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To Danny and all - Polish airmen in the RAF

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To Danny and all - Polish airmen in the RAF

Old 26th Aug 2018, 20:58
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To Danny and all - Polish airmen in the RAF

Gents
Some 500 Polish airmen joined the RAF post-war. I have collated a list of around 400 names but information about them is rather vague, dry ORB entries and very few memories.
I am after any recollections, anecdotes or stories, as elaborate as possible. Also any photos, log book entries or whatever documentary evidence are most welcome.
I cannot say if it will turn into a book and when, but I think the history is worth of preservation.
Thank you in advance.
Franek
PS Check my profile for my FB page.
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Old 27th Aug 2018, 09:57
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Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Gents
Some 500 Polish airmen joined the RAF post-war. I have collated a list of around 400 names but information about them is rather vague, dry ORB entries and very few memories.
I am after any recollections, anecdotes or stories, as elaborate as possible. Also any photos, log book entries or whatever documentary evidence are most welcome.
I cannot say if it will turn into a book and when, but I think the history is worth of preservation.
Thank you in advance.
Franek
PS Check my profile for my FB page.
Hi Franek,
In airlines in the late 1970s I flew with a couple of Poles that had been in the RAF - born around 1922 I think. Don't know when they joined or when they left, unfortunately. But the main reason for my posting is to ask you to confirm that you are interested in those joining after the war? I had no idea that there would have been so many as 500. Also, by "airmen", are you including ground crew - or just flight crew?

Anyway, good luck!
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Old 27th Aug 2018, 12:53
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Franke, I suggest you cross post to the Military forum as many there don't look here unless they pick up the reference by chance.

Flt It Kasprowiak, 28 Jan 63, Varsity, 2 Air Navigation School, RAF Hullavington
MasterPilot Garbuz on 21 Feb 63
​​​​​​Flt Lt Murkowski 25 Jul 63, Meteor T14, 1 Air Navigation School, RAF Stradishall.

That last was a 1hr 5min low level map reading exercise. The Meteor drank fuel 550gal/hr but we had plenty left. I recall he asked if I had done aeros in the Meteor, I said not. He then said series were not permitted as we climbed the height to cool
​​ down. Then he pulled into a loop and various other manoeuvres. I tried to keep up with regular fuel and safety checks but he said the trip was over, just relax and enjoy, but these were not aeros.
​​​tg

​​​
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Old 27th Aug 2018, 13:37
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Chris
There was a large group of Poles that served with the RAFVR in 1939/40, because law did not permitt foreign troops to be based in the UK. Following the fall of France, the law has been changed, and all of them were transferred to the Polish Air Force. Those who arrived at the time and later never served in the RAF. Post-war some joined RAF, and served for various periods.
I am interested in those with the airlines as well, I just did not want to do too much mess in the thread. Off hand I recall there was a Polish pilot flying in Caledonian until early 1980s. Few were in Eagle, but not sure if for that long.

TG
I will post a parallel thread there as well, thanks.
Kasprowiak and Garbuz are new to me, many thanks. Murky Murkowski was a well known person I think, he took part in early attempts to form a RAF display team, but I do not recall the name of the team. Do you have aircraft serials and any more stories?

Thanks
Franek
https://www.facebook.com/Franciszek-...1360809684411/

Last edited by Franek Grabowski; 27th Aug 2018 at 13:59.
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Old 27th Aug 2018, 14:44
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Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Chris
There was a large group of Poles that served with the RAFVR in 1939/40, because law did not permitt foreign troops to be based in the UK. Following the fall of France, the law has been changed, and all of them were transferred to the Polish Air Force. Those who arrived at the time and later never served in the RAF. Post-war some joined RAF, and served for various periods.
I am interested in those with the airlines as well, I just did not want to do too much mess in the thread. Off hand I recall there was a Polish pilot flying in Caledonian until early 1980s. Few were in Eagle, but not sure if for that long.

TG
I will post a parallel thread there as well, thanks.
Kasprowiak and Garbuz are new to me, many thanks. Murky Murkowski was a well known person I think, he took part in early attempts to form a RAF display team, but I do not recall the name of the team. Do you have aircraft serials and any more stories?

Thanks
Franek
https://www.facebook.com/Franciszek-...1360809684411/
Kasprowiak was WF333, 4hr 5min and we were flying from RAF Topcliffe the AIR Electronics School. He might have been on the staff there.
Garbuz was WL672, 4hr 15min.
The Meteor was WS792.
​​​​​​
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Old 27th Aug 2018, 16:22
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Many thanks for that! I see that the Meteor still survives.
Franek
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Old 27th Aug 2018, 19:23
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Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Many thanks for that! I see that the Meteor still survives.
Franek
That neatly closes that circle. What markings as in 1963 it was silver and dayglo orange.
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Old 27th Aug 2018, 22:24
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Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
Chris
There was a large group of Poles that served with the RAFVR in 1939/40, because law did not permitt foreign troops to be based in the UK. Following the fall of France, the law has been changed, and all of them were transferred to the Polish Air Force. Those who arrived at the time and later never served in the RAF. Post-war some joined RAF, and served for various periods.
I am interested in those with the airlines as well, I just did not want to do too much mess in the thread. Off hand I recall there was a Polish pilot flying in Caledonian until early 1980s. Few were in Eagle, but not sure if for that long.
Thanks for the explanation, Franek. So, after the fall of France in 1940, would it be reasonable to say that those in the RAF (Polish) squadrons were Polish Air Force on secondment to the RAF?
The two I flew with on BAC1-11s in BCAL were probably too young for the BoB. I reckon they were about 57 years old in 1979. Names were "Leck" Laszkiewicz and "Henry Morton". At that time we had a silly, interim, retirement policy whereby captains had to vacate the LHS age 57, but could switch to RHS until retirement at 60. That's what they did.
Unfortunately, neither was inclined to talk to me about their time in the RAF, but it's likely to have included Dakota flying in Leck's case. It was said that, when based at Blackpool with Manx Airlines, he occasionally taxied a Dakota on to the apron with the tail still up.
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Old 27th Aug 2018, 22:47
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Such as those?
Aircraft WS792 (1954 Gloster Meteor NF(T).14 C/N Not found WS792) Photo by Peter Nicholson (Photo ID: AC373372)

Chris
Yes, I think this is proper description. PAF was subordinated to RAF operationally, but had personal indepndence, and could make some decisions, like choice of aircraft, etc.
So BCAL. Lech Laszkiewicz is still alive I think, andliving close to Gatwick. His Mustang was damaged on 7 June 1944, and he force landed behind the enemy lines - there is a German film of his capture. Spend the war in Barth, and escaped from there following 'liberation' by the Red Army, but I was unable to convince him to tell anything about that. The last time I was in touch with him, he flew Flight Simulator on a neat hand made cockpit. He was also an avid flying modeller. I guess he still is, health permitting. Morton is no doubt Henryk Jastrzębski,ex Lancaster and transport Halifax pilot. He passed away 13 years ago.

Best wishes
Franek
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Old 27th Aug 2018, 22:56
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Flt Lt Dolicher- RAF Halton ,1962 pilot
M.Plt Malin(owski) /RAF Syerston `63/4 maybe Link trainer
M.Nav ??????Station Nav/flight planning ..Syerston 63/4
Vic Voitel ?..from somewhere,maybe Odiham 1967
Mikel Kolodeny-Station barber,Syerston,civvy but probably ex-service
FltLt `John` `ZZ `Zmitrovicz- Belvedere pilot 66Sqdn Far East 1964-67-later lived in Brighton area,last heard of a few years ago..
Alek Tarwid- just do a search on Mil Forum for Alek .Died last year at 95..
ED. As an Apprentice at Halton ,I
learned to fly at w/ends at Luton with another Apprentice Stan Byczkowski,who may have been born about 1941-2,but don`t know his background..
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Old 28th Aug 2018, 01:18
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Kazimierz Dolicher ex-Spitfire pilot, one of the original RAFVR group.
Jerzy Malinowski ex-Mosquito.
Wacław Wojtal aka Victor Voytal ex-Wellington.
Michał Kołodenny air gunner, no info on post-war service.
Zenon Zmitrowicz (I guess, there was also Kazimierz, who spend some time in HKAAF) ex-Mossie.
Byczkowski - possibly son of a navigator Zbigniew Byczkowski.

Any stories on them?

Best wishes
Franek
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Old 28th Aug 2018, 03:46
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and...
Flt. Lt. "Babs" Bobrowski, Instructor JP3 and JP4, RAF Leeming, 1968-1970.
Flt Lt. Nitzrecki, Belveders, RAF Seletar, 1965- 1966.
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Old 28th Aug 2018, 12:53
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Franek,sorry no particular stories about the guys,but you should search Alek ,as many others have written about his exploits...

However,when I was in Kuching`64-67`,there was a detachment of Javelins,either 60 or 64 Sqdn; one of the crews was Flt Lt Colin Holman ,and his nav. was `Benny Baronowski.Colin was about 5`4" tall,Benny about 6`6",and used to spend spare time `throwing the hammer` on the `grass` outside the accommodation alongside an access road.One day Benny is practising and fires off the hammer into the `wide blue yonder` when along the track appears OC Ops Landrover,driven by a Clerk ...At some point further along the track there is a meeting of 16 lbs of hammer returning from sub-orbit at terminal velocity,and a Landrover,also at terminal velocity,through the canvas roof and into the back,fortunately missing the driver,but breaking the suspension....Benny was forbidden to bring his equipment back on detachment again...
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Old 28th Aug 2018, 13:23
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Hi Franec, A well known Polish fighter pilot turned test pilot and I'm pretty sure that you must already have info on Janusz Żurakowski, but since the latter part of his career took place in Canada and his relatives are unlikely to see this thread, I hope you don't mind a gentle reminder as I have many happy memories of his brilliant display flying in the early fifties at the Farnborough Air Show

Biography on Wikipedia
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Old 28th Aug 2018, 14:49
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Saint Jack
Piotr Bobrowski ex-No 306 Sqn Mustang pilot. He passed away in 1973 at RAF Brize Norton.
Wacław 'Nick' Niezręcki, he flew SD Halifaxes during the war, later RPAF, returned to the UK and joined RAF. At some point flew Canberras. He delivered Lancaster PA474 to BBMF, as he was found to have most recent experience on Lancasters in the RAF from a few years back, ignoring Shackleton jocks!

Sycamore
Bolesław Baranowski, ex-No 307 Sqn Mosquito nav. In 1965 he took photos of Indonesian Tu-16 (Where are the pics? Seen one in a journal of low quality.)
The story is great, and that is what I am after. A typical record of a Polish airman is: arrived to the squadron, flew a lot, left the squadron. With fitters it is even worse. Not the kind of information, making pleasant read. Many thanks!

Sinco
I do, and I was in touch with the family, have his logs. The other Arrow pilot was Władysław 'Spud' Potocki. All stories are welcome!
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Old 28th Aug 2018, 20:24
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Franek,I presume you know of `Polishsquadronsremembered.com`...

And for Danny42C,if you go to the website,and look up 663 Sqdn,have a look at the last picture of the Auster and to the left of the flag party......
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Old 29th Aug 2018, 00:32
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I do. A great site. I am interested in the post-war period, however, and there is no info easily available. Hence my request.
I guess it would be easier to provide a direct link to the picture.
http://polishsquadronsremembered.com...where_when.jpg
Best wishes
Franek
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