Born on 13 April 1899 in Niwerka, near Kamieniec Podolski. In 1916, having completed six classes of a trade school, he joined czar’s army, in which he fought with German forces. In 1918 he deserted from his unit and joined the newly forming I Polish Corps in Minsk. He was assigned to reconnaissance of 2 Officers’ League. After demobilization of I Polish Corps, he got to Ukraine. There, he was assigned to 12 Cavalry Division of Semen Petrlura, from which he escaped again. During Polish-Soviet war he fought in Maj. Feliks Jaworski’s unit. At the end of war he became a driver in 19 Fighter Flight (under the command of F/O Antoni Mroczkowski). On 13 September 1920 he joined the Primary Pilots’ School in Bydgoszcz. He graduated from it in June 1921, but continued his training. He became an aerobatics instructor in the Advanced Pilots’ School in Grudziadz. In 1924 he left military aviation service, and was flying for airlines. However, he returned to military aviation. He served in 11 Fighter Wing in Lida. Between 27 August and 25 September 1926, together with Sgt Leonard Kubiak, he flew the distance of 22 600 km (Warsaw – Tokyo – Warsaw) in Breguet XIX aircraft, in 121 hours 16 minutes. That achievement made him famous; he participated in other aerobatics performances, in Polish aircraft (from 31 August 1928 he was again remaining out of military service). On 28 June 1934 he set up a world speed record for fighters with radial engines in a P-24 aircraft (414 kmph). Working as a test pilot, he spent about 7000 hours in the air, and tested 28 prototypes. In September 1939 he joined military aviation, and was posted to Romania for receipt of British aircraft. On 5 October 1939 he left Romania, and on 7 December 1939 reached Great Britain via Yugoslavia, Italy and France. There he became a flying instructor, and at that post he totalled over 800 hours. In 1943 he was assigned to No. 305 (Polish) Bomber Squadron Wielkopolska and Lida Land, in which he participated in 49 sorties for 246 hours during the 50 minutes. Among others: on 31 August 1944 – with a task to destroy fuel tanks in (with capacity of 13 milions litres) Nomexy. Between 1 August 1944 and 31 January 1945 he commanded No. 305 Squadron. Having handed over the command, he was posted to air transport service. From 5 till 23 March 1945 he was on a specialist course in the School of Air Transport RAF in Netheravon. After the course, he became a liaison officer to 46 Group Training Command HQ, and remained at that post till 20 February 1947. During his career he flew air on 92 types of aircraft in the air to spend seven thousand hours. In 1948 he left for the South Africa Union, and then to Canada. Till April 1967 he was working in De Havilland Aircraft Plant, and later in the Canadian Corps of Commisionaires in Toronto (till September 1980). He died on 28 February 1992 in Mississaunga. The funeral urn was committed to the earth on the Holy Family Cemetery in Wroclaw.


His decorations include

* Silver Cross of the Virtuti Militari

* Cross of Valour and three Bars

* Gold Cross of Merit and Bar

* Legion of Honour, Chevalier (France)

* Order of the Rising Sun, Jun class (Japan)

* Order of the Crown of Romania, Officer

* Distinguished Flying Cross (United Kingdom)

* Air Force Medal and three Bars

Piotr Górka © 2007