Monday, 3 June 2013


He was a pilot, born on 7th February 1910 in Chelm, Eastern Poland.  He trained as a pilot in the School of Aviation at Deblin.  In 1934, he became a test pilot at the Experimental Aviation Workshops in Warsaw and later a pilot with LOT Polish Airlines, where he flew the Lockheed Electra and Fokker airliners, amongst others.

He does not appear to have fought in the September Campaign, but escaped from Poland and, like many others, he took a tortuous route to the west.  He travelled via Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Jugoslavia, Italy and France before arriving in England where he joined the squadron. 

Reports differ as he may have been with the Squadron and then been seconded to 18 OTU for training on British aircraft, or he may have completed a tour of duty and then been posted there as an instructor.  In any event, he rejoined the Squadron from RAF Bramcote on 28th July 1942 and he flew a total of 43 missions with them.

In 1943, he is reported to have flown at least 11 Transatlantic flights for B.O.A.C. (British Overseas Airways Corporation).  These were mostly used as return flights for crews delivering aircraft from the USA to Great Britain and were made in unarmed and converted B-24 Consolidated Liberator bombers.

He had an amazing and distinguished career in civil and military aviation and wrote his memoirs in 1993 (in Polish) under the title of “Mimo wszystko latać (Still Flying)” which was published by Altair’s Polish Division and under the pen name of Aleksander Onoszko.  During the course of his wartime flying, he was awarded the Silver Cross of the Order of Military Virtue, the Cross of Valour and three bars and the Gold Cross of Merit with Swords.

He survived the war and decided to remain in England but, in 1953, he and his family emigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada where he died on 8th July 1994.  He was cremated and his ashes were returned to Poland, where they were buried in the Powazki Military Cemetery in Warsaw.
Photograph courtesy of Tom Bakalarz Branch 20 Polish Combatants’ Association Museum Curator. Toronto, Ontario.

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