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   Born on 14 April 1915 in Warsaw, in the faimly of a Swiss citizen. In 1935 he graduated from a secondary school and in January 1936 he joined the Air Force Cadet Officers'School. Commissioned in 1938 as a fighter pilot, he was posted to the 111th Fighter Flight of the 1st Air Regiment in Warsaw. On 26 May 1939 he was seriously injured in a flying accident and subsequently spent three months in hospital. On 3 September 1939 he was posted as a liaison pilot to the Bomber Brigade. From 7 September he accompanied his 111th Fighter Flight. On 17 September he crossed the Rumanian border in RWD-13 SP-BMF. He left Rumania by sea and arrived at Marseilles on 30 October 1939. In the spring of 1940 he was posted to the Polish fighter section of Maj. Kranosdebski, then attached to the French GC I/55. Following the French collapse he arrived in Britain on 18 June 1940. He received service no. P-1382. He was posted to No. 303 Squadron on 2 August 1940 and then fought with it in the Battle of Britain and later. On 9 May 1941 he was shot down by Messerschmitts off Dover in the Spitfire II P7962 RF-A and had to bail out, wounded. On 13 October he was slightly wounded in combat over France (in Spitfire VB AB976 RFD). On 4 December 1941 he was posted to No. 58 Operational Training Unit at Grangemouth as an instructor, to rest from operations. On 23 March 1942 he returned to No. 303 Squadron, becoming the 'A' Flight commander, and on 17 May he took command of No. 303 Squadron. On 1 December 1942 he was appointed Polish Liaison Officer to HQ No. 9 Group RAF. From 15 April 1943 he studied at the Polish Air Force Staff College. Upon graduation, on 16 January he was posted to RAF Northolt, and on two weeks later he was appointed to command the 3rd Polish Wing. On 14 June 1944 he was reposted to the HQ of No. 18 (Polish) Sector, and on 8 July he was appointed to lead No. 135 Wing RAF which included 222 (British), 485 (New Zealand) and 349 (Belgian) Squadrons, but no Polish units. He thus had the distinction of being sole Polish officer to command a non-Polish fighter wing with the RAF. However, a major reorganisation of the 2nd Tactical Air Force took place in mid-July 1944, and on the 16th Zumbach took over No. 133 (Polish) Wing. From 30 January 1945 he was Operations Officer at no. 84 Group RAF on the liberated Continent. During an inspection flight with F/Lt Tadeusz Kawalecki in unarmed Auster MT440 on 7 April 1945 he mistakenly landed in enemy-held territory, becoming a PoW for the last month of WWII. Upon his return to Britain he held some staff postings and then on 6 June 1946 he was posted to RAF Hethel, the base of the 3rd Polish Wing at the time. After demobilisation he resumed his Swiss pasport and stayed in the West. He lived an adventurous life, dealing in smuggling and then flying as a mercenary in local wars in Africa. He eventually settled in Paris, where he published his 'enhanced' autobiography in French as "Mister Brown" (his mercenary nomde-guerre). It was then also published  in English ("On Wings of War") and in Polish. He died on 3 January 1986 in France. He was buried in the Powazki cemetery in Warsaw.

 

 

 

 

 

His awards included

the Silver Cross of Virtuti Militari (no. 7488),

the Cross of Valour and three Bars 

the British Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar










1940.09.07    Dyon 303 Hurricane I   V7242      RF-B       17:00                2-0-0 Do 215

1940.09.09    Dyon 303 Hurricane I   R2685      RF-G       18:00                1-1-0 Me 109

1940.09.11    Dyon 303 Hurricane I   R2685      RF-G       16:00                1-0-0 Me 109

1940.09.15    Dyon 303 Hurricane I   P3577      RF-E       12:00                1-0-0 Me 109

1940.09.26    Dyon 303 Hurricane I   V6684      RF-F       16:30                1-0-0 He 111

1940.09.26    Dyon 303 Hurricane I   V6684      RF-F       16:30                1-0-0 Me 109

1940.09.27    Dyon 303 Hurricane I   V6684      RF-F       09:20                1-0-0 Me 109

1941.07.02    Dyon 303 Spitfire II      P8385      RF-A      12:45                 1-1-0 Me 109

1941.10.13    Dyon 303 Spitfire VB    AB976      RF-D      13:30                 1-0-0 Me 109

1941.10.13    Dyon 303 Spitfire VB    AB976      RF-D      13:30                 0-0-1   xxx

1941.10.24    Dyon 303 Spitfire VB    AB976      RF-D      15:10                 1-0-0 Me 109

1942.04.27    Dyon 303 Spitfire VB    BM144      RF-D      15:37                 0-1-0 FW 190

1942.08.19    Dyon 303 Spitfire VB    EP594      RF-D      10:30                 1-1-0 FW 190

1942.08.19    Dyon 303 Spitfire VB    EP594      RF-D      16:30             1/3-0-0 He 111

1944.09.25   133 Wing Mustang III   HB866      JZ          15:30-18:30      0-1-0 FW 190











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