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SCHWARZER DONNERSTAG

 

by Piotr Górka

Junkers Ju-87 brought down by Sgt Antoni Glowacki's 501 Squadron Hurricane in  August 15, 1940  



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Wing Commander   STEFAN WITORZENC  VMv CV** DFC

501 Squadron in Battle of Britain

  




A/P 18  Artist Proof THREE signatures*  PRICE 110 €  plus postage


signed by artist and


Wing Commander   STEFAN WITORZENC  VMv CV** DFC 

501 Squadron in Battle of Britain

  

Wing Commander   KEN MACKENZIE  DSO DFC    

501 Squadron in Battle of Britain


Wing Commander STANISLAW SKALSKI  VMIv VMv CV** DSO DFC**   

501 Squadron in Battle of Britain





15 August, later called Schwarzer Donnerstag (Black Thursday) by the Germans, proved to be a victorious day for sgt Antoni Glowacki of 501 Sqn, one of the future fighter aces of the Polish Air Force. He recalled that day in his memoris


    “I have in the first line for 10 days, and I have not seen the Jerries yet. I have had some 50 hours flown oin Hurricanes. I know these are marvellous machines, fast, manoeuvrable, perfecy in aerobatics, and what is most important they are armed with 8 machines guns. I would like so much to test them at last on the Jerries, and still I have to wait and wait. Suddenly three rings of the phone... That’s for us! Duty phone operator listens for  moment, and then shouts ’Mandril Squadron Scramble! 15 thousands over base”...

  

   “Two minutes later the whole squadron is already airborn. We gain height in a great spiral over the aerodrome. I am in the last sections and look out for the enemy. My eyes turn misty, I look so intensely to the South where we expect the Jerries. The radio says: ’Large formation of Bandits approaching from the South, Madril Leader steer one seven zero"


   “I look South. There are aircraft! Far, a swarm of tiny dots, they grow,get their wings, landing gear...     They are Junkers 87 ‘Stuka’. They fly towards Dover and probably to our Aerodrome.”

 

   “I count-thirty machines and very high a swarm of little flies, that must be the fighter escort, Messerschmitts. But that is nothing, we are going to be the furst at the bombers before the escort starts to defend them.”

  

    “We loosen our formation, I check my gunsight, arm the machine guns. First sections are attacking already, I can see traces of incendiary rounds. We get into the firing distance. First sections have already broken among the bombers and are already in combat. The germans have run in all directions, they failed to withstand the blow and made a great melee. Swastikas and crosses, red-white-blue rings and crosses again. All this is circling at great speed and spitting fire.”




























Sgt Antoni Glowacki and P/O Stefan Witorzenc both 501 Sqn after succesful combat.






F/O Stefan Witorzenc, flying his hurricane V7230 SD-H, was one of the first of 501 Squadron’s fighters to run into the dive bombers formation:


     “Red 1 attaced the left aircraft of an enemy section and I attacked one of the right from dead astern, after which enemy formation broke up. After firing 3 long burst, I saw the enemy plane diving steeply to the ground with smoke coming out of the fuselage. This was subsequently confirmed. After this I saw a Ju-87 dropping a bomb on the aerodrome and return for home. I followed him and fired two bursts from dead astern after coming up with him over the sea. The rear gunner fired at me but cease. White smoke carne from enemy plane which dived at an angle into the sea. My plane was slightly damaged and I landed at Hawkinge. My claims are confirmed by F/L Stoney and others.”



After this combat Sgt Antoni Glowacki reported one Ju-87 Destroyed but his logbook also lists one not confirmed Probable. Some interesting details of this mystery could be resolved reading Glowacki’s memoirs.


        “I pull up. Above me a true dog-fight. Duels in all directions. To the left, a little above, I can see two white umbrellas. Somebody is hanging on a parachute already. I catch another Junkers that dives to bomb the port of Dover. Distance between us some 300 metres; I give full throttle and come closer at an angle. I get on his tail, and this moment I can see a great bomb fall off. He starts to pull up. I set a short deflection in front of the Junkers’ nose and push the trigger. I fire a long burst. I can feel the guns recoil again. I fire until fifty metres and pull up above him, in order to avoid collision, as my speed is much greater. I pull the control stick with all power, I black out, red flakes float in my eyes. I did it! I pulled up, and down there, right at the entrance to the potr I can  see a bomb blast. A great geyser of water and a large white spot. Suddenly another blast, right by the first one. My Junkers vertically hits the water, right by his bomb. Perhaps the pilot was killed and failed to recover from the dive. Out of the corner of my eye I spot a trio of Messerschmitts - they want to cut through my path. Very well, I make a sharp turn and here I go head-on to the secton leader... I fire! The germans have pulled up in a fan-shape, refused to the combat. Suddenly I can feel the emotion, sweating I shudder. My arms and legs shudder strangely. And I am glad, I shuot in joy...”

Piotr Górka © 2007