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HAPPY NEW YEAR


by Piotr Gorka


L/E 500     Limited Edition signed & numbered prints


Each of these editions are individuall numbered

Overall print size:    33 3/4" wide 26" high    86 x 66 cm

Image size:   29" wide 20" high    74 x 51 cm

Printed on HQ Acid Free Permanent Paper 300 Gr




S/N 395 Signed & Numbered prints SIX signatures 225 plus postage

signed by artist and


Squadron Leader  IGNACY OLSZEWSKI  VMv CV**  DFC

Squadron Leader MARIAN CHELMECKI  VMv CV** AM

Flight Lieutenant  EDWARD JAWORSKI  VMv CV**  DFC

Flight Lieutenant BRONISLAW MACH  VMv CV* DFC

Flying Officer  TADEUSZ SZLENKIER  CV

Flight Sergeant  JERZY GLOWCZEWSKI  CV





A/P 75 Artist Proof prints TEN signatures 295 plus postage

signed by artist and


Wing Comander  TADEUSZ SAWICZ  VMv CV*** DFC DFCUSA

Squadron Leader MARIAN CHELMECKI  VMv CV** AM

Squadron Leader IGNACY OLSZEWSKI  VMv CV DFC

Flight Lieutenant  LUDWIK KRASZEWSKI CV

Flight Lieutenant  EDWARD JAWORSKI  VMv CV**  DFC

Flight Lieutenant BRONISLAW MACH  VMv CV* DFCUSA

Flying Officer  TADEUSZ SZLENKIER  CV

Flight Sergeant  JERZY GLOWCZEWSKI  CV

Flight Lieutenant ROMAN HRYCAK CV





R/E 25 Remarquet Edition   IN PREAPERIN

signed by artist and


Wing Comander  TADEUSZ SAWICZ  VMv CV*** DFC DFCUSA

Squadron Leader MARIAN CHELMECKI  VMv CV** AM

Squadron Leader IGNACY OLSZEWSKI  VMv CV DFC

Flight Lieutenant  LUDWIK KRASZEWSKI CV

Flight Lieutenant  EDWARD JAWORSKI  VMv CV**  DFC

Flight Lieutenant BRONISLAW MACH  VMv CV* DFCUSA

Flying Officer  TADEUSZ SZLENKIER  CV

Flight Sergeant  JERZY GLOWCZEWSKI  CV

Flight Lieutenant ROMAN HRYCAK CV





D/R/E 5 Duble Remarquet Edition  IN PREAPERING

signed by artist and


Wing Comander  TADEUSZ SAWICZ  VMv CV*** DFC DFCUSA

Squadron Leader MARIAN CHELMECKI  VMv CV** AM

Squadron Leader IGNACY OLSZEWSKI  VMv CV DFC

Flight Lieutenant  LUDWIK KRASZEWSKI CV

Flight Lieutenant  EDWARD JAWORSKI  VMv CV**  DFC

Flight Lieutenant BRONISLAW MACH  VMv CV* DFCUSA

Flying Officer  TADEUSZ SZLENKIER  CV

Flight Sergeant  JERZY GLOWCZEWSKI  CV

Flight Lieutenant ROMAN HRYCAK CV








     Your splendid painting of the historic air battle of Ghent seems to show an accidental encounter of two participants of that action. They are treated as equals! That's good. This is, perhaps, a right reminder that the air battle was a big moment for both sides.  For the Luftwaffe this was a heroic achievement, to organise, in a most difficult military situation, a concentration of about 800 aircraft for a simultaneous raid on allied airfields. The attack was successful, with heavy losses. On our side, this was a complete coincidence, which we have instinctively used almost to the maximum of possibilities. Glory to both sides!

 

F/Sgt Jerzy Glowczewski

No 308 Squadron PAF







Spitfire LF.IX MJ281 ZF-P taxiing for take-off. Two combat sorties were flown in MJ281 by F/O Waclaw Chojnacki

on 31 December 1944 and 1 January 1945. During the latter he shot down a Focke-Wulf 190 over Ghent airfield

but was then shot down and killed himself.







BATTLE OF GHENT

     

 

          During 1944 No. 131 Wing was used mainly for ground support and few opportunities to engageenemy aircraft. On the morning of New Years Day 1945 Nos. 302, 308 and 317 Sqn sent their Spitfires on a routine mission to bomb enemy targets onthe ground. On return from the mission, two squadrons of the wing (Nos. 308 and 317) found Luftwaffe aircraft bombing and strafing theirhome airfield at Ghent-St Denijs Westerm. In a short time eighteen Polish fighters wer credited with nineteen and one shared FW 190s destroyed, for the loss of just two of their own aircraft shot down by the Germans. Some Spitfires were written off in crash-landing when out of fuel, downed in error by own ground fire or destroyed on the ground. Needless to say, there was no shortage of replacement Spitfires at that time, while Focke Wulfs to be shot down were in very short supply.The morning German fighter-bombers attacked a number of Allied airfields in Western Europe. Clearly, the Germans had expected that Alies would not infighting condition after celebrations of the New Years Eve. The Polish wing at Ghent was the only one out on a mission when the attack started and this allowed it to achives a fine succase against the more numerous enemy. The German attacks (codenamed BODENPLATTE) made the allies realise that their air supremency was not complete and camouflaging of aircraft parked on the ground became stricter. In fact, the Wing at the time was in the process of moving to Grimbergen and it completed the move soon afterwards. In March No. 131 Wing moved to Gilze-Rijen in the Netherlands, and in mid-April it moved to Nordhorn in occupied Germany.

 







The list of pilots whose tok of erly morning on 01.January 1945 from St Denis Westrem airfield.  Preapered by Mr.Tadeusz Szlenkier pilot of 308 Squadron








St Denijs Westrem nr, Ghent in the morning of 1 January 1945, after the Luftwaffe Operation 'Bodenplatte' attack. The undamage Spitfire at far right the background is NH214, G/Cpt Aleksander Gabszewicz's sixth consecuitive Spitfire IX coded SZ-G. The other undamage Spitfire, behind the wreck tail, coms from no.302 and is probably MJ682 WX-F,

flown by F/O K.Jastrzebski that morning.
















S/Ldr.  Olszewski. I (Polish) 308.Squadron:

I was leading the Squadron on the Bombing Mission. On out way back to base .I noticed an A.A. Barrage, over our own Convoy of about 20 Ships, stationary in the West Sohelde, but saw no E/A. Upon arriving in the Lokeren area, 3 FW 190's were reported below and flying East, by one of my pilots over the R/T. I saw a Spitfire being shot down by on E/A, and two of our Spitfires, pilots F/Lt. Mach and SGT. Soszynski shooting down two E/A, which crashed on the ground,  I then flew towards base, arriving there at 4,000 ft and saw E/A attacking the Airfield. I dived down and attacked one FW190 from dead astern, I fired ona long burst with Cannon and M/G's from approximately 100 yards range. The E/A immediately turned on its back and crashed just East Ghent.

 

I claim: 1 FW 190 destroyed

Cine-Camera exposed.

Gyro Gunsight used.

Rounds Fired:    2 Cannon - 30.

Rounds Fired:    4 M/G's    - 80.



 

F/O Szlenkier.T (Polish) 308 Squadron.

When I arrived over base cut 3,000 ft I saw one FW190 attack one of our Spitfires. I started to dive down at this E/A  While I was closing in, tht E/A levelled out opened fire from dead astern, at 800 ft height and 250 yards range. I fired two long bursts with Cannon end M/G's. After the second burst, the starboard wing of the E/A disintegrated and the FW190 rolled over on its back and crashed at J.1375. At this moment, I felt strikes on my A/C  took evasive action to starboard. My engine then gave trouble and I was forced to crash-land about 3 miles from J 1374.


I claim  1 FW 190 destroyed

Cine cammera expose

Gyro gunsight used

Rounds Fired  2 Cannon- 50

Rounds Fired  4 M/Gs - 650




P/O Dromlewicz. A, (Polish) 308 Squadron;   

I met the first E/A Lokeren area. I took part in that combat but did not fire. I then turned towards base and here saw one FW190 attacking one of our Spitfires. I closed in and opened fire with Cannon and M/Gs from dead astern, range 600-700 yards and at 2,000 ft height. The E/A broke off his attack and made a starboard turn. I followed, closing in to approximately 300 yards, I continued to fire in short bursts with all armament and saw hits on the fuselage and wings of the E/A.Then my Cannons gave out. The E/A then straighened out and started to climb. I fired another long burst from M/Gs only and saw pieces flying off the enemy's starboard wing. The FW190 then turned on to its back and the Pilot baled out.


I claim 1 Fw 190 destroyed

Cine-cammera expose

Gyro gunsight used

Rounds Fired  2 Cannon - 300

Rounds Fired  4 M/Gs - 1400




F/Sgt. Stanowski. J. (Polish) 308. Squadron:

On our way back from the Target, I had to break Squadron formation due to petrol shortage. Consequently, I arrived over base ahead of the Squadron, at 1,500 ft and saw E/A straffing the Airfield, I closed in on one FW190 and opened fire with all armament, from approximately 60 astern, at range of 200 yards' and height of 1,200 ft. The FW190 immediately caught fire and crashed in flamas West of Ghent. I then turned back and attacked  another FW190 flying East towards Ghent. I opened fire with all armament at approximately 100 yards range, from 15 astern, changing to dead astern, After the first burst, the E/A dropped the undercarriage. I fired another long burst and saw strikes on the cockpit and fuselage. The FW190 then dived into the town and crashed there. I had to force land duo to petrol shortage N.E, of Ghent.

 

I claim:  2 FW 190 destroyed

Cine Camera expose

Gyro Gunsight used

Rounds Fired 2 cannon - 200

Rounds Fire 4 M/Gs - 650







 










F/Lt  Mach B.  (Polish) 308 Squadron:   

I saw the first E/A in the Lokeren area, flying East.  I was at 4,000 ft.I dived and attacked an FW190 which was flying at  approximately 1,500 ft, from approx: 30 astern, E/A made a storboord turn, I followed, opening fire at approx: 200 yards, olosing in to 100 yards, I saw hits on whole of E/A,The E/A turned on its back and the pilot baled out, coming down in the river near Termonde. l turned back towards base and saw 2 FW 190s  flying North.  I attacked the rearmost from astern and above,    Height was 2,000 ft. I opened fire at approx: 200 yards, and saw strikos and pieces flying off the wings of the E/A.  At that moment I noticed anothar FW190 closing in on my tail. I broke off my attaok and took up a dog fight with the new enemy. The fight started at 2,000 ft and went on down to the deck, I fired at the F.W.190, but had Cannon stoppage. The E/A than levelled out trying to eseape, I closed on to 150 yards astern and fired my M/G's, seeing strikes on the whole of the FW 190, The cockpit of the E/A flow off, but the pilot continued his flight. I kept on firing until'all my ammo was gone,    Shortly after that, I saw the E/A crash W of Terneuzen.


I claim   2 FW 190s  destroy  1 FW.190 damaged

Camera expoued only for fights with FW.190's.

Gyro Gunsight used.

Rounds Fired: 2 Cannon - 120.

Rounds Fired 4 M/G's  - 900.

 

 

 

 

Sgt.  Glowczewski.J. (Polish) 308 Squadron.  

I saw the first E/A as I was approachnig base, on returning from Mission. I was at approximately 3,000 ft North of Ghent and dived down to attack: a FW190 flying at approx: 200 ft in a N.W.  direction. I closed in and opened fire with all armament in line astern from a range of 600 yards, closing to 200 yards. The E/A took evavise action in a sharp turn to port, then changing over to starboard. I followed and opened fire again at approximately 100 yards.   I saw an explosion in the cockpit and also saw the FW190 roll over on its back. Glancing behind me,  I saw two FW190's closing in on my tail and had to break off my engagement.

 

I claim: 1 FW 190 destroyed

Cine-Camera exposed

Gyro Gunsight used

Rounds Fired 2 cannon - 120

Rounds Fire 4 M/Gs - 600




S/Ldr Chelmecki M (Polish) 317 Squadron:

After arrival over the Airfield. I lead the Squadron to attack, F/LT. Mroczyk overtook me soon, firing at a FW 190, which I saw disintegrating in the air. Meanwhile another F.W.190 got on to the tail of F/LT Mroczyks Spitfire.  I attacked this E/A but overtook it before I could fire and got between it and F/Lt. Mroczyk. The F.W.190 broke off his attack by a sharp port turn. I pulled up too, into the Sun and went to the other, side of the Airfield, nearest Ghent. There I saw a F.W.190 attacking the Airfield from the  direction of Ghent.  I closed in on his tail and opened fire with all armament from about 15 port astern and slightly above at a range of about 400 yards.The E/A flew into the smoke of the burning Fortress, in a starboard turn and there I lost him, having to pull up sharply myself. The height of attack below 50ft, I later attacked another F.W.190 and fired a short burst at him from about 60 port astern and range 6OO yards. I had to break off the attack beoause another FW 190 was firing at me from behind. I did not see the result of both my attacks.


Cine Camera exposed

Gyro Gunsight used

Rounds Fired 2 Cannon 150

Rounds Fired 4 M/G's 600




 




















After the battle. St.Denis airfield 1 January 1945






Sgt. Hubert K. (Polish) 317 Squadron;-   

On my way back from the operation, I heard over the R/T, that B.65 was being attacked by E/A. The Squadron patrolled the area for approximately 10 minutes before another message came through that its B.65  which is attacked. We all flew immediately over, arriving over base at approx:  2,000 ft.  I attacked a Red Nosed F.W.190, which was flying at approx: 300 ft, from astern and opened fire with all armament at a range of apprx: 400 yds. I fired one long burst and the F.W.190 immediately caught fire, turned over on its back and crashed in a Street in Ghent. I then climbed up to 3,000 ft and saw three F.W.190's in formation. I attacked the rearmost from approx: 3C astern in a port turn. The height was about 300 ft. I opened fire at about 300 yards range and fired until all ammo: was finished, seeing strikes on the starboard wing. A moment later I saw fire in the area of these strikes. The F.W.190 then changed over to a starboard turn and I noticed one of our Spitfires attacking an E/A, being in turn attacked by another F.W.190. I broke off my attack and made a pass at the rearmost F.W.190, with the result that the E/A gave up its attask.


I claim: 1 FW 190 destroyed and 1 FW 190 probably destroyed

Cine Camera exposed

Gyro Gunsight used

Rounds Fired    2 Cannon - 200.

Rounds Fired    4 M/G's - 900

 

 

 

 

W/O Wdowczynski Z. (Polishl)  317 Squadron:   

I was returning from mission alone due to  engine trouble at approximately 6,000 ft.I heard E/A reported over the R/T. When I arrived over base at 4,000 ft I saw one F.W.190 flying; over Ghent at approximately 1,000 ft. I attacked this E/A from asternand opened fire with all armoment from a range of approx 400 yards, closing in to 150  yards. The F.W 19O-started to smoke  and then suddenly dived down and .crashted just N.E. of Ghent. Looking N.E.and behind, I saw another E/A closing, in on my tail. I pulled up sharply, the A/C stalled and got into a spin I managed to pull out in time but when coming in to land my engin failed and I crash-landed.


I claim: 1 FW 190 destroyed   

Cine Camera exposed

Gyro Gunsight used

Rounds Fired   2 Cannon - 50

Rounds Fired   4 M/Gs - 1400


 

 

W/O Piesik S. (Polish) 317 Squadron:   

When I arrived over Ghent  at 1,5000 ft, I noticed two FW 190's going past the Airfield after an attack. I went after them and, attacked one from dead astern and above, opening fire with all armament at about 600 yards range. After the first long burst the E/A, started a, gentle turn to port. I fired another long burst and saw a big, explosion and then  coming from the engine. I noticed then, tracers passing me from behind, so I broke off the attack with a sharp starboard turn, leaving the F.W.190 in flames and going down. The height was-about 500 ft, During my turn I noticed another FW190 cominghead-on.  I fired with all armament but my Cannon ammo gave out, after a few rounds. So I let him have the rest of my M/G ammo, as well and saw strikes on his engine. The E/A did not fire at all.


I claim: 1 FW190 destroyed and 1 FW190 damaged

Cine-Camera exposed

Gyro Gunsight used

Rounds Fired  2 Cannon - 300

Rounds Fired  4 M/Gs - 1400







F/O Tadeusz Szlenkier (second left) by wrecked Spitfire LF.IX MK346 ZF-T he had flown on 1 anuary 1945 morning, when he was credited with a Focke-Wulf 190 destroyed, but then had to crash-land in a field.



                              


Above B&W photo:  S/Ldr Ignacy Olszewski, C.O.No.308 Squadron, and W/Cdr Tdeusz Sawicz C.O.No.131 (Polish)

Wing at Varrelbusch in summer of 1945. In Colour, many years later Mr.Tadeusz Sawicz and Ignacy Olszewski in his

flat in Warsaw.


















Piotr Grka 2007