Born on 22 August 1910 at Przeclaw near Mielec. From 1920 he lived in Lwow, he graduated there from a secondary school and studied at the Civil Engineering Faculty of the Lwow Technical University where he got a degree in 1933. During his university years he flew in the Lwow Aero Club. In 1934 he graduated from the Air Force Reserve Cadet Officers' School, he then flew in the 6th Air Regiment in Lwow. He took part in many Polish and foreign flying competitions. In September 1939 he was an aerobatics instructor at the Elementary Flying Centre at Brzezany. On 17 September he flew in PWS-26 to Cernauti in Rumania. Following a brief internment he left Rumania and went to France. On 8 February 1940 he arrived in Britain. He received service no. 76766. Following conversion training on British aircraft and a fighter course at No. 7 Operational Training Unit, on 28 August 1940 he was posted to No. 151 Squadron RAF at Digby. On 27 September 1940 he transferred to No. 249 Squadron RAF at North Weald. With these squadrons he fought during the Battle of Britain. On 24 February 1941 he was posted to the newly formed No. 317 Squadron. On 18 December 1941, when taking off in Supermarine Spitfire VB W3425 for Operation 'Veracity I' he collided with Spitfire VB AA941 that stopped on the runway, and the pilot of the latter aircraft, F/O Marian Sikorski was killed (Solak suffered no significant injuries). On 16 June 1942 he transferred to No. 164 Squadron RAF, and from 8 August 1942 he served with No. 609 Squadron RAF. On 4 February 1943 he was posted at his own request to the Air Fighting Development Unit at Fulbeck. From 9 April 1943 he served with No. 41 Squadron RAF. In October 1943 he was posted to the office of the Polish Liaison Officer at the HQ Fighter Command RAF (subsequently renamed the Air Defence of Great Britain). On 4 April 1944 he received an exchange posting to the 9th Air Force USAAF, where he was operations officer at the 48th Fighter Group at Ibsley. On 10 August 1944 he was shot down by ground fire at the town of Tinchebray in Normandy in Republic P-47D-22 Thunderbolt no. 42-26334 F4-V (from the 492nd Fighter Squadron 48th Group). Wounded, he was captured, but escaped and several weeks later returned to his own side. On 18 December 1944 he was transferred to the HQ Polish Air Force, and from 24 April 1945 he was at Blackpool. On 7 June 1945 he became the Polish Liaison Officer at No. 84 Group RAF. On 6 May 1946 he was posted to the Polish Fighter Station at Coltishall. Released from the Polish Air Force, he established a company that rebuilt dstroyed houses in London. In 1949 he went to the USA. He designed many important bildings, including the opera house and the then tallest building in San Francisco. He died on 5 February 2002



His decorations included

the Silver Cross of Virtuti Militari (no. 11122)

the Cross of Valour and two Bars.

         1943.06.04    41 Sqn Spitfire XII     MB800      EB-B      11:25          1-0-0 FW 190

Piotr Górka © 2007