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NIGHT MESSENGER


by Piotr Gorka


Lone Halifax of 138 Sqn RAF Special Duties C Flight (Polish) returning from a mission over Polish terirory.



LITOGRAPHY ART PRINTS


L/E 310 Limited Edition signed & numbered prints


Each of these editions are individual nambered

Overall print size: 25 1/2"wide   18 1/2"high     64 cm x 46 cm 

Image size:  22"wide   13 1/2"high    55 cm x 34 cm

Printed on HQ Acid Free Permanent Paper 250 Gr




S/N 265 Signed and Numbered FIVE signatures       PRICE 175 € plus postage


signed by



Warrant Officer  JOZEF ZUBRZYCKI  VMv CV* DFC

Porucznik Pilot  WLODZIMIERZ GEDYMIN  VM CV

Flight Sergeant  ANTONI TOMICZEK  CV*

Flight Sergeant  STANISLAW OLEJNIK  CV

Flight Sergeant  BAZYLI CHMARUK  VM CV*





A/P Artists Proof 45 signed by artist and EIGHT airmen       PRICE 199 € plus postage


signed by artist and


Flight Lieutenant  TADEUSZ WIERZBOWSKI  CV*

Flying Officer KAZIMIERZ SZRAJER  VM CV*** DFC

Flying Officer  LUDWIK KREMPA  VM CV

Porucznik Pilot  WLODZIMIERZ GEDYMIN  VM CV

Warrant Officer  JOZEF ZUBRZYCKI  VM CV* DFC

Warrant Officer  BRONISLAW HULAS  VM CV** DFC

Flight Sergeant  ANTONI TOMICZEK  CV*

Flight Sergeant  STANISLAW OLEJNIK  CV

Flight Sergeant  BAZYLI CHMARUK  VM CV*






A Halifax II Series IA, JD319 NF-A, of No.138 Squadron's Polish 'C' Flight at Tempsford in October 1943, with JN911 NF-Z visible behind  NF-A began flights to Pland on the night of 9 September, piloted by F/O Michal Goszczynski (Operation 'Flat2' a supply drop on the 'Lichtarz')





 

                                         

138 SPECIAL DUTIES SQUADRON AND POLISH 'C' FLIGHT

 

 

           Ever since late 1939 the Poles planned air communications with the occupied homeland. To have any chance of success such flights had to be flown on moonliit nights by single aircraft and the destinations had to be kept top secret. Before the first such missions could be flown, France fell and the matter became much more complicated: the return trip from England to Poland took some 12 hours so it was feasible only during the winter half of the year. On the night of 15 February 1941 a British crew from No. 419 Flight RAF made the first drop to Poland. Eventually, in late 1941 a Polish section was established in No. 138 Squadron RAF, the latter flying supply drops for resistance movements in occupied countries. The first mission of a Polish crew to Poland took place on the night og 7 November 1941 and  the  three specially trained paratroopers (known as ‘silent-dark’ men) included Lt.Jan Piwnik 'Ponury’, who would emerge as a truly legendar figure in Polish Home Army AK. Unfortunately, on the way back the aircraft was forced to land in Sweden and the crew was interned, returning to Britain in 1942. Although existance of the section (later flight) was justified by its flights to Poland. Polish crews were often despatched on missions to other countries, as dictated by the needs of No. 138 Sqn. In April 1942 one Polish crew was killed while on a mission to drop a team of Soviet agents to Austria, for example. In the spring of1943, due to high losses of the Polish bomber squadrons No.301 Sqn was disbanded. At the same  time the Polish section  in No. 138 Squadron was reinforced by more crews and reformed into an autonomous ‘C’ Flight. It was seen as continuation of the disbanded squadron, and some documents even reffered to it as the ‘301 Flight’.








F/O Jan Izycki's crew the wreckege of Halifax shot down by the Germans in France. Due to the nature of the mission, W/O Stanislaw Jensen (pilot) and F/O Izycki, captured close to the dropn zone, were then send to concentration rather than PoW camps. Oddlly, Polish special duties crews suffered most of their losses on the short routes to Western Europe. Since the Polish 'C' Flight was formed in No.138 Sqn. three of its crews failed to return from missions to Pland, while six Polish aircrafts were shot down over France and Holland. In many case this was because the Germans had infiltrated local underground organisations and knew the drop location and time. Jan Izycki survived WWII. After the war he continued to fly similar missions for the Americans, dropping agents in communist. He was killed in April 1958 in an accident of a Douglas Invader flown by Jozef Jeka, a Polish fighter ace of WWII.







When a transformation of the Polish 'C' Flight into the independent No.1586 (Polish) Special Duties Flight was announced, its crew got busy with the aircraft assigned to the unit, marking them with the PAF chessboards, and Halifax JD362 NF-L received the distinctive "Courting Couple: decor; Tempsford, late October 1943. In November the unit code letter on the Flight,s aircraft were changed from NF to GR, Nf-L becoming GR-







JD319 NF-A seen here at the same time (with NF-L, with its new decor, partly visible behind), had then 21 ops marked on its fuslage; only three of thesewere make to Poland. The aircraft served with No.1586 Flight as GR-A until the end of July 1944 and logged altogether 18 flights to Poland. It was later used by No 148.Squadron RAF.









Mr.Tomiczek Antoni together with Piotr Gorka are signing "Night Messenger" art prints.










No.138 Special Duties Squadron at the Tempsford airfield. April 1943. Sitting from the left: F/O M.Wodzicki, (Polish)

F/O R. Walczak, (Polish) and F/Lt Stanislaw Król (Polish) . The eighth from the left–S/Ldr Outram, the ninth–W/Cdr R. C.Mockey

Piotr Górka © 2007