.... Fantastic !!!!
.... Fantastic !!!!
The grouping looks amazing I could look at it over and over and I don’t think I would get tired of it.
My Grandfather , Fl Lt Tarkowski 605 , 315 and 307 Squadrons sold his WW2 Log Book to Gerald Kochan from The Center For Military Studies in Greenville Texas.
In the spring of 2001 my Grandfather was six months away from death and very ill . It was extremely distressing to see somebody who took such pride in his memory fade before your eyes.What I must say is that his death was relatively quick - we didn't see him deteriorate over years and years.
What shocked us was that we only discovered in 2006 that he had sold his Log Book.My Grandfather would never have done so if he was in complete control of his facilities - my Grandmother pleaded with not to do so and we are at a loss to understand why he did so - to be blunt he was a wealthy man and certainly did not need the money.
Secondly he was a great collector - he never threw anything away and would never have wanted it to leave the family.
As soon as my mother discovered that the Log book was missing ( it took 5 years for her to go through his belongings ....and we've yet to finish doing so !) she contacted Mr Kochan ( via "The Center For Military Studies" ) - she received a definitive "no" to its return.
It has taken another four years for me to discover this ( my mother was very distressed and refused to talk about the episode ) and I must say I am absolutely determined to recover the original Log book .
I note from his internet site Center for Military Studies that my Grandfathers log book does not seem to be in the archive ( which worries me )
Has anybody had any contact with Gerald Kochan or The Center for Military Studies ?
The 8th of November. It was quite worm and foggy morning. We were just finishing our breakfast when the post was distributed. I was just about to open a letter from my girl when through megaphone someone shouted “Wing to be ready!”. I stuck a letter in my boots and ran through the garden to my Hurricane UPO. The mechanics were already there. When one was helping me with a parachute the second one was starting the engine. Few minutes later we were in the sky creating formation “three”. It was 9 o’clock in the morning and 10000feet above the ground the sky was beautiful and cloudless. My English wasn’t good enough to understand everything the pilots were saying so was trying to concentrate on regulations and rules. I was flying as the last one. My role was to inform about the enemy and of course to keep behind the leader. I wasn’t too happy about it. Pilot who looks after others is very often attacked by the enemy from behind. What’s more every 15 seconds I had to send a signal to those who were controlling our position from the ground. It means that every 15 seconds when I was sending signal I was also loosing connection with the others that were in the air. They said we have to go higher and higher. The Hurricane’s engine was working with all its power. The cockpit had no heating. With every meter it was cooler and cooler and despite of the warm clothes my legs were stiffed. We were more than 27000 feet above the ground when through the earphones I’ve heard “Bandits in front of you, you have to go higher!” I was at 29000 feet when I saw enemy’s aircrafts coming from East in doubles. They looked like silver shiny fishes in water. I shouted to the commander “Bandits below us and on our highness!”. I saw one very close to me. I pushed the button on cannon. There were shots, howling of engines which were pushed to the limits and then…Bang…and all front of my aircraft disappeared. The fire comes into my cockpit. In a second I’m doing a manoeuvre, of course according to regulations, and try to leave the aircraft. I’m blinded by suffocating smoke, am trying to open the cockpit but the fire is coming from the right side. I’m half twisted and panicked. I can’t jump out in this position. No, no! – I don’t want to die here! Blinded, scared. I must have kicked the bar – quick tear and nothingness.
I awoke at 16000 or 18000 feet above ground. Probably thanks to the oxygen. I saw twisting clouds but I didn’t care. I was happy floating in the air, unconcerned. I don’t know how long it took me to understand what’s going on. Where am I? There is no aircraft, just dead silence, no parachute. Sometimes sky, sometimes ground... oh... I’ve realised I’ve jumped out. I need to open my parachute! I’ve reached the left side just like I was doing in Poland but there was nothing. I was scared again. “Stop panicking!” I said to myself. I remembered that in English parachutes the handle is a bit lower. I‘ve pulled it. The light dome opened above me and the Mother Earth was waiting for me friendly. “Thank you Deblin for a fantastic training!”
While in the air I was looking around. Just fields, meadows and big old oaks. Was trying really hard but unfortunately hanged on one of them. People with pitchforks, sticks and one even with a double-barrelled gun gathered around me. I heard “Hande hoch!”. “F...” I said in English. Then I saw smiles on people’s faces. “He is one of us” they shouted. Then started to help me to get out of this uncomfortable position. Then we went to a big XIV century house. As it appeared it was Sissinghurst Court. His owner was a First World War pilot. He was trying to keep this house in a condition which was saying that the time is moving very, very slowly. Walls were adorned by oak wood. Dark portraits of ancestors were staring. Maid with a cap on her head led me to the big living room.
My black jumper and of course my strange accent caused a bit of a consternation. They thought I’m German. After a while I explained everything and when they found out I’m Polish pilot they wanted to do everything they could to help me. I was really dirty so they cleaned my clothes and let me wash myself. Some young lady rubbed something in my burned and hurt face. The doctor that was already there checked my arms and legs as I was limping.
That really well arranged house, the smell of flowers, comfortable couch I was sitting on made me feel nice and warm and far from the war.
During the dinner the owner was looking after my glass so it was never empty. The 20-year-old served drink was warming me up, relaxing my muscles. I started to feel a bit dizzy. The conversation was still about war, flights and Poland. After dinner they sat me in a comfortable chair and asked to relax. I fell asleep very quickly and of course had dream about my burning aircraft. Fire, fire everywhere... and I can’t get out... I was very lucky that the voice of sergeant, who came to pick me up, woke me up from that nightmare. I said goodbye to everyone. They asked me to come again and visit, next time for longer, without the parachute and of course not falling down from the sky.
The shock, alcohol and sunny afternoon were the reasons why during the ride I was much disoriented. Everything that we were passing by was a bit misty. When we stopped at the traffic lights I saw somebody waving the stick just in front of my face and shouting “Schweinerei! Werfluchter donnerwatter!”
-“Madame he is one of us, he is Polish pilot” the driver explained.
- “Oh!” the lady grabbed her purse and gave me quarter of pound.
There was no time to argue with her so I went back to my place with a shiny coin.
All i can say is WOW! - nick k
The Independent Newspaper UK - Tarkowski Bail Out 1940
Real history: RAF pilot bails out of his Hurricane | Matilda Battersby | Independent Notebook Blogs