Tuesday, 24 January 2017


He was born at Filipowice, Chrzanow , Poland on 21st January 1916 and, being 23 years old on the outbreak of war, he must have done his National Service and been placed on the reserve.  In any event, he was conscripted and posted to 2nd Air Regiment at Krakow.
When the Russians entered the war, on 17th September 1939, he was evacuated to Romania where he was disarmed and interned.  However, the resourceful Polish  government had arranged for all evacuated servicemen to be  provided with funds, travel documents and false identities through their Embassy in Bucarest.  Slipping away from the internment camps was easy at this early stage of the war and he made his way to France.  His route is unknown but it is likely that he came to the Polish base at Lyon-Bron, probably via Marseilles.

On the fall of France it is most likely that he escaped through St Juan de Luz and took a ship to Britain.  On arrival he would be placed in a temporary tented camp before being sent to the Polish Depot at Blackpool.  There he would have gone through the usual induction process of learning English, learning the King's Regulations and familiarisation with British equipment.

It is known that he attended the No 4 Gunnery School at Tranwell Airfield (RAF Morpeth) in Northumberland before being posted to 18 OTU at RAF Bramcote, Nuneaton, Warwickshire on 30th August 1941.  This was where he learned British tactical warfare and became part of an integrated crew before being posted to 304 Squadron at RAF Lindholme on 1st December 1941.

Once with the squadron he would train with them until he was ready to be sent into action.  This happened rather slowly due to the appalling weather conditions and his first three missions (in January 1942) were all cancelled.  He got his first chance on 14th February when he was sent to bomb the docks at Le Havre and there were four further missions to Essen, Cologne (2) and Rostock before the squadron was switched to Coastal Command.

In all he flew 45 missions with 304 Squadron, many of them were long and boring flights over the sea but there were some moments of excitement.  On 24th September 1942 on his 22nd mission with the squadron his aircraft was attacked by two Junkers Ju88 fighters.  He raked one of them with fire and hits were observed but the second aircraft attacked and he put a long burst into it at short range taking out the port engine and making hits on the wing root and below the cockpit.  This aircraft was seen to roll over and crash into the sea.

On 22nd November 1942 his aircraft was attacked by a Focke Wulf Kurier and the pilot skilfully reached cloud cover whilst he and the front gunner kept the enemy aircraft at bay with a few short bursts of machine gun fire but it was not possible to tell whether they had scored any hits.

At 10.02 am on 8th February 1943 Wellington Mk 1c HE103 (V) took off from RAF Dale on an anti-submarine patrol.  The patrol itself was uneventful but strong winds, heavy rain and low cloud took their toll on the fuel supply and the crew was forced to abandon the aircraft.  The plane carried on and crashed into high ground at Parc Llwydiarth in a remote area known as the Dyfnant Forest in near Llanfyllin, Montgomeryshire (now Powys), Wales.

The first indication of the crash was debris found by  Private Watkin Jones of the local Home Guard platoon.  There were also reports of German parachutists from various points, one of whom had landed near the Lake Vyrnwy Dam at Boncyn Celyn.  It was the co-pilot, F/O Dobrowalski, and he had broken his leg and was in severe pain and was speaking in Polish.

Local Constables and Home Guard platoons picked up the rest of the crew The pilot F/O J Wroblewski had injured his arm and the rear gunner, Sgt Stanislaw Malczyk's parachute had been caught up in a tree and he had hung there all night and had to be treated for shock and exposure.  The rest of the crew were uninjured.  He only flew two more missions after this and, tour expired, he was posted to the Polish Depot on 22nd April 1943.

Little is known of his service between this time and February 1944 when he was posted to 1586 Special Duties Flight and was posted overseas to RAF Campo Casale in Italy where he became part of the crew of F/Lt Szostak, flying frequent and dangerous missions in support of resistance and partisan groups across Europe notably to Poland.

Aircrew from 1586 SD Flight
Stanislaw Malczyk is second from the right

His last flight was in support of the Warsaw Uprising and took place on 15th August 1944 on Liberator KG890 (GR-S) piloted by F/Lt Szostak.  They successfully dropped a cache of arms, ammunition and food at very low level onto Krasinski Square in Warsaw.  On the way home they were attacked by two night fighters and suffered serious damage.  The pilot ordered his crew to jump from the burning aircraft but those who made it out of the plane were killed when their parachutes failed to open due to the low altitude.  They were shot down by Lt Gustav Eduard Francsi of NJG100
Lt Gustav Eduard Francsi
They crashed near the village of Great Nieszkowice in the Niepolomice Forest in Bochnia, Southern Poland.  The crew were buried in the cemetery at Pogwizdowie with full military honours; their funeral was attended by about 200 locals and the German Army fired a volley over their graves.  After the War, the bodies were removed and reburied in the British Military Cemetery in Krakow.

Stanislaw Malczyk was awarded the Virtuti Militari and the Cross of Valour and two or three bars (accounts vary).

This article has been written and illustrated by material sent to me in response to a request for information on the HE103 Wellington crash.  Any further details would be most welcome, particularly on his service with 1586 SD Flight or the time immediately after leaving 304 Squadron.

Copyright holders of the photographs used are unknown


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