NORTH ASHEY DOWN
by Piotr Górka
15th August 1940, Spitfire MkI of No.609 Squadron, flown by F/O Piotr Ostaszewski
LITOGRAPHY ART PRINTS
L/E 320 Limited Edition signed & numbered prints
Each of these editions are individuall numbered
Overall print size: 26"wide 19 3/4"high 65.5 x 50 cm
Image size: 21 1/2"wide 15 1/2"high 55 x 39 cm
Printed on HQ Acid Free Permanent Paper 250 Gr
S/N 320 Signed & Numbered PRICE 149 € plus postage
signed by artist and
Squadron Leader JANUSZ ZURAKOWSKI VM CV**
234, 609 Squadrons in Battle of Britain
Overall print size: 33 3/4" wide 26" high 86 x 66 cm
Image size: 29" wide 20" high 74 x 51 cm
PRICE 59 € plus postage
signed by artist
All giclee prints are printed using bubble jet printing technology much higher quality than the normal home computer version.
All giclee prints are very similar to litography version. They have the image sourrounded by a plain ecry colour border in which
the title and text. All prints are personally signed by the artist.
"After the French collapse Novi and Osti and several thousand more of their indomitable countrymen escaped once morefrom a ravaged country and came over to England. Is is easy to imagine their pleasure at finding themselves in a really good squadron, efficiently run, and with first-class equipment. They could now fly the finest fighters in the world, and meet their persecutors on equal terms."
"They certainly mada the most of their opportunities, and their delight when they shot down a 'bloody German' was marvellous to see."
"They were both very quitet, possessed beautiful manners, were very good pilots, and intensely keen to learn our ways and methods. Their hatred of the Germans was quieter and more deadly than I have ever seen before."
"They had undergone so much suffering and hardship, and had lost almost everything in life that mattered to them - homes, families, money - that I think the only thing that concerned them now was to get their revenge and kill as many Germans as possible.
"They were certainly two of the bravest people I ever knew, and yet they were not exeptional in this respect when compared with other Poles in the R.A.F.
"All the squadrons that had Polish pilots posted to them formed an equally high opinion of them, and the feast of Polish Squadron, who in five days' fighting over London destroyed at least forty-four German machines, as well as probably destroying and damaging many more, must rank as one of the best shows of the whole summer.
"Such indomitable courage and determination cannot go unrewarded, and when this war is won we must see that Poland is again restored to her former liberty and freedom, which her sons fought so valiantly to maintain."
F/Lt D.M.Crook DFC
On 14 and 15 August 234 Squadron moved to Middle Wallop from St Eval. After all the AZ-coded Spitfires had reached the new landing ground in the afternoon of 15th, a big German raid approached Swanage. Thirteen Spitfires were scrambled to intercept the bombers, but four of these and three pilots of the Squadron were lost.Polish pilot, Sgt Zygmunt Klain, flying Spitfire IA P9363, was shot down, but survived the crash and returned to the unit. Among the unit's victorious pilots was another Pole, P/O Janusz Zurakowski (flying Spitfire I X4016) who described his combat in these words:
'I attaced circle of Me 110 from above and behind last aircraft, enemy dived down to ground. The rear gunner cased to fire. On the way down a second Spitfire from 609 Squadron attaced but when it broke away I engaged five more times, e/a eventually crashed in Isle of Wight'
The Spitfire of 609 Squadron encountered by Zurakowski behind this tail of the Messerschmitt Bf 110C of 6./ZG76 (coded M8+BP) was also flown by a Polish pilot, F/O Piotr Ostaszewski. From his point of view finishing off the Messerschmitt happened like this:
'While flying at 10,000 ft I was alone having taken off independently of my section. I was a circus of about seven Me 110's doing left hand circuit. I turned and made a circuit right handed outside them. One machine broke away from the circus to try to engage me. I turned inside him and opened fire from the quarter at about 300 yards. I gave him a 2 or 3 second burst and the e/a dived steeply making S turns. I followed him down, we went through the balloon harrage at Southampton. He pulled out just above the ground and started hedge hopping. I gave him severl short bursts closing from 300 yards to 100 yards. The e/a flew low across Southampton Solent and onto the Isle of Wight. I saw another Spitfire, which was chasing him too and firing at him. After other several short burst I noticed both engines smoking and then stop. The e/a then made a crash landing and burst into flames. The Me 110 strucks the side of a road, skiddwd across it and came to rest, burning on the other side of the road. He crashed on the South side of the Isle of Wight a few hundred yards from the sea.'
Flying Officer Piotr Ostaszewski "Osti" of 609 Sqn.
Only the gunner, Uffz. Max Guschewski (also with a Polish-sounding name) from the Messerschmitt survived the battle; the pilot, Fw Jakob Birndorfer was killed in the crash. This combat must have been a memorable event for the whole Squadron, as F/Lt Crook clescribed it in his memoirs:
'Distinguished himself in this action. He chased an Me 110 which in its efforts to shake him off dived to ground level and dodged all over the countryside at over 300 m.p.h., even turning round a church steeple. But Osti stuck to him and refused to be shaken off, and finally the German, as a last desperate resort, flew right trought the Southampton balloon barrage. Osti went trought him, caught him up over Solent, and shot him down in Isle of Wight.'
On 15 August 1940 P/O Piotr Ostaszewski flew the machine when he shared in destruction of a Messerschmitt 110. The other share was credited to another Pole, P/O Janusz Zurakowski of 234 Sqn, also flying a Spitfire I.
The same engagement brought some excitement to another Polish Spitfire pilot of 609 Squadron. Nowierski's report states:
'I was Blue 2. Leader was manoeuvering into position to attack and as we turned to attack I was on my right at the same height five enemy aircraft comming towards me. I turned towards them. they were Ju-88's. I passed them and turned to attack. Just as I got into range they turned into the sun right across my path and flick rolled. I blacked out, came to and by them I had lost sight of the enemy aircraft. I climbed up again to approximately 10,000 ft and saw one enemy aircraft going in a southerly direction. I climbed above him into the sun, I ataccked and gave him a burst from the quarter. He turned into the sun, I followed, overtaking very fast in bad lineastern. I thorottled back so as not to overtake, I could not see well because of the sun. He turned left out of the sun and I opened fire. But I had the thottle back and he drew away. I had no more ammunition so I went back to base.'
Spitfire I R6631 PR-Q. This aeroplane was flown on occasion by F/Os Janusz Zurakowski and Tadeusz Nowierski.