Saturday, 13 February 2016


He was a pilot, born on 22nd October 1916 in Saratov, Russia - about 860 kilometres (535 miles) south east of Moscow.  He graduated at the Marian High School at Bielany, spent a year on the faculty of mathematics at Warsaw University.  He enlisted in the Army at Zamosc in 1937 and then graduated from the Cadet School of Aviation as a Technical Officer.  He was posted to the SPL Technical Group in Warsaw.
On the outbreak of war, at the start of the September Campaign, he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to the 1st Aviation Regiment and fought until he was ordered to Romania where he was interned at Corabia on the Danube River.  Eventually he escaped from Romania and made his way to France, via Lebanon, where he rejoined the exiled Polish Air Force and fought there until France capitulated and he escaped to England.

It was whilst he was in the army camp in Gloucester that he volunteered for the Air Force in July 1940. He attended Flying Training Schools at RAF Carlisle and RAF South Cerney in Gloucestershire and was promoted to Flying Officer in September 1941. In April 1942 he joined 18OTU and 3 Air Gunnery School at RAF Castle Kennedy in Northern Ireland also serving as a staff pilot at RAF Mona at Anglesey, North Wales and then in November 1943 he was posted to 304 Squadron where he stayed until the end of the war.

He is known to have attacked a German U-Boat on 20th February 1945 but was unable to confirm the extent of any damage. During his time with the squadron he was seconded to 6OTU at RAF Silloth in Cumberland (now Cumbria) between April and July of 1944. He was demobilised in April 1945, just days before the end of the war and at this time, he had flown 44 operational missions. He had won the Cross of Valour and the Polish Air Force Medal three times each.

He survived the war and immediately afterwards took a degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of London and worked as a design engineer for an Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co. He emigrated to Canada in 1952 and  lived in Toronto, Ontario.  He worked for General Electric, Reliance Electric Co of Canada and Canadian Federal Pioneer

He became a writer and produced several non-fiction books and novels based on his wartime experiences.  He also became very active in Polish affairs in Canada and became a very well respected member of the Polish Community there.

During his military career he was awarded the Cross of Valour (three times), the Silver Cross of Merit,  the Air Medal (three times), the Atlantic Star, the Defence Medal and the War Medal.  After the War he was honoured with the Order of Polonia Restituta and medals for his part in the Winter Campaign.

He died on 7th December 2013, aged 97, and was buried in Bloor Street West, Park Lawn Cemetery, Toronto, Canada.

No comments: