Born on 24 August 1918 at Koronowo near Bydgoszcz. During his compulsory military service at the 4th Air Regiment in Torun in 1937-1938 he completed a flying course. He took part in the 1939 campaign as a pilot of the 142nd Fighter Flight. On 17 September in the afternoon he was evacuated to Rumania with the road party, and subsequently he reached France.In February 1940 he went to Britain by sea. He received service no. 780685. On 6 August 1940 he was posted to No. 234 Squadron RAF. On 15 August 1940 he was shot down in air combat and had to bail out of his Supermarine Spitfire I P9363. On 5 October 1940 he was posted to No. 152 Squadron RAF. On 26 November 1940 he was forced to land near Torquay in Supermarine Spitfire I L1048 due to lack of fuel. On 28 November 1940 he took off in Supermarine Spitfire I P9427 for a combat sortie with his squadron. He was shot down into the sea and killed during an air combat near the Isle of Wight. It is very probable that in his last combat he shot down the leading Luftwaffe ace Helmut Wick (whose downing is attributed incorrectly to F/Lt John Dundas by many British authors). His body was lost in sea.

His home town of Koronowo has a memorial monument for the three airmen who hailed from there: Sgt Zygmunt Klein, Lce Cpl Benedykt Mielczynski and F/O Franciszek Pantkowski




His decorations included

the Cross of Valour and Bar.


                           03.09.1939    142 Esk. P.11                                                         1/4-0-0 Hs 126

                           16.08.1940     234 Sqn Spitfire I (P9466)       18:15-18:25              1-0-0 Me 109

                           04.09.1940     234 Sqn Spitfire I (R6896)       13:30                         1-0-0 Me 110

                           07.09.1940     234 Sqn Spitfire I (R6896)       18:15                         0-1-0 Do 17

                           07.10.1940     152 Sqn Spitfire I (P9386)       15:45                         0-0-1 Me 110

Piotr Górka © 2007