Born on 26 June 1912 at Pohulanka near Dyneburg (now Daugavpils,

Latvia). Upon graduation from the secondary school he started studies at the Agricultural Institute at the Stefan Batory University in Wilno. During summer 1932 he underwent a summer flying course for students in Lwow. In 1933 he terminated his studies, and in 1934 he joined the Air Force Reserve Cadet Officers School at Deblin. Upon graduation from it on 1 August 1934 he was posted for operational training to the 5th Air Regiment at Lida. Against his original plans he did not resume his civilian studies, but on 1 October 1934 he joined the Air Force Cadet Officers School at Deblin. On 1 October 1936 he was commissioned as a pilot and was posted to the 142nd Fighter Flight the 4th Air Regiment in Torun. On 15 November 1937 he had an accident there in PZL P.7 no. 6.140, but escaped unhurt. From 1 January 1939 he served with the Air Force Cadet Officers School at Deblin as the commander of the take-off platoon. In September 1939 he evacuated aircraft of the school towards south east. On 18 September he crossed the Rumanian border at Kuty. He evaded internment and travelled via Yugoslavia and Italy, arriving in France on 6 October. In June 1940 he commanded a fighter section in defence of Cognac.After the collapse of France, in June 1940 he reached Britain by sea. He received service no. P-0493. Following conversion training, on 12 October 1940 he was posted to No. 32 Squadron RAF, with which he fought during the Battle of Britain. On 16 January 1941, during a night interception of a Heinkel 111 he was shot down by return fire and bail out, breaking a leg. Following convalescence, on 21 April 1941 he rejoined No. 32 Squadron RAF. On 29 July he was posted to No. 315 Squadron, and on 22 September he became its 'A' Flight commander. On 12 April 1942  to the post of the 'B' Flight commander. On 20 June he commenced studies at the Polish Air Force Staff College. In May 1943 he resumed operational flying, with a posting to No. 316 Squadron. On 11 June 1943 he had a minor landing accident in Spitfire IX BS463 SZ-G. On 4 July 1943 he was appointed commander of No. 303 Squadron (he was the first officer at this post who had not served in the squadron prior to the apointment). From November 1943 he was a staff officer at the HQ No. 11 Group RAF, and subsequently at the HQ No. 84 Group RAF. On 30 January 1945 he became the wing leader of the 3rd Polish Fighter Wing (at RAF Coltishall). On 9 March 1945 he was shot down by ground fire during an operational mission near the Hague (he was flying Spitfire IX BS281 RF-C from No. 303 Squadron). He was captured by the Germans, but managed to escape and cotninued to evade recapture until the area was liberated by allied forces. Demobilised, in 1948 he left to Canada. He ran a farm. Later he became a flying instructor at a civil pilots school on a nearby airfield. During 1960s he published his memoirs, first in Canada under the title 'With the Wind in My Face', then in Poland (Z wiatrem w twarz). In 1965 he visited Warsaw for the first time since the war. He lived in Canada for the rest of his life. He died on 27 July 2001.




His decorations included

the Silver Cross of Virtuti Militari (no. 09338),

the Cross of Valour and three Bars

the Distinguished Flying Cross.

                     16.01.1941      Hurricane II   (Z2984)                 32 sqn           19:40                1-0-0 He 111

                     14.08.1941      Spitfire II    (P8540)     PK-K        315 dyon       17:50                1-0-0 Me 109

                     19.08.1941      Spitfire II    (P8540)     PK-K        315 dyon        18:30                1-0-0 Me 109

                     21.08.1941      Spitfire II    (P8648)     PK-M       315 dyon        14:00                1-0-0 Me 109

                     16.09.1941      Spitfire V    (W3619)    PK-F        315 dyon        18:30                1-0-0 Me 109

                     21.09.1941      Spitfire VB  (W3619)    PK-F        315 dyon        15:30                1-0-0 Fw 190

                     24.10.1941      Spitfire VB  (W3944)    PK-A        315 dyon       15:20                1-0-0 Me 109

                     22.08.1943      Spitfire IX   (MA304)    RF-F         303 dyon       19:05-19:10      1-0-0 FW 190

                     06.09.1943      Spitfire IX    (MA524)    RF-F        303 dyon       17:55-18:00      1-0-0 FW 190

                     23.09.1943      Spitfire IX    (MA524)    RF-F        303 dyon       16:15-16:20      0-1-0 FW 190

Piotr Górka © 2007