Born on 15 July 1913 at Kiev, Ukraine, son of Stanislaw Andrzej and
Elzbieta. He graduated from No.3 Cadet Corps at Rawicz. In 1932 he joined the Air Force Cadet Officers’ School at Deblin. He was commissioned in the 8th class as an observer in 1934, and was posted to the 211th Bomber Flight of the 1st Air Regiment. In July 1935 he completed a flying course at the Air Force Officers’ Training Centre at Deblin, and then was posted to a line flight of the 1st Air Regiment. Between April and July 1936 he completed an advanced flying course at Grudziadz (on 8 July 1936 he had an accident in PZL P.7 no. 6.146). Subsequently he was posted to the 1st Air Regiment as a fighter pilot. From January 1939 he was tactics (intelligence) officer of the IV/1 Squadron. In July/August 1939 he underwent conversion training on Hawker Hurricanes in Britain, and then returned to Poland. From 2 September 1939 he was reporting directly to the Polish Air Force commander, awaiting the arrival of Hurricanes from Britain, when he would become the instructor on these aircraft. On 11 September he went to Rumania with the team scheduled to take delivery of western aircraft in Rumanian ports. After this plan failed he travelled via Yugoslavia to Greece,
and thence by sea went France, arriving there on 23 October 1939. In late 1939 or early 1940 he arrived in Britain. He received service no.83698. In August 1940 he was sent for conversion training to No. 6 Operational Training Unit, and then he was posted to No. 601 Squadron RAF. On 4 September, while flying Hurricane I R4214 he was wounded in combat with German fighters. In October 1940 he transferred to No. 303 Squadron, and continued to fly there until February 1941. Having completed his tour he then served as ground controller for the squadron at the operations room. In April 1941 he resumed flying and became a flight commander in No. 303 Squadron. In July 1941 he was appointed the commander of No. 303 Squadron. In November 1941 he was rested from operations and posted as fighter training officer to the office of G/Cpt S. Pawlikowski, the Polish Liaison Officer to the HQ Fighter Command. In May 1942 he was posted to No. 124 Squadron RAF for flying practice, and later the same month he took command of No. 222 Squadron RAF – he was the first Pole to command a British squadron. On 25 May 1942 he led the North Weald Wing in Spitfire VB no. AD233 ZD-F on a morning Rodeo operation. He was shot down and killed in air combat west of Dunkirk, crashing into the sea. His body was lost in sea.
His decorations included the Silver
Cross of Virtuti Militari (no. 09171)
the Cross of Valour and two Bars
and the British DFC.
1940.08.31 601 Sqn Hurricane I R4214 08:40 0-0-1 Me 109
1940.09.04 601 Sqn Hurricane I R4214 14:00 0-1-0 Me 110D
1940.09.25 601 Sqn Hurricane I V6666 UF-J 12:00 1-0-0 Me 110
1940.10.07 601 Sqn Hurricane I P3831 14:30 0-0-1 Me 110
1941.05.15 Dyon 303 Spitfire II P8130 RF-T 12:45 1/2-0-0 Ju 52
1941.06.22 Dyon 303 Spitfire II P8346 RF-T 16:10 1-0-0 Me 109
1941.07.06 Dyon 303 Spitfire II P8579 RF-V 09:45 0-1/3-0 Me 109