Born on 6 December 1911 at Szawle (now Siauliai in Lithuania). In 1931 he passed his GCE exams in Otwock near Warsaw. In 1932 je joined the Infantry Cadet Officers School at Ostrow Mazowiecka. He was commissioned in August 1934. While still at the School he volunteered for air force service. During summer 1933 he completed a gliding course at Ustianowa. Upon commission he was posted to the 30th 'Kaniow' Rifle Regiment in Warsaw, but in September 1934 he was posted to the Air Force Officers Training Centre at Deblin for a flying training course. On 11 April 1935 he had a landing accident in PWS-12 no. 57.3 while flying with instructor por. Witalis Nikonow. He completed the course in July and was posted to the training flight of the 1st Air Regiment in Warsaw (on 1 October 1935 he had a minor accident in Potez XXVII no. 41.147, while flying with instructor sierz. Aleksander Daszkowski). In 1936 he completed an advanced flying course at Grudziadz (on 28 May 1936 he failed to recover from spin while flying PWS-10 no. 5.54, the aircraft was destroyed by he escaped unhurt). He was then posted to the 114th Fighter Flight. On 27 April 1937 he had an accident in PZL P.11a no. 7.29 caused by self-inducing vibrations of the airframe (this accident led to orders to verify aileron balance on all PZL P.11s). Between December 1938 and April 1939 he has completed a night flying instructors course at the training flight of the 1st Air Regiment In July 1939 he commanded a fighter section tasked with intercepting German aircraft from East Prussia that violated Polish airspace. From August 1939 he was the intelligence officer of IV/1 Fighter Squadron. On 1 September Gabszewicz shared with kpr. Andrzej Niewiara in shooting down a Heinkel 111, the first German aircraft shot down near Warsaw (trophies from the aircraft are kept in the Polish Army Museum in Warsaw). That same afternoon he was shot down and had to bail out. On 18 September about midday he crossed the Rumanian border. Following a short internment he went by train via Yugoslavia and Italy, arriving in France on 7 October. In March 1940 he was posted to the Polish training Fighter Flight at Lyon-Bron that was tasked with air defence of Lyon in May 1940. From 3 June he led the Polish fighter section in GC III/10. After the collapse of France he flew across the Mediterranean to North Africa, and then travelled through Algeria, Morocco and Gibraltar, arriving in Britain on 22 June 1940. He received service no. P-0163. In September he was sent or conversion training at No. 5 OTU and on 11 October he was posted to No. 607 Squadron RAF in which he fought in the Battle of Britain. On 12 November he was transferred to No. 303 Sqn. On 22 February he joined the original team of pilots of the newly formed No. 316 Sqn. From July 1941 he was the 'A' Flight commander there, and from 14 November 1941 until 5 June 1942 he commanded No. 316 Sqn. Subsequently he was the Polish Liaison Officer at the HQ No. 11 Group RAF. From 25 September 1942 he commanded the Polish Fighter School attached to No. 58 OTU at Grangemouth. From 27 January 1943 he was the Wing Leader of the 2nd Polish Fighter Wing at Kirtonin-Lindsey, and from 21 June he held the same post at the 1st Polish Wing at Northolt. In mid-December 1943 he obtained an exchange posting to the 61st Fighter Squadron 56th Fighter Group USAAF. On 20 February 1944 he assumed command of No. 18 (Polish) Fighter Sector. From 12 July 1944 (when all sectors were disbanded) until 31 May 1945 he commanded No. 131 (Polish) Wing. He then served atthe HQ No. 84 Group. On 21 February 1946 he was appointed Station Commander at RAF Coltishall. After the war he stayed in Britain. During 1964-1968 and 1970-1982 he was the Chairman of the Polish Air Force Association. On 1 January 1974 he was promoted to the rank of gen. bryg. (in retirement). He died on 10 October 1983 at Henley Swan, Worcestershire, UK. According to his wish, his ashes were scattered in free Poland in 1992: over Deblin where he trained as a pilot) and over Poniatow near Warsaw (where he took off for his first combat sorties).





His decorations included

the Golden Cross of Virtuti Militari  (IV kl)

the Silver Cross of Virtuti Militari,    (Vkl)

the Cross of Valour and three bars,

the Distinguished Service Order and Bar,

the Distinguished Flying Cross.

the French Croix de Guerre.

                  1939.  09,01    Dyon IV/1    P.11 41 0700-0715                                                  1/2-0-0 He 111

                  1940.  06,01    GCMP          MS.406 905 1220                                                        1-0-0 He 111

                  1941.  04,01    Dyon 316    Hurricane I   V7000          SZ-S       18:05                 1/2-0-0 He 111

                  1941.  07,24    Dyon 316    Hurricane II  Z3573          SZ-D       14:25                1/2-0-0 Me 109

                  1941.  07,24    Dyon 316    Hurricane II  Z3573          SZ-D       14:30                   0-0-1 Me 109

                  1942.  03,27    Dyon 316    Spitfire VB    P8606           SZ-G      15:35                   0-0-1 FW 190

                  1942.  04,10    Dyon 316    Spitfire VB    BL901           SZ-G       17:40                   1-0-0 FW 190

                  1942.  04,25    Dyon 316    Spitfire VB   W3717           SZ-D      10:30                   1-0-0 FW 190

                  1942.  04,27    Dyon 316    Spitfire VB   BL901            SZ-G       15:45                   1-0-0 FW 190

                  1942.  05,05    Dyon 316    Spitfire VB   BL901            SZ-G       14:40                   0-1-0 FW 190

                  1942.  05,06    Dyon 316    Spitfire VB   BL901            SZ-G       18:45                0-1/3-0 FW 190

                  1943.  04,04    II PSM         Spitfire VB   EN8652          WX-L      19:30-19:45         1-0-0 FW 190

                  1943.  07,04    I PSM          Spitfire IX    EN526            SZ-G      13:05-13:10          1-0-0 FW 190

                  1943.  07,06    I PSM          Spitfire IX    EN526            SZ-G      10:40-10:45          1-0-0 Me 109

                  1943.  08,19    I PSM          Spitfire IX    EN526            SZ-G      11:15-11:25          1-0-1 FW 190

Piotr Górka © 2007