Born on 3 January 1912 at Losie near Radzymin, east of Warsaw, son of Stanislaw and Jozefa Olechniewicz. He graduated from no. 2 Cadet Corps at Chelmno. In 1932 he joined the Infantry Cadet Officers' School at Ostrow Mazowiecka. While at the school he volunteered for future air force service and completed a gliding course at Ustianowa. Commissioned on 15 August 1934, he was posted to the 4th Regiment of Highland Fusiliers at Cieszy, but already in September he was posted for a flying course at the Air Force Officers' Training Centre at Deblin. Upon completion of the course, in July 1935 he was posted to the 61st Line Flight of the 6th Air Regiment in Lwow. During April-July 1936 he completed an advanced flying course as Grudziadz and received posting to the 142nd Fighter Flight of the 4th Air Regiment in Torun. In June 1937 he transferred to the 141st Fighter Flight and in the spring of 1939 he was appointed its deputy commander. Since the outbreak of the war he flew with the 141st Flight which formed part of the III/4 Fighter Squadron, itself part of the 'Pomorze' Army aviation. On 2 September he was appointed the commander of the 141st Flight after kpt. Laskowski was killed in combat. On 18 September he crossed the Rumanian border with his unit. Then, via Yugoslavia and Italy, he went to France, arriving there on 9 October 1939. In 1940 he was posted to the fighter section of Capt. Tadeusz Rolski. During the evacuation after France collapsed he joined the group of Maj. Krasnodebski. He arrived in Britain on 23 June 1940. He received service no. P-1381. On 21 August 1940 he was posted to No. 303 Squadron. On 7 September 1940 he was shot down and baled out safely, but his aeroplane crashed at Loughton, Essex, killing three civilians. From 29 September until 11 November 1940 he was the Polish commander of 'B'Flight. On 21 January 1941 he transferred to No. 315 (Polish) Squadron then being formed at Acklington, and on 30 March 1941 he was posted to No. 308 (Polish) Squadron as 'A' Flight commander. From 23 June he commanded the squadron. On 2 July 1941 his Spitfire II P7446 ZF-A was badly shot up in air combat (during operation Circus 29, when Waclaw Lapkowski was killed). On 24 July his Spitfire II P8676 ZF-H was seriously damaged over France when his wingman P/O Jan Jakubowski collided with him, but he managed to bring it back to base. On 10 December 1941 he was posted to HQ No. 11 Fighter Group as the Polish Liaison Officer. On 17 April 1942 he assumed command of the 1st Polish Fighter Wing at Northolt. He was shot down and killed on 29 April 1942 when leading his wing over France in his Supermarine Spitfire VB BM307 RF-Q during Circus 145 operation.
A street in Warsaw was named after him in 1979, as was a primary school
at Radzymin in 1991. His biography by Krzysztof Kubala was published in
Polish in 2005 under the title 'Start w nieskonczonosc' ('Take-off Into Eternity').
His awards included
the Golden Cross of Virtuti Militari (posthumously),
the Silver Cross of Virtuti Militari,
the Cross of Valour and three bars,
the British Distinguished Flying Cross.