Born on 22 June 1907 at Piotrkow Trybunalski, son of Ludomir and

Stanislawa  Altdorfer. In January 1929 he was conscripted and posted to the 1st Air Regiment in Warsaw. In 1929 he completed a flying training course at the Air Force NCO Training Centre at Bydgoszcz. In November he was posted to the 13th Line Flight of the 1st Regiment. From March 1931 he served at the Air Force Officers Training Centre at Deblin. In September 1932 he was posted to the NCO Cadet Officers School at Bydgoszcz. In the autumn 1934 he completed cat. A and B gliding course. On 15 October 1935 he was commissioned and posted to the 2nd Air Regiment in Cracow. Between April and July 1936 he completed an advanced flying course at Grudziadz. He then served with the 24th Line Flight of the 2nd Air Regiment. In September 1939 he flew PZL- 23 Karas light bombers with the 24th Flight, assigned to the 'Krakow' Army aviation. He distinguished himself by the audacious flight with reports to the besieged Warsaw, and then from Warsaw to southern Poland. At Horodenka he was ordered to fly on to Rumania. From there he got to France. On 15 March 1940 he arrived in Britain, receiving service no. 76803. In July 1940 he underwent conversion training on British aircraft at Old Sarum, and then on 22 July he commenced a fighter course at No. 5 Operational Training Unit, Aston Down. On 5 August 1940 he was posted to No. 609 Squadron RAF, with which he then fought in the Battle of Britain. On 5 October he had to bail out of Spitfire I N3223 PR-M due to undercarriage problems. On 13 February 1941 he was shot down in Spitfire I X4773 by return fire from a Junkers 88. On 22 March 1941 he moved to No. 316 Squadron, initially as a ground controller at the operations room, and on 10 August 1941 he was appointed the 'B' Flight commander. On 11 January he had an accident in Spitfire VB W3230 SZ-O at Northolt, when he forgot(!) to lower the undercarriage for landing. On 17 January 1942 he became the commander of No. 308 Squadron. From 9 May 1942 he was deputy commander of the 1st Polish Wing at Northolt. On 22 August 1942 his aircraft was damaged by ground fire in the same Rhubarb mission when S/Ldr Tadeusz Czerwinski was killed. From 10 December 1942 he was the Polish Liaison Officer at the HQ No. 11 Group

RAF, but continued to fly on operations from Northolt. From 27 January 1943 he was the commander of the Polish Fighter School at No. 58 Operational Training Unit, Grangemouth. On 20 June 1943 he became the commander of the 2nd Polish Wing. On 20 October 1943 he took command of No. (Polish) Wing, which combined the 2nd Polish Wing and its accompanying ground services. Although this was a non-flying posting, following the D-Day landings he flew on operations with the wing's squadrons. On 19 March 1945 he went to study at the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, USA. On 26 June he returned to the Polish Air Force HQ. He was a staff officer, and then he was the Station Commander at Dunholme Lodge. He returned to Poland on 8 June 1947. He applied to serve in the 'People's Polish Air Force', and then to work in the civil aviation, but both these requests were denied. He worked in Warsaw as a taxi-driver. He was arrested on 4 June 1948, and after two years of investigation' he was released on 31 May 1950. He then worked as a craftsman in his workshop. He died suddenly on 2 April 1983 He was buried in the family tomb at the Old Powazki cemetery in Warsaw.

His decorations included

the Silver Cross of Virtuti Militari (no. 9048), the

Cross of Valour and three bars

the British Distinguished Flying Cross

                        1940.08.13    609 Sqn Spitfire I   L1082        PR-A     16:00               1-0-1 Me 109

                        1940.09.07    609 Sqn Spitfire I   R6922        PR-T     18:00               0-1-0 Do 17

                        1940.09.27    609 Sqn Spitfire I   N3223        PR-M    12:00               0-0-1 Me 110

                        1940.09.30    609 Sqn Spitfire I   R6961        PR-P     17:15               1-0-1 Me 109

                        1940.10.15    609 Sqn Spitfire I   R6961        PR-P     12:45               1-0-0 Me 109

                        1940.12.02    609 Sqn Spitfire I   X4471        PR-R                              0-0-1/2 Do 17

                        1941.02.13    609 Sqn Spitfire I   X4773                    17:00-17:40     0-0-1 Ju 88

                        1942.08.19    I PSM Spitfire VB    BL860         JH-T     10:30                0-0-2 Do 217

                        1944.08.05   133 Wing Mustang III HB886    TN                                 1-0-0 V1


Piotr Górka © 2007