Polish pilots with 15FPP C.O. in c1943 - Wladyslaw Turowicz, Stefania Wojtulanis, Thomas Henry Whitehurst, Jadwiga Pilsudska, Klemens Franciszek Dlugaszewski
Daab, Anna Zofia Maria ; Poland ; Accounts Clerk; 63 Lower Richmond Road, London S.W.I5. 1st March 1968.
Civil registration event: Death
Name: RATOMSKI, Stanislauw
Registration district: Grantham. County: Lincolnshire
Year of registration: 1950. Quarter of registration: Jan-Feb-Mar
Age at death:46
Volume no: 3B Page no: 110
with thanks to Krzysztof Kubala
M.62 First Officer Stefan Czyzewski b. 11 Jun 1899, Szarpance, Poland 11 Nov 1940 to 21 Jul 1942
"Before 1918 I was forced to be Austrian Citizen, but my nationality was every time Polish."
Ed. University of Vienna, Technical School
Sergeant Pilot in the Polish Air Force Sep-1918 to Jul-1921
A Mechanical Engineer; Chief Engineer for Avia in Warsaw from 1927.
prev. exp 1,500 hrs on "about 70 different Polish, German, French, English and Italian types".
Address in 1940: 19 Racecourse Rd, Ayr, Scotland
He applied to the ATA having been rejected by the RAF, and was assessed initially as a 'capable pilot, but inclined to be heavy-handed."
There is a handwritten note on his file: "My wife Janina Czyzewska is living in Warsaw Pulawska Street, 152 m 11. Because you could not reach her until the War is over the only one thing to do in case of my death is to put the insurance money in my Barklay [sic] bank account in Maidenhead. This is maybe not conforming to your regulations, but I can't help.
To spare you troubles, I can only try very hardly to avoid any deadly accident what I am promising."
He had an unfortunate experience when he unknowingly hit and killed a labourer while taking off in a Wellington at Prestwick in December 1941; he subsequently took time off suffering from a 'lack of confidence'.
d. 21 Jul 1942 (Died in ATA Service) - Beaufighter X7764 flew into Glengavel Hill, 7 miles south of Strathaven, Lanarkshire, in bad visibility. He was deemed to be to blame for the accident, having persisted too far in bad weather.
"A good and careful pilot. The fine example he set to others made him very popular."
M.13 Jerzy Damsz b. 6 Sep 1911, Lodz, Poland 5 Dec 1940 to 10 Jun 1941
from http://www.polishairforce.pl, which has a full biography
Ed, Warsaw Polytechnic
Polish Air Force (Pilot Officer) from 21 Sep 1936
prev. Aircraft Engineer
Address in 1940: 8 Horncliffe Rd, Blackpool, Lancs
Postings: 1FPP, 4FPP
A "reliable and keen pilot", but he had 3 accidents in 4 months;
4 Feb 1941 - Harvard (Partly Blamed);
6 Mar - Hurricane (Exonerated), and
14 May - Hector K8137 (Completely Blamed: "He should have known that brakes on this type are not very positive in action and have exercised increased caution in consequence.")
Transferred to 307 Sqn, RAF in July 1941.
d. 22 June 1987 - Sopot
M.11 * Flight Captain Klemens Franciszek 'Double Whisky' Dlugaszewski b. 23 Nov 1899 21 Jun 1940 to 31 Dec 1945
prev. Polish Army and Air Force; from 1925, one of the first five pilots of LOT.
In September 1939, he flew LOT's Lockheed Electra SP-BNF from Finland, bringing Alexandra, the wife of Marshal Józef Piłsudski, and their daughters Wanda and Jadwiga.
Klemens and Jadwiga both joined the ATA.
Post-WWII, rejoined LOT.
d 3 July 1985 and is buried at the Powązki Cemetery, Warsaw.
M.263 First Officer Jerzy Drzewiecki MBE b. 7 Aug 1902, Warsaw Poland 25 Feb 1941 to 30 Nov 1945
Manx Aviation & Military Museum
Educated at Warsaw University of Technology
An Aircraft Designer - one of the three founders (with fellow students Stanisław Rogalski and Stanisław Wigura) of RWD, which was a Polish aircraft construction bureau active between 1925 and 1939.
In 1933, Rogalski, Drzewiecki and Wędrychowski founded the company Doświadczalne Warsztaty Lotnicze (DWL, Experimental Aeronautical Works) in Warsaw, which became a manufacturer of further RWD aircraft.
He fled the German-Soviet occupation of Poland in September 1939 and found work as a draughtsman at Westland Aircraft from Feb 1940, but was frustrated that they would not allow him to do "creative work."
prev. exp: over 1500 hrs in about 60 land and seaplanes
Address in 1941: 4 West Park, Yeovil, Somerset
Postings: 2FPP, 6FPP, 9FPP, 14FPP
Off sick from 24 Nov 1941 to 19 Jan 42 following a forced landing in a Beaufort after both engines failed.
"A most reliable and experienced pilot. Discipline excellent."
Post-WWII, after working for Bristol Aircraft for a while (and again getting frustrated by what he saw as a lack of opportunity) he emigrated to Canada in Dec 1947.
d. 15 May 1990 - Ottawa
M.670 2nd Officer Antoni Henryk Gosiewski b. 17 Jan 1900, Warsaw 30 Sep 1941 to 19 Dec 1941
[Antoni Gosiewski lost nearly everything that mattered to him - his country, his wife, his two sons, his career and a large part of his reputation, in two brutal years of war.
Eventually, he only had one thing left to give]
Father: Feliks Gosiewski (dec'd), mother Biernacka Julyanna. One brother (Juljusz) and one sister Eugenia still in Poland with their mother.
Diploma of Engineering
prev. Engine Designer. Polish Air Force from 1923 Lt-Col (equiv. Wing Commander)
Lived in France from Sep 1939 - 26 June 1940; then Pilot Officer in RAF
prev. exp. 1,050 hrs on PZL.11, Anson
The PZL.11, having briefly been considered the most advanced fighter aircraft of its kind in the world during the early 30s, was outclassed by such fighters as the Messerschmitt Bf 109 at the onset of the war.]
Awarded the Polish Virtutu Military (Polish Cross), ZKZ, SKZ, and MZW medals.
Address in 1941: c/o Mrs M Allam, Academy House, Rothesay, Bute
[Officer Concentration Station Rothesay (Polish language: Stacja Zborna Oficerów Rothesay) was a military centre of Polish Armed Forces in the West. Created on August 14, 1940 (Order Nr. L.dz. 1977/I.tjn.40), as Officer Camp Nr. 23, it was located in Rothesay, Bute, Scotland.
Officers of the Polish Army, who were sent to the camp, were billeted in several local hotels, such as „Craigmor”, „Craignetham Private Hotel”, „Madras”, „Glenearu”, „Ardyn”, „Struan”, „Bute Arms”, „Esplanade”, „Grand Marine”, „Royal” and „Victoria”. With the permission of Commander-in-chief of Polish Army and British authorities, families of officers were allowed to join them. The relatives of the officers were treated as foreign subjects, and since the Isle of Bute was located in a protected zone, special permission was required to enter the town of Rothesay.
On August 28, 1940, all officers began compulsory English courses, and on September 10, the camp was renamed into Officer Camp Nr. 2 Rothesay. - Wikipedia]
His application to ATA, dated 9 Sep 1941, concludes: "I want to work for the war effort. I desire to be useful as a pilot, because I have the knowledge, the flying experience (over 1,000 hrs) and the certainty of my hand."
However, one of his 'referees' rather threw a spanner into the works:
I can give you the following information:
1. (Gosiewski) has been dismissed from the [Air] Force as a result of a sentence of a Court Martial in Britain, which found him guilty of the charge of embezzlement committed in Poland.
2. Up till the last year in Poland [he] was a pilot and has had good training, though his occupation did not allow him to fly the most modern types of aircraft. He is a good and able technician.
In my opinion Gosiewski should not be appointed for responsible duties permitting access to secret information; he could, however, be engaged in simple executive work.
... . but a further letter from Major Wladyslaw Zaberowski, Bureau of Staff, Polish General Headquarters, gave a totally different impression:
Answering your question in matters of Lt-Col Antoni Gosiewski Grad. Eng. I declare as follows:
I did not know Lt-Col A Gosiewski until February of this year, when Authorities concerned ordered me to defend his case before the Polish Court Martial in London.
Lt-Col Gosiewski was accused of having appropriated for his private purposes, unlegally, various small amounts of monies (totalling less then £80), which were put at his disposal for the "Representation Fund" of the Polish School of Air Force Officers, which was under his command before outbreak of the war.
I pursued the legal proceedings in this matter with an utmost care, and considering all the facts shown thereby, I came to the conclusion, I am thoroughly convinced a right one, that Lt-Col Gosiewski could not and has not done things he was accused of. Therefore I wrote and signed a Memorandum opposing the verdict, and destined for the General who is responsible for approving such verdicts here. I have to mention that against verdicts of our Court Martials no appeal to a higher court is provided, during the war.
Officers under whose orders Lt-Col Gosiewski has been on duty told the court that their opinion is entirely in favour of his character and behaviour. Their opinion is shared by numerous other Polish Air Force officers, now in service in this country who have heard about the bad luck of Lt-Col Gosiewski in this case.
I have to stress that facts alleged to Lt-Col Gosiewski should have occurred before the war between 1937 and 1939, in Poland, but there nobody has put it forward against him. It was in this country that two of his subalterns accused him, in circumstances where any counter proofs by evidence of witnesses and by documents left behind in Poland has not been feasible.
The Court Martial has based the verdict on the evidence given by these two former subalterns, but giving a supplementary explanation of the verdict stated that, admitting the fact of an unlegal appropriation, this deed has not been committed under influence of mean motives, and therefore the verdict does not include the privation of the accused nor of his high Military Order, the "Virtuti Militari", nor of his Academie degree of M.A.
...There exists the possiblility of applying for a revision of this legal proceeding, when new proofs and new witnesses will be available. This will be done, and I am sure that after our return to Poland this verdict will be cancelled.
After having examined this matter in the Polish Military Intelligence Branch I may state that also their opinion is entirely in favour of Lt-Col Gosiewski.
So the ATA gave him a 15-minute flight test in a Tiger Moth, which was satisfactory; "An experienced pilot, heavy on controls but suitable for Class 2 at once."
On his application form, he gave his next of kin as: "(wife) Umerska Jadwiga [Lis], with the Polish Committee in Lisbon",
and said they had "2 children"
Sadly, by the time he started with the ATA three weeks later, his wife Jadwiga (b. 30 May 1908) and their two sons Krzystof (age 6) and Michal, age 10, had died when the ship in which they were travelling was torpedoed.
"Avoceta left Liverpool on 19 August 1941 and safely reached Gibraltar on 4 September. From there, she made her usual round trip to Lisbon and back. In Lisbon she embarked dozens of refugees from German-occupied Europe: UK subjects who had escaped the fall of France and had been denied leave to remain by the authorities in neutral Spain and Portugal. Most were women and children, some of them of French or Spanish origin, several following their husbands to the UK.
Avoceta was one of 25 merchant ships that formed Convoy HG 73, which left Gibraltar on 17 September bound for Liverpool.
On the night of 25–26 September U-203 fired a spread of four torpedoes from their port side. One hit Avoceta close to her engine room. Admiral Creighton was on Avoceta's bridge, and later recalled that when hit "she staggered like a stumbling horse".
Avoceta sank by the stern, and her bows quickly rose to such an angle that her lifeboats could not be lowered.
123 people from Avoceta were lost. The dead included 43 crew, nine Navy staff, four DEMS gunners and 67 civilian passengers, including 32 women and 20 children, four of which were under one year old." SS Avoceta - Wikipedia
Postings: Training Pool
"An ex Polish Air Force Officer. A most likeable personality, very keen and anxious to produce results... will require help with his English"
- 12 Dec 1941, his Tiger Moth T7610 was caught by a gust of wind after landing and tipped onto its nose, breaking the propeller
d. 19 Dec 1941 (Died in ATA Service) in Master W8479 which flew into Arrant Haw hill, 2.5 m N of Sedburgh, Yorks (now in Cumbria).
Ferry originally started 17 Dec from Reading (Phillips & Powis factory) to 46 MU Lossiemouth, although he stayed at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire on the 17th and 18th Dec due to bad weather.
The wreck was discovered by a shepherd on the 24 Dec, completely smashed and burnt. The weather had been misty all week. There were no witnesses.
"Insufficient evidence to establish cause but it appears that he persisted too far into bad weather"
It was his 3rd ferry flight, having previously flown 37hrs 10min in training on Magister, Battle, Harvard, Hurricane and Oxford.
The body was temporarily moved to the Games Pavilion at Sedburgh School.
Buried Maidenhead Cemetery, Section D No 18KK
With thanks to John Webster
"If anything Gosiewski displayed an over anxiety to produce results... as a result of his keenness he was on one occasion grounded because of his desire to take off in too bad weather conditions."
His cousin asked for his effects to be sent to him or Dr Vedrevczak, because "they are very valuable to me as concerning the family name, and also to his friends. Because even after his death we want the name of this valuable man and officer to be without any shadows."
He left a will, in Polish, naming two executors; one an officer serving in the RAF (Flt-Lt (Dr.) Marvan Vedrzevczak), and the Polish Legation in London. The will could not be proved during the war, so his £2,000 insurance (and £9 19 5d balance of salary) was invested in 1949/51 war bonds and passed on to his executors in 1947.
See also the photos of the crash site at https://www.yorkshire-aircraft.co.uk
W.--- Cadet Maria Hrynakowska -> b. 22 Jul 1909, Smila Russia 18 Aug-43 to 9 Dec-43
prev: Polish ATS
[Contract Terminated by ATA]
M.313 First Officer Leon Hubert Jaugsch b. 30 Dec 1914, Torun, Poland 17 Apr 1943 to 31 Oct 1945
France, 1940 with thanks to Andrzej Schmidt
Father: Artur Jaugsch (dec'd), mother: Stanisława [Dolatowska]
Ed. High School, Torun, Poland
prev Polish Air Force (2nd-Lieut) from 1 Sep 1936. Fled Poland 18 Sep 1939. Interned in Rumania from 18 Sep to 7 Oct 1939, then resident in the UK from 12 July 1940.
RAF (306 Sqn) from 12 Jul 1940 to 27 Mar 1943, based at Northolt.
An article written in 1977 by P/O William R 'Bill' Dunn of 71 (Eagle) Squadron RAF describes an encounter with Leon: "On 6 Jul 1941, I saw a Hurricane from No 306 (Polish) Squadron beating up an Me109E that refused to go down. I gave the Polish pilot a hand with a couple of good bursts from about fifty yards and, with heavy black smoke pouring from it, the Me 109 rolled over, headed for the deck, and went in just west of Mardyck [nr Dunkirk, France]. The Polish pilot, P'O Leon Jaugsch, and I shared this victory. Jaugsch now lives in Los Alamitos, Calif., and we correspond regularly." - via Andrzej Schmidt
prev exp 550 hrs in Poland, France and England.
Postings: 5TFFP, 16FPP, 8FPP, 3FPP
Two accidents, both his fault:
- 14 Jun 1944, in Spitfire IX MK913, he mistook a 'dummy' road for the start of the runway, and damaged a wing whilst landing.
- 30 Mar 1945, he bailed out of a perfectly good Mosquito - a Mk VI, RF847 - when he thought his starboard engine was on fire. Subsequent technical examinations of the wreckage found nothing wrong, so they thought he must have mistaken either static electricity or exhaust flames for an engine fire.
He was demoted to Third Officer in March 1945 for 6 months, when he "deliberately flew above cloud on a ferry flight from Edzell to White Waltham. As a result the pilot became lost and found himself over unknown country... which proved to be France."
"He has shown exceptional keenness and willingness throughout his training"... "A good officer but is inclined to be a little excitable. Discipline - excellent"
m. 6 Dec 1944 in Carlisle, Florence E I [Mundy] Daniels
Moved to the USA after WWII. Naturalised 1963:
d. 8 April 1984 - Orange Co., CA, USA
M.1129 3rd Officer Wladyslaw Bronislaw Kazmierczak b. 24 Feb 1920, Skrzypna, Poland 2 Oct 1944 to 30 Jun 1945
prev. Sgt Pilot, RAF - shot down flying Wellington IV Z1495 on 25 Nov 1942 over Holland, and subsequently a PoW in Stalag Muhlhausen
Full story at https://aircrewremembered.com/kazmierczak-wladyslaw.html
Awarded Polish Vir Toti Militart (VM), Cross for Valour (CV)
One leg was amputated after the crash and he was repatriated in a PoW exchange via the Swiss Red Cross, after being considered 'unfit for active military service'
Also used the surname 'Howard'
m. 1953 in Surrey, Margaret M [Stanton] (son Nicholas M Howard b. 1958 in Oldham)
d. 30 Mar 1974 - Oldham, Lancs
M.84 * 2nd Officer Stanley Michel 'Mike' Kolendorski b. 24 Feb 1915, Jersey City 3 Aug 1940 to 12 Sep 1940
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."
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)
W.28 First Officer
Anna Zofia Maria Leska
b. 4 Nov 1910, Warsaw, Poland 6 Jan 1941 to 30 Nov 1945
with thanks to Krzysztof Kubala
prev. Polish Air Force; Polish Section in UK
She escaped from Poland by flying an aircraft to Romania, where she was interned. She managed to escape and, with two fellow countrymen, drove to Bucharest and then Paris, which is where she met her future husband, Flt-Lt Mietak Daab.
Following the collapse of France, they managed to find a boat to Plymouth,
1942 caricature by 'Sammy' Clayton
d. 21 Jan 1998 - Warsaw
M.1089 3rd Officer Alexander Majewski -> b. 6 May 1901, Russia 17 Jul 1944 to 30 Sep 1945
Married, 1 son (also Alexander)
prev. pilot, Polish Air Force; French Air Force; RAF Flt-Lt from 1 Jul 1940 to 10 Sep 1943
Awarded Order of St George
prev. exp. 3,500 hrs in Hurricane, Henley, Battle, Master, Lysander, Blenheim, Bisley, Oxford, Anson (685.30 hrs solo in England)
Postings: 5TFPP, 6FPP
Two accidents, one his fault:
- 16 Mar 1945 - a forced landing in Hurricane IV KX878, after he ran out of fuel but neglected to use the reserve tank
- 31 May 1945 - a wheels-up landing in Spitfire XVI JB357, after the selector lever jammed.
"A willing pilot and an excellent officer"... "difficult to instruct as he has flown for a long time and has set habits, also the language question is a bit difficult."
Feliks Pecho b. 30 Aug 1900, Zyrnow, Poland 28 Aug 1944 to 30 Sep 1945
Ed. Technical School
One of 6 former pilots of (Polish airline) LOT who joined the ATA - see also Leonard Satel, Klemens Dlugaszewski (Joined 1940), Mieczyslaw Witkowski, Ludwik Tokarczyk (M.1006, Joined 1943), and Antoni Switalski..
Next of kin (son) Lech Pecho, 1 Hrubieszowska Str, Warsaw
prev. Finnish Air Force, Polish Air Force, RAF 21 Dec 1942 - 1 Jul 1944 (Flt-Sgt)
[Having fled Poland in September 1939, he was one of 5 Polish pilots who joined the Finnish Air Force in early 1940, stationed in Luonetjärvi and flying transport aircraft.]
prev. exp. 7,500 hrs
m., 1 son
Address in 1944: c/o 1680 Flight RAF Transport Command, Abbotsinch
Postings: 5FPP, 16FPP, 3FPP
2 accidents, 1 his fault:
- 7 Jan 1945, his Proctor II nosed over when turning off the runway and was caught in an unexpected gust of wind;
- 13 Aug 1945, in a Seafire XV, he overshot on landing and it turned onto its back.
"This Polish pilot came to ATA with over 7,000 hrs experience, much of it in Poland, and on such types as Junkers 52, Lockheed 14, etc. In spite of the language difficulty, which made instruction rather slower than usual, Pecho has worked exceptionally well, and proved himself a most reliable, hardworking and trustworthy officer."
m. 1947 in Fylde, Lancs, Jenny Nuttall
Resident in Toronto, Canada from 1949; Felix Pecho, a decorator.
W.90 2nd Officer Jadwiga Piłsudska b. 28 Feb 1920, Warsaw, Poland 15 Jul 1942 to 20 Jul 1944
via Ania Stefanicka
with thanks to Krzysztof Kubala
Father: Józef Piłsudski, Polish statesman who served as the Chief of State (1918–1922) and First Marshal of Poland (from 1920), Mother: Aleksandra [Szczerbińska]
prev: Student at Newnham College, Cambridge (studying architecture)
prev exp: 20 hrs (100 hrs on gliders) in Poland
Address in 1942: 6 Spottiswoode St, Newington, Edinburgh (living with her mother).
Later moved to 12 Eversley St, Liverpool 8
m. 1944 Lieutenant Andrzej Jaraczewski, an officer in the Polish Navy.
in 1943 and 2011
d. 16 November 2014 - Warsaw
M.781 First Officer Wladslaw Radwanski b. 30 Sep 1913, Zychlin, Poland 1 Oct 1942 to 26 Jul 1945
Father: Jan Radwanski
Ed. Military School, Technical School, Warsaw
prev. Polish Air Force from 2 Jan 1936; RAF (F/O, 300 Sqn) to 1 Oct 1942
Awarded Polish Bravery Medal
prev. exp. 1,030 hrs in Moth, Harvard, Battle, Hurricane, Spitfire, Mustang, Oxford, Blenheim, Whitley, Hudson, Wellington, Beaufighter and 'Lockheed'
He crashed Wellington IV R1510 while practising low-level circuits at Hemwell on 24 Sep 1941. "A sudden loss of engine power was experienced and the pilot tried to make a straight ahead landing, but was baulked by another aircraft taking off. First loss of a Wellington IV in Bomber Command service."
He also had a narrow escape on the 8 Nov 1941, when piloting Wellington Z1271 which iced-up and force-landed in France: "W/O Nowakowski, W/O Kudelko, W/O Iwanowicz, all PoW; F/O Taras, P/O Radwanski and Sgt Chrzanowski evaded capture."
Reprimanded 20 Jun 1943 for 'neglect of duty' - failing to attend for fire guard and night duty pilot.
One accident, his fault:
- 27 Mar 1943, one wheel of his Botha I L6488 lodged against the side of the perimeter track, the aircraft swung and the tail struck a compressor trailer
"A sound and conscientious pilot"... "A good all-round ferry pilot who has now delivered a great number of aircraft"
"There was pilot with this name flying up to at least the 1960's in the UK"
Naturalised 26 Sep 1961: "Restaurateur, Pilgrims Corner, Margery Grove, Lower Kingswood, Surrey."
From 1963, he was the proprietor of the Mill House, Brighton Rd, Salfords, Surrey and also owned 'a restaurant in London'.
d. 16 Sep 1987 - Maidenhead, Berks
M.742 * First Officer Stanislaw Ratomski b. 4 Dec 1896, Prudy, Poland 26 May 1942 to 30 Nov 1945
Polish Air Force 1919-35 (retired)
Two accidents, one his fault:
- 13 Nov 1942 - he taxied his Magister P2407 into a lorry, due to faulty brakes. As he had been taxying for five minutes, they reckoned he "should have discovered previously" that the brakes were faulty
- 17 Mar 1943, he crashed in Mustang I AG566 after the engine failed and caught fire on take-off. The aircraft was burnt out; luckily, he was uninjured.
d. 8 May 1981
Buried in Wielkopolska, Poznań, Poland
M. 39 * First Officer Leonard Satel b. 6 Nov 1901 or 1907, Glowice?, Poland c. 21 Jun 1940 to 28 Oct 1940
Pre-WWII, pilot for LOT - he is mentioned as being a 'half-million-kilometer pilot' in 1934:
"With our brave pilots the second "millioner" will be Mr. Długaszewski, who will complete his million probably this summer, and then pilots Mitz, Płonczyński, Karpiński and Witkowski, who are missing more or less 100,000 km. In [order] then go pilots Dmoszyński, Barciszewski and Tokarczyk, who completed half-million in 1932, pilots Klisz, Jakubowski, Pecho - half-million in 1933, pilots Bocheński, Satel from 1934, pilots Świtalski, Sławiec, Lewicki, Kotarba, Nartowski and Bargiel from 1935."
Quite possibly he is in this photo, showing "P. Kazimierz Burzyński (with flowers) surrounded by fellow pilots and the managers and officers of the P. L. L. "Lot" airline" in 1936.
The majority of PLL LOT staff were evacuated in September 1939. Leonard flew Lockheed Electra SP-LMK with 10 passengers to Perth, Scotland, arriving 21 Sep 1939.
Lockheed L-14H Super Electra SP-LMK - one of 10 aircraft of this type purchased by LOT Polish Airlines and then operated in the years 1938–1939
Address in 1939: Flat 4, 29 Nottingham Place, Marylebone, London
d. 28 Oct 1940 (Died in ATA)
"On October 28, 1940, I was a five-year-old pupil at Castle Road School, now Lightwoods School, Warley, on the Wolverhampton Road near to the old Warley Odeon. As we were leaving school that afternoon there was an explosion, and a column of smoke could be seen down the hill beyond the Odeon.In those days a five-year-old could run around the streets with impunity, and I made my way alone to the junction of Birch Lane and Hagley Road West. An aircraft had crashed there, and men in uniform were scrambling about in the smoking wreckage.
I saw a body lying at the side of the road covered with some kind of blanket. I picked up a couple of pieces of metal, which I still have, from the wrecked aircraft.
One of the men shouted at me, and I ran off to my home at 284 Hagley Road West, about 200 yards away.
The aircraft was a Blenheim Mark IV bomber. One of its wings had been severed when it struck the cable of the barrage balloon located in Ridgeacre Road, Quinton, causing the aircraft to crash.In recent years, I have confirmed that the pilot, the sole occupant of the aircraft, whose body it would have been that I saw at the crash site, was First Officer, Leonard Satel of the Air Transport Auxiliary. He lived in Maidenhead and was based at White Waltham Aerodrome, Berkshire. He was Polish.
First Officer Satel will never enjoy the publicity attached to the spitfire women of the Second World War. He will never receive the recently-announced award acknowledging his service with the Air Transport Auxiliary.
The fact that he was Polish speaks for itself. He was fighting his war against Nazi Germany, the aggressor who had torn his own country apart, and against whom England had declared war. It was ironic and a tragedy that in the year following the invasion of his homeland First Officer Satel, all the way from Poland, should lose his life by misad-venture in Quinton." JOHN SANDERS, Stourbridge
Buried Brandwood End Cemetery, Birmingham
"NOTE: The name of L. Satel did not find its rightful place on the Monument to the Honor of Polish Aviators who died in 1939–1945, located in Pole Mokotowskie in Warsaw. It is also permanently omitted in the vast majority of statements of airmen who paid tribute to their lives during aviation activities during World War II. That is why the figure of Leonard Satel (1901–1940) and the memory of his aviation achievements deserve special attention and respect."
Probate (for his effects, £110 13s 2d in England) was finally granted on 16 Feb 1954 to "Stanislaw Zebrowski, Head of the Legal Department of the Polish Consulate General in London, and Franciscek Morenc, Consular Attache, attorneys of Tadeusz Leonard Tabenski."
Tadeusz Tabenski was also a pre-war LOT pilot.
M.401 * First Officer Antoni Switalski b. 1 May 1899, Gostyń, Poland 10 May 1941 to 26 Jul 1945
One of 6 former pilots of (Polish airline) PLL LOT who joined the ATA - see also Leonard Satel (Joined 1940, M.39*), Klemens Dlulagewski (Joined Jun 1940, M.11 *), Mieczyslaw Witkowski (1941, M.288 *), Feliks Pecho (M.1115), and Ludwik Tokarczyk (M.1006).
[ * - personnel files missing, M. No estimated based on start date]
RAF Service No. 793247
m. 1956 in Holborn, London, Lina Neumann
d. 14 Nov 1974 - Chichester, Sussex
M.1006 First Officer Ludwik Tokarczyk b. 4 Oct 1899 or 2 Aug 1901, Warsaw 6 Sep 1943 to 31 Oct 1945
Ed. Technical School, Warsaw
Home Address: Warsaw-ul Grojecke, Poland
Address in 1943: Bron Affa, Adaway, Cordpoeth, Nr Wrexham
One of 6 former pilots of (Polish airline) PLL LOT who joined the ATA - see also Leonard Satel, Klemens Dlulagewski (Joined 1940), Mieczyslaw Witkowski, Feliks Pecho (M.1115), and Antoni Switalski.
He escaped from Poland piloting Lockheed Electra SP-BGG, supposedly with 7 million zloty in coins [but apparently that would weigh more than the maximum payload of the Electra].
His brother Zygmunt Tokarczyk, was a Flt-Lt at RAF Halton.
prev. RAF from 28 Jun 1940 (Flt-Sgt, No 3 Delivery Flight, High Ercall, nr Wellington)
prev. exp. 9,000 hrs
Postings: 14FPP, 3FPP
"With thousands of hours flying before joining ATA he was found to be somewhat erratic on Class I, and his flying on Class II was only just average but it is apparent that the language question must have been the main cause of this,"
"An average pilot. He adapted himself quickly to new types but his reactions were rather slow in cases of emergency when flying single engine aircraft."
m. 1944 in Lancashire, Lorraine Verdun [Williams, b. 1916 in Conwy, Wales]
d. 1994 - Warsaw
buried Cmentarz Powazkowski, Warsaw, with Zygmunt and his wife.
M.861 2nd Officer Wladyslaw Josef Marian Turowicz -> b. 23 Apr 1908, Zudyra, Siberia, Russia 17 Oct 1942 to 15 Oct 1944
Ed. Warsaw Technical University (Diploma in Engineering)
m. to Zofja
prev. Polish Air Force from 1933; RAF Aug 1940-1942 (F/O, based at Boscombe Down)
RAF Serial No P0881
prev. exp. 200hrs on RHD 8, RWD 5, RWD 13, PZL 5, RWD 17, RWD 1D
Address in 1942: Gunville, Ratfyn Rd, Amesbury, Wilts
later 'The Willows', London Rd, Twyford, Berks
Postings: 5TFPP, 16FPP, 1FPP
via Krzysztof Kubala
"Intelligent and keen and although not a polished pilot is steady and safe"
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) post-WWII, based in Karachi
Senior Maintenance Staff Officer, Headquarters No. 2; Group PAF; Group Captain, PAF from Jan 1958
Visited USA in 1959
From 1960, Air Commodore, PAF
d. 8 Jan 1980 in a car accident - Karachi, Pakistan
"Turowicz made significant contributions to Pakistan's missile/rocket program as a chief aeronautical engineer. In Pakistan, he remains highly respected as a scientist and noted aeronautical engineer."
M.288 * First Officer Mieczyslaw Witkowski b. 1896 ?, Poland 21 Mar 1941 to 31 Jul 1945
m. Stanislawa [Kacka], 2 children
Moved to the USA in 1950 and was a "gig operator with the Interstate Dye and Finishing Co."
d. 10 Aug 1970 - Passiac, NJ, USA
W.29 First Officer
Stefania Cecylia 'Barbara' Wojtulanis
b. 22 Nov 1912, Warsaw Poland 1 Jan 1941 to 4 May 1945
with thanks to Krzysztof Kubala
Father: Marcin Wojtulanis, Mother: Maria [Gawarkiewicz]
Ed. College of Tugeuers, Warsaw
prev: Student of Engineering
F.A.I. (Polish) Certificate 467
prev exp: 245 hrs in Womens Section of Polish Air Force on RWD-8, RWD-5, RWD-13, RWD-17, RWD-10
Fled to the UK via Romania and France
Address in 1941: 30 Nottingham Place, London W1
Postings: 15FPP, 5TFPP, 6FPP, 1FPP
Passed her Royal Aero Club Certificate at Hatfield on a Tiger Moth, 30 Jan 1941
Class III pilot
1942 caricature by 'Sammy' Clayton
Off sick from 2 to 29 Jun 1942 with 'Quinckes Disease' [basically, acute throat discomfort and gagging], and from 3 to 14 Mar with influenza
5 accidents, 3 her fault:
- 22 Nov 1941, her Spitfire AB175 tipped on its nose after she 'mishandled the brakes'
- 26 Jan 1942, a bad landing in Spitfire W3607 in gusty conditions led to the starboard wing touching the ground and straining the undercarriage
- 31 Oct 1942, a forced landing in Spitfire I AR229 after 'ignition defects'
- 6 Mar 1944, a wheels-up landing in a Spitfire after an undercarriage fault
- 10 Apr 1945, her Dominie I NR798 nosed over on landing after she misjudged the approach, landed too fast mid-runway, and had to brake sharply
"A keen worker and good officer. Appears rather temperamental"
"I have now decided that she has reached the limit of her ability and it would be unsafe and unfair to categorise her on Class IV"
m. Apr 1946 in London, General Stanisław Karpiński Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Air Force, serving with the RAF in WWII
They moved to the USA in 1958. Stephanie studied mathematics and computer programming at Los Angeles City College: "We are happy to report that Mrs Stephanie Karpinski, wife of the World War II chief of the Polish Air Force, has found a position as a junior programmer with the Burbank branch of Librascope, a division of General Precision, Inc." - The Los Angeles Times, 22 Jan 1961
US Citizenship 17 Sep 1963
13 Sep 1963
d. 11 Feb 2005 - Polish Retirement Home, Los Angeles
Full biography here: http://www.poles.org/
(with thanks to Ian Moignard)