Born on 29 July 1919 in Warsaw family, Waclaw Michal Sobanski was wounded in 1939 whilst serving in the infantry. In order to leave his German-occupied country, he managed to obtain an American passport trought family connections. Arriving in the USA in the summer of 1940, Sobanski went to Canada to join the RAF but failed his English exam, although after further study he managed to complete the flying training. Strange as it may seem, he would never serve with a PAF unit, although in May 1942 he spent brief periods with the RAF’s Mos 132 and 164 Sqns, flying with Poles (in the latter unit he met ‘Charlie’ Blok). With his new American citizenship, Sobanski transferred to the Eighth Air Force and flew with the 4th FG, commanding the 334th FS from mid-April 1944 until his death on D-Day whilst leading the squadron on its second mission of the day. According to 4th FG docummentation, he was credited with five and one shared kills (including one on the ground) - it is possible that his official USAAF score was later changed to five and two shared destroyed, three of which were ground kills. Interestingly, Sobanski must have know ‘Dziubek’ Horbaczewski, for the 4th FG held a party on 16 April 1944 at Debden to celebrate the 400th German aircraft to be claimed by the unit. That event was one of the few occasions specially marked in Horbaczewski’s personal agenda, so it must have really been a party to remember.
His decorations included
the Silver Star