Born on 12 February 1912 in Lwów, son of Jan and Anna. In that city
he graduated from a National Industrial School. He volunteered for his military service, and served at the 6th Air Regiment in Lwów. In 1930 he completed a flying course at the Air Force NCO Training Centre at Bydgoszcz. Upon return to the 6th Regiment he flew in the training flight. In 1932 he completed an advanced flying course at Grudziadz, following which he flew in one of the fighter flights of the 3rd Air Regiment in Poznan. Subsequently he rejoined the 6th Air Regiment, and in 1935 he flew with the 63rd Army Co-operation Flight. In 1936 he became a flyinginstructor at the Air Force Cadet Officers’ School at Deblin. In September 1939 he was evacuated with the school personnel to Rumania. From there, via Yugoslavia he went to Greece, and thence by sea to France. He was selected for the I Observation Squadron, then being formed, but subsequently he flew in the ferry pilot group of Lt Mieczyslaw Wolanski. On 23 June 1940 he flew in a LeO-451 bomber do North Africa. 13 July 1940 via Gibraltar he reached Britain. He received service no.782059. On 10 September 1940 he was posted to No. 307 Squadron in the first group of pilots. With other pilots he applied for transfer to a day fighter unit. He underwent a course at No. 1 School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum and No. 5 Operational Training Unit, and then on 25 October 1940 he was posted to No. 43 Squadron RAF, with which he fought in the Battle of Britain. In December 1940 he was reposted to No. 501 Squadron RAF at Drem. On 8 December he was injured in an accident in Hurricane I R4104. On 11 April 1941 he received a posting to No. 302 Squadron. Upon completion of his first combat tour, from 27 April 1942 he was an instructor at No. 58 Operational Training Unit at Grangemouth. On 19 August 1942 he was injured in an accident of Miles Master I T7433 (also the pupil pilot Sgt Stanislaw Góralski was injured). On 10 November 1942 he rejoined No. 302 Squadron. In early February 1943 he was selected for the team of Polish fighter pilots, who then went to the North African front. Polish Flight (known as the ‘Skalski’s Circus’) was attached to No. 145 Squadron RAF. In July 1943 he returned to Britain and on 22 July 1943 he was posted back to No. 302 Squadron. On 8 September 1943, during a combat sortie over France he was shot down in Spitfire VB AA928 WX-U. He was wounded, but evaded capture. Thanks to assistance from the local resistance he was hidden in the morgue of the hospital at Ypres, where he underwent a surgery (the episode was subsequently introduced by Stanislaw Skalski into the script of the feature film „Story of One Fighter”, made in Poland after the war, directed by Hubert Drapella). With more help from underground resistance he reached Spain and on 13 December 1943 he returned to Britain. From 25 March 1944 he served with No. 1 Aircraft Delivery Unit. On 29 June 1944 he rejoined No. 302 Squadron. On 30 July 1944 he was shot down by German ground fireover Normandy and was seriousle injuried in the forced landing in his Spitfire IX MJ359. Following long reconvalescence he rejoined service. On 18 March 1945 he was posted to the HQ No. 133 (Polish) Wing. From 8 August 1945 until disbandment of the Polish Air Force his was the HQ of the Polish Fighter Station at Coltishall. After the war he served with the Royal Pakistani Air Force. For a while he commanded the navigation training section at the RPAF College, Risalpur. Upon return to Britain he ran a garage, and then a pub. He died on 1 May 1982 in London. He was buried at Ksawerów in Poland.
His decorations included
the Silver Cross of Virtuti Militari (no. 08580),
the Cross of Valour and three Bars
and the British DFC.
His two elder brothers were killed during
fighting in Lwów in 1918 and another during
the Polish-Russian war of 1920. His younger
brother Jan was also a fighter pilot in Polish
squadrons in Britain (Nos. 317 and 308) during
World War 2 (and is often confused with him
in photos due to great similarity). Bronislaw