the orders of Sgt Zykow, he bailed out successfully, along with Sgt Klimiuk and Sgt Juk but the aircraft landed safely and only Sgt Juk was slightly injured and was taken to hospital in Ipswich, Suffolk. Sgt Borzecki and the rest of the crew were flown back to RAF Lindholme the next day.

On 2nd September 1941, he set off on a mission to Frankfurt, the aircraft developed engine trouble and they were forced to abort the mission, jettison their bombs in the sea and return to RAF Lindholme. Just under two weeks later, on 15th September 1941, he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer and his service number was changed to P-1543. He was killed on 20th October 1941 when his aircraft, N2852 (NZ-D for Dolores), was hit by flak and lost an engine during a raid on Emden. It crashed into the sea near the island of Heligoland (German: Helgoland), off the coast of Germany. A distress message was sent and another aircraft saw a distress flare but no trace of him was ever found, in spite of a search, and he has no known grave.  Only two bodies were recovered.  F/O Gisman and Sgt Zykow are buried in the Sage War Cemetery at Oldenberg, Germany.

The crew were: F/O Adam Gisman, P/O Stanislaw Jozef Borzecki , Sgt Wilhelm Adamik, Sgt Ryszard Klimiuk, Sgt Henryk Plis and Sgt Mikolaj Zykow.


The crew of Vickers Wellington N2852 (NZ-D for Dolores):
Sgt Klimiuk, Sgt Plis, F/O Gisman, P/O Borzecki, Sgt Adamik and Sgt Zykow

He is recorded as having flown seven missions, with a total flying time of 37 hours and 50 minutes. He is remembered at the Bomber Command Memorial in London and at Powazki Cemetery in Warsaw.

He was awarded the Cross of Valour and the Polish Pilot's Badge.

As a footnote, Polish Airmen became attached to their own aircraft and gave them affectionate names, so NZ - D became Dolores rather than callsign Delta in the phonetic alphabet.

My sincere thanks to Ryszard Kolodziejski for his help and advice with this article.

Photographs courtesy of Mr W Sankowski, Chief Editor of Lotnictwo z Szachownica magazine, edition no 42, April 2011 in an article “P/O Borzeckis Seven Combat Missions” by D.Parzyszek.