Born on 13 February 1914 in Warsaw, where he graduated from a secondary school w 1933. In January 1934 he joined the Air Force Cadet Officers' School at Deblin. Commissioned on 15 August 1936 in the 11th class, he was posted to the 111th Fighter Flight of the 1st Air Regiment in Warsaw. In 1937 he transferred to the 114th Fighter Flight of the 1st Air Regiment. In 1938 he represented the 114 Flight during the annual Central Fighter Competition, winning the individual Prize of the Polish Air Force Commander, Gen. L. Rayski, for best piloting. In September 1939 he fought in defence of Warsaw in the 114th Flight as part of the IV/1 Fighter Squadron of the Pursuit Brigade. On 5 September he became the deputy flight commander. During 14-15 September he made a courageous flight with the orders of the Polish Commander-in-Chief for the commander of the defence of the besieged Warsaw, and then back to southern Poland. On 17 September at the orders of the Pursuit Brigade commander he led the remaining aircraft of the brigade to Rumania. Evading internment, he went via Yugoslavia and Italy to France, arriving there on 7 October 1939. In June 1940 he was posted to the Polish fighter section of Lt Aleksander Gabszewicz, attached to the French GC III/10. Following the fall of France he flew across the Mediterranean to Algiers, and then via Casablanca and Gibraltar he went to Britain. He arrived in the British Isles in late July. He received service no. P-0596. In late September 1940 he undertook conversion training on British aircraft at Old Sarum, and in early October he copleted a fighter course at No. 5 Operational Training Unit. On 20 October

1940 he was posted to No. 303 Squadron, and with this unit he participated

in the closing stage of the Battle of Britain. From 22 February 1941 he assisted in the forming of the newly established No. 316 Squadron. From 14 November 1941 he commanded the 'A' Flight in this squadron. From 22 June he was an instructor and a flight commander at No. 58 Operational Training Unit. On 5 October 1942 he was appointed to command No. 315 Squadron. From 15 April 1943 he was the deputy wing leader of the 1st Polish Wing at Northolt. On 3 July 1943 he became the Polish Liaison Officer at the HQ No. 12 Group RAF. Subsequently, from 20 October 1943 he was an instructor at No. 61 Operational Training Unit. On 3 March 1944 he received an axchange posting to the HQ 9th Air Force USAAF. From 20 April 1944 he flew as a pilot with the 61st Fighter Squadron 56th Group Fighter USAAF. On 15 June 1944 he was appointed to lead the 3rd Polish Wing (at Coltishall). From 14 October 1944 he was the Wing Leader at No. 131 (Polish) Wing operating from airfields in Belgium, then Holland and Germany. On 21 October he was injured in a landing accident (Spitfire IX MK922 JH-F of his wingman F/Sgt Wincenty Fajks hit his MK944 JH-Z). On 16 July 1945 he was posted to RAF Andrews Field Station HQ, and on 8 August 1945 he became the wing leader of the 3rd Polish Wing based there, with which he subsequently moved to Wick. Released from the Polish Air Force in February 1948, he initially settled in Britain. In 1957 he emigrated to Canada, where he then worked in aircraft industry for many years. He now lives near Toronto and at the time of writing he was the last surviving Polish airman who took part in the Battle of Britain.




His decorations included

the Silver Cross of Virtuti Militari (no. 08359),

the Cross of Valour and three bars,

the British Distinguished Flying Cross,

the American Distinguished Flying Cross.




On 3 May 2006 the late President Lech Kaczynski

promoted him to the rank of a general.




His father, Wlodzimierz Wladyslaw Sawicz (1890-1986) was a military doctor, who specialised in the aviation medicine, working at the Polish Air Force's central medical establishments before the war and  after 1956.

His sister Maria Sawicz was killed in the Warsaw Uprising in 1944.

1939.09.01    114 Esk. P.11                                                              0-0-1/2 Me 109

1939.09.05    114 Esk. P.11                                                                1-0-0 Do 17

1939.09.06    114 Esk. P.11                                                                 1-0-1 Ju 86

1939.09.06    114 Esk. P.11                                                                 0-0-1 Do 17

1941.04.09    Dyon 316 Hurricane I    P3926     SZ-P        09:50         1-0-0 He 111

1943.04.04    Dyon 315 Spitfire IX      EN172     PK-K        14:35         0-0-1 FW 190


Piotr Górka © 2007