M.84 *  2nd Officer Stanley Michel 'Mike' Kolendorski 

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  b. 24 Feb 1915, Jersey City 3 Aug 1940 to 12 Sep 1940 

  ata stanley kolendorski 1941   ata stanley kolendorskihttp://www.americanairmuseum.com/person/240113   

 

Father: Adam Kolendorski (American), mother: Katherine (Katy) (Polish)

He "excelled in woodwork and other manual arts subjects, and learned to fly a plane while working as a 'grease monkey' at a field near his home. He moved to California, and became a pilot for an air service."

m. 1938 Charlotte Mae [Reynolds]

Address in 1940: Star Route, Lakehurst, NJ

His wife was granted a divorce in Los Angeles on 3 Feb 1940, on the basis that he "spent most of his time at an airport and finally went to Canada to join the Royal Air Force."

 Travelled to Liverpool from Montreal on the 'Duchess of Bedford', arriving 10 August 1940.


ATA Contract Terminated 3 Sep 1940 - Joined the RAF as part of the 'Eagle' squadron of American volunteer pilots.

It sounds like Stanley carried on hoping for a reconciliation with Charlotte; on the 27 Oct 1940 "According to Stanley Kolendorski,of Lakehurst, NJ. the thrill of training to fire a shot for his ancestral Poland almost compensates for the threat of his wife to divorce him when he joined up. He is hoping she will reconsider her decision when she gets a picture of him in his British uniform - her picture, in her wedding dress, is the sole mural decoration of the little cubicle that is his exile bedroom tonight."

Asbury Park Press, NJ, 21 May 1941 - "After receiving word that their son, Stanley, is missing after a flight from England during war operations [on the 17th May], Mr. and Mrs Adam Kolendorski are anxiously awaiting further word from the British Air Ministry to learn whether the youth is dead, a German prisoner or has returned safely."

The full story emerged later.

"After being scrambled early in the morning in Hurricane Mk IIb Z3186 (71 (Eagle) Squadron) to intercept Ju88's and He111's coming across the channel, at 20,000 ft they came across escorting Bf 109's of the II./JG 53 "Pik As" over the Thames Estuary.

Mike Kolendorski turned his aircraft sharply to intercept a pair of Bf 109s, when a second pair opened fire on him. A warning was given over the R/T, but too late for Kolendorski. It would seem that he was killed in his cockpit as no attempt by him to bale out was observed. Other 'Eagle'-squadron pilots saw his aircraft crash land in the water and reported Stanley Michel Kolendorski KIA after they had returned to their airbase.

F/O Kolendorski's body was washed ashore in the Netherlands on 13th August 1941 near 'Paal 16' at the beach of Rockanje / West-Voorne, Voorne Putten island, Zuidhollandse Eilanden region. His remains were buried at the General Cemetery "Maria Rust" in Rockanje, municipality of West-Voorne."

18834392 1439278374 findagrave.com

He is also one of 13 WWII and Korean War dead who are commemorated on the Asbury, NJ, War Memorial, dedicated in 1954.

d. 17 May 1941 (age 26) 


 Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip file):download grey

 

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