Born on 1 February 1918 in Warsaw. He belonged to the generation that was born in the year when Poland gained its independence, thus these children were brought up in the atmosphere of liberty, national pride, and patriotism. In 1938, in Swidnik near Lublin he completed training in RWD-8 aircraft (as a part of general military trainig). In that year he was called up for the Infantry Divisional Course at Brzesc on Bug, and then, in December 1938 – was transferred to the Air Force Cadet Officers’ School in Deblin. In 1939, being a cadet officer in advanced flying training, he completed the Fighter Flying Training at Ulez near Deblin. In September 1939, together with a group under command of F/O Witold Urbanowicz, he was evacuated to Romania and then to France. After the armistice, in June 1940 he moved to Great Britain. On 26 March 1941 he was assigned to No. 316 (Polish) Fighter SquadronCity of Warsaw. He flew his first operation sortie on 2 April 1941, and on 17 April 1941 – his first combat sortie. From August 1943 he was an instructor at 58 OTU. In February 1944 he became a flight commander in No. 302 (Polish) Fighter Squadron City of Poznan, and in August that year – a tactical officer in 131 Fighter Wing (he remained at that post until January 1945). Then he returned to the previous post in No. 302 Squadron. On 14 February 1945, after Sigfrid Line had been broken, during sweep sortie on German transport units  J.Szymankiewicz was shot down and wounded. He spent two months in a hospital. On 15 April 1945 he returned to 131 Fighter Wing as a tactical officer. In June 1945 he took over the command of a flight in No. 317 (Polish)  Fighter Squadron City of Wilno. From 18 December 1945 he commanded No. 302 (Polish) Fighter Squadron City of Poznan. He remained at that post till the end of September 1946 when he left for Poland. He flew 298 operation and combat sorties.

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Piotr Górka © 2007