Born on 12 September 1914 at Ryzawka near Human in Ukraine. He graduated from a secondary school in Lublin, and in 1934 he joined the Air

Force Cadet Officers' School at Deblin. Commissioned on 15 October 1937 as the 12th best, he was posted to the 161st Fighter Flight of the 6th Air Regiment in Lwow. On 4 April 1939 he was detached as a fighter instructor to No.1 Air Force Training Centre, and attached to the Flying School at Ulez. In August 1939 he received a permanent posting there. In September 1939 he fought on PZL P.7s in the ad-hoc instructors' group. On 17 September he crossed the Rumanian border at Kuty. From Rumania he went to France by sea, arriving there on 30 October. In January 1940 he was posted to Britain. He received service no. 76715. On 16 July he undertook conversion training on British aircraft at Old Sarum, and on 21 July he underwent a fighter course at No. 5 Operational Training Unit, Aston Down, and on 5 August he was posted to No. 152 Squadron RAF. On 12 August he transferred to No. 234 Squadron RAF. On 24 August he was shot down in air combat over the Isle of Wight and bailed out from Spitfire I N3239. On 6 September 1940 his Spitfire I N3279 overturned on landing. On 5 October he transferred to No. 609 Squadron. From 21 March until 7 December he was an instructor, in turn, at Nos 57, 55, 56, 55 again, 61 and 58 Operational Training Units. On 9 December 1941 he returned to operational flying with No. 315 Squadron. On 6 April 1942 he became the 'B' Flight commander in No. 306 Squadron. From 5 June until 28 December 1942 he commanded No. 316 Squadron. From January 1943 he was the Sectory Gunnery Officer at RAF Northolt, and continued to fly on operations. During one of these, with No. 316 Squadron, he was nearly shot down in error by one of the Polish pilots who mistook his Spitfire for a Messerschmitt 109. On 4 July 1943 he became the deputy wing leader at Northolt. In October 1943 he was posted to the HQ Fighter Command RAF (subsequently renamed the Air Defence of Great Britain). In March 1944 he was posted to the Empire Test Pilots' School. On 5 January 1945 he was posted to the Aerpolane and Armament Experimental Establishment at Boscombe Down. During the next two years he test flew over 40 types of aircraft. Following his release from the Polish Air Force service, in 1947 he was employed as the test pilot by Gloster Aircraft in Britain. In 1952 he emigrated to Canada, becoming the chief test pilot at Avro Canada. Following the canellation of the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow supersonic fighter in February 1959 he left the aircraft industry and moved into the Canadian forests. For many years he then ran a lake holiday resort he has built from scratch. His memoirs were published in 2002 in Polish under the title 'Nie tylko o lataniu' ('Not only about flying'). He died on 9 February 2004.



His decorations included

the Silver Cross of Virtuti Militari (no. 08488)

the Cross of Valour and two bars.

In recognition of his merits for the Canadian aircraft industry he was included in the Canada's  Aviation Hall of Fame, and in 1996 his portrait  was shown on a special 20-dollar coin commemorating  the first supersonic flight in Canada.

1940.08.15    234 Sqn Spitfire I       X4016                  18:00            1-0-0 Me 110

1940.09.05    234 Sqn Spitfire I       N3279    AZ-Y       15:38            1-0-0 Me 109

1940.09.06    234 Sqn Spitfire I       N3279    AZ-Y       09:40            1-0-0 Me 109

1940.09.29    234 Sqn Spitfire I       N3191    AZ-F       13:45        0-1/2-0 Me 110

1943.05.17    Dyon 316 Spitfire IX   BS456    SZ-Z       15:20            0-0-1 Me 109



NEVER WAS AN ARROW part 1 - part 6







Piotr Górka © 2007