Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 37

PAF Stories

Article about: War veteran returns to RAF Kemble Wierzbowski Tadeusz kpt. / F/Lt Pilot 300DB P-1696 Ted Weirzbowski (back row, centre) with his Lancaster crew after returning from a successful raid 1:00pm

  1. #11

    Default Re: PAF Stories

    Bungay war hero’s medals go on auction
    Friday, August 31, 2012
    6.30 AM
    Name:  Flight Lieutenant Michal Stanislaw Andruszko 2.jpg
Views: 620
Size:  26.2 KB

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Flight Lieutenant Michal Stanislaw Andruszko 1.jpg 
Views:	365 
Size:	155.6 KB 
ID:	409969

    An illustrious collection of medals that were awarded to a Bungay war hero in honour of his bravery are set to go up for auction.

    The medals awarded to Flight Lieutenant Michal Stanislaw AndruszkoThe Distinguished Flying Cross, a three-time awarded Polish Cross of Valour and a number of other medals that were given to Flight Lieutenant Michal Stanislaw Andruszko are expected to sell for up to £4,500 at a Spink and Son auction on Thursday.

    The Spitfire pilot survived being shot down twice and “many near misses” during the second world war, only to die in tragic circumstances when he was found drowned in a river near Bungay in 1987, a year after the death of his wife.

    During his service he had been a pilot with the Polish Air Force in Poland and Britain, and the French Air Force, with active service across Europe, Africa and Asia.

    In 1945 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The medal, awarded for “gallantry during active operations against the enemy”, was given to him after he had completed 99 sorties between May and October 1944.

    The recommendation described him as a “most efficient” pilot who displayed “great determination” and “such consistently good work”. It read: “During 30 sorties undertaken in the face of light and heavy anti-aircraft fire, Flt Lt Andruszko displayed great courage and devotion to duty and obtained a great deal of information of real importance.”

    Flt Lt Andruszko was born in Poland in 1917, and served in Poland, Romania, France and north Africa, before being posted as a pilot officer to the ground training centre of the Polish Air Force, in Blackpool.

    In his manuscript Flt Lt Andruszko called the RAF a “wonderful, caring service” and said he was proud to serve with them.

    He went on to be based across the country, before being posted to the Middle East. He also served in Palestine, Italy and Egypt, before returning to the UK at the end of his operational tour at the end of 1944.

    He was posted to India in September 1945 and returned to the UK again in February 1946. He was released from the Polish Air Force in December 1946, having served for 10 years.

    Among his other medals is the Polish Cross of Valour, which was awarded to individuals who “demonstrated deeds of valour and courage on the field of battle”. Flt Lt Andruszko’s cross was awarded to him with second and third bars.

    Now, 25 years after his death, his medals and documents, including handwritten manuscript, will once again go up for sale, having been sold for £4,000 in 2010. The auction takes place at Bloomsbury, in London and the medals are expected to sell for between £4,000 and £4,500.

    All proceeds will go towards the creation of a Battle of Britain Museum at Bentley Priory near Stanmore, London.

  2. #12

    Default Re: PAF Stories

    Long march to freedom
    The Long March to Freedom - YouTube

    By Andy Wiseman
    Former POW, Stalag Luft III
    This week, a group, including relatives of the survivors and young RAF recruits,
    retrace the 1,000-mile march which followed the evacuation of the Great Escape camp,
    Stalag Luft III, and which resulted in the death of 200 POWs.
    Name:  Long march to freedom 1.jpg
Views: 613
Size:  30.0 KB
    Andy Wiseman, a former POW at the camp and a veteran of the Long March, tells his extraordinary story.

    I was born in Berlin in 1923, so that makes me 87. My father was Polish, my mother was American.
    They were both Jewish, so I'm Jewish too. I went to a German school. I saw the rise of Hitler,
    experienced my first anti-semitism and we left Germany in 1934 for Poland.

    In August 1939 my father decided to send me to England. I volunteered for the Royal Air Force for flying duties,
    bombed a few targets in Europe and got shot down on 18 April 1944 over France. Bailed out,
    lost three members of my crew and walked through bits of France for a few days.

    “ There was no point in getting killed at five minutes to midnight ”
    Andy Wiseman
    Then I was picked up by the Gestapo and ultimately finished up at the most famous of RAF camps in Germany,
    Luft III, the scene of the Great Escape.

    The Great Escape had taken place about three weeks before I got into the camp.
    The camp was shocked by the murder of the 50 officers who had escaped and had been caught by the Germans.
    Name:  POWs at Stalag Luft III in 1943.jpg
Views: 550
Size:  12.7 KB
    Until then, escapes were a game. You escaped, you got caught, you came back,
    your friends waved and cheered you up. You went into solitary confinement, you came out,
    you got more cheers and you planned the next escape.

    The Germans announced that, from then onwards, all escapees would be shot.
    And there was a great argument whether one should carry on escaping or not.
    But gradually the camp went back to normal.

    One of the things that was quite good in the camp, we listened to the BBC,
    unofficially. It was read to each hut once a day, so we knew what was going on.

    We knew that the Russians were approaching, getting nearer, and we argued with
    the German camp commandant that we wanted to stay in the camp and wait for the Russians to liberate us.

    And then came 25 January 1945 when the German camp commandant announced we had two hours to leave the camp.
    It was one of the coldest nights of the year. Temperatures were between -22 and -25 centigrade. We had no boots,
    no gloves, no hats: we were dressed in whatever we had.

    The experience of the long march varied tremendously. Some people had a very very very tough time,
    with dysentery, with frostbite with diphtheria. Others had not so bad a time.

    I think march is the wrong word, its not the long march anyway, it's the long shuffle.

    You just followed into the footsteps of the guy in front of you. You bowed your head because snow was falling,
    and somebody said, if you bow your head as you walk or shuffle, you'd be less affected by the wind coming at you.

    You didn't talk because that was an effort. You concentrated on walking. You concentrated on putting
    your foot into the footmark in the snow of the person in front of you. You didn't think.

    Obviously the most important person on the long march was you. You were also looking after the people
    who had become the nearest and dearest. So you helped.

    “ You concentrated on putting your foot into the footmark in the snow of the person in front of you ”
    Andy Wiseman
    It became more and more difficult. People fainted, Germans threatened to shoot them if they didn't march,
    so you helped them. You helped them to the best of your ability.

    Some German guards were reasonably nice, others were real bastards. Again, it depended.

    As the march went on, day after day after day, night after night after night, the column got longer and longer and longer.

    You lost some of your friends. You lost all your friends. And when you finished up in a school or a church or a glass factory,
    you spent some time walking around looking around to see whether there was anyone there you knew.

    Sometimes slept in the open, sometimes in churches, sometimes in schools. It was totally disorganised.

    German civilian reaction to us differed. There were some villages where people came out with water and bread and we
    gave them cigarettes. There were villages where people threw stones at us. They were varied and you never knew what going on.

    The long march brought to the fore qualities that you never knew you had.
    If somebody had said to me you will go on a long march for days on end at temperatures of minus 25,
    I'd have said, "You're mad, I'm not going to do it."

    When it came to it, you did it, because the alternative was death. And there was really
    no point in getting killed at five minutes to midnight.

    My group were taken south of Berlin and there we were liberated by the Russians in
    April before Berlin had fallen. And there I had the time of my life because I think
    I was the only RAF officer who spoke Russian, so I became tremendously important.
    I argued with Soviet generals, spoke to Soviet officers. I was fully occupied.

    The Russians kept us there for a month. Then we were taken by lorries to Torgau and
    from there to Brussels and flown from there in Lancasters to Britain.

    I came back to England in May 45, I married within a few weeks. I had a fiancé that
    I refused to marry during the war because I thought I wouldn't survive it.
    Name:  Not forgotten A memorial to the 50 murdered officers.jpg
Views: 502
Size:  17.3 KB
    I joined the BBC fairly soon afterwards, which having been aircrew and having been prisoner
    of war helped no end, vis-à-vis the administrators who hadn't had the experience.

    What the long march taught me, and I go on long marches with current RAF people,
    is that cometh the hour cometh the man. There is no such thing "I can't do it" there is no such thing "its impossible".

    Have a go and you'd be amazed what you can do. If you see a barrier, don't turn around
    and pretend it isn't there, you've got to get over it or under it, there's no other way of living.

    Radio 4's A History of the World site features

    And you can learn more about the RAF's retracing of the Long March at

    Story from BBC NEWS:
    BBC News - Today - Long march to freedom
    Published: 2010/01/25 07:25:40 GMT

    BBC News - Today - Long march to freedom

    The Long March to Freedom - YouTube

  3. #13

    Default Re: PAF Stories

    Heroic young pilot killed in dogfight

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    This is Kent


    A FEW weeks ago I paid a tribute to the Polish pilots who escaped from their occupied homeland in 1939,
    made their way to France and, when that country fell, came to England to join the RAF.

    Those brave men, some in their early 20s and younger, used all kinds of tricks and the most elaborate methods for escaping.

    Name:  pilot Stefan Wojtowicz.jpg
Views: 629
Size:  7.9 KB

    BATTLE OF BRITAIN HERO: Polish pilot Stefan Wojtowicz

    Many dressed in second-hand civilian clothing and, equipped with fake passports,
    slipped out like eels between guards and gendarmes.

    One of those pilots was Stefan Wojtowicz.

    At the age of 20 he escaped from Poland to Romania, then to France where General Sikorski was reconstituting
    the Polish Air Force, and finally to England where he joined 303 Squadron at Northolt.

    On September 11, 1940, Stefan was involved with his squadron in a dogfight over Westerham.

    Having shot down at least one Messerschmitt, possibly more, he found himself cornered by six German fighters.

    Witnesses in Westerham and nearby villages saw the battle fought at low altitude.

    Stefan's Hurricane was hit and hurtled to the ground, burning.

    It embedded into a field at the top of Hogtrough Hill, Brasted, and he was killed immediately.

    A few weeks ago, on the 70th anniversary of that crash, a group of friends unveiled a plaque on the site.

    Among them was Peter Finch, of Quebec Square, Westerham, who watched the air battle and many
    years later corresponded with Nina Britton Boyle, a Polish squadron researcher, who wanted to know more
    about the circumstances leading to the tragedy.

    Peter was able to tell her that he was 14 at the time and, like many schoolboys, a great souvenir hunter.
    His garden shed contained parts from crashed planes, their equipment, bomb shards and ammo.
    According to Peter the battle on September 11 lasted about 15 minutes.

    He and his friends saw the Hurricane crash and rushed to the site in time to see the body of
    Stefan Wojtowicz removed to the morgue. There, Peter looked through a window and saw the blackened body not yet covered.

    "The pilot had very small hands," he said. "It was the first time I had seen a body and the image is still in my mind today."

    A few days after the crash, a 303 Squadron intelligence officer came to this part of Kent to find out more about
    Sergeant Wojtowicz's death and discovered he had been hit in the head by a shard from a cannon missile.

    He also found out that two enemy planes were destroyed, possibly more, by the young Pole. Already,
    in an earlier mission, he had shot down two Dornier bombers and lost part of his engine, but still managed
    to land safely in a field near Tenterden.

    His commanding officer, Col Johnny Kent, acting CO, recommended the highest British military decoration,
    the Victoria Cross, for exceptional courage on the battlefield.

    He was reminded that it could not be given to a foreigner.

    Sgt Wojtowicz was posthumously decorated with the Silver Cross of Virtuti Militari.

    The research by Nina Britton Boyle was thorough.

    Using a metal detector she found pieces of the plane scattered over a wide area.

    She also discovered more about Stefan, his village in Poland, how he enrolled on an advanced pilot course after
    leaving school and about his adventures when the country fell in 1939.

    She wrote comprehensively about his family in Poland, the small plaque in the village commemorating those killed during
    the Second World War and how she met Stefan's sister, who said she had seen him for the last time on September 17, 1939.

    "His mother cried and begged him to stay, but he had to go. He was full of the will to fight. On his leave he said to his mother:
    'You will yet read about me'."

    He was not wrong.

    Nina Britton Boyle and Peter Finch were among those in the commemoration party on Hog- trough Hill,
    meeting each other for the first time.

    She told him that on that day, 70 years earlier, 12 pilots of 303 Kosciuszko Squadron had raised their
    Hurricanes and destroyed 16 enemy aircraft, one of the greatest successes of the Battle of Britain.

    The price of victory was the death of Sgt Stefan Wojtowicz and Lt Arsen Cebrzynski, who was also shot
    down and severely wounded. He crashed at Pembury and died in hospital several days later

  4. #14

    Default Re: PAF Stories

    Wellington Bomber

    Aired - 2 November 2012 Expires in 4 Days

    One autumn weekend, early in World War Two at an aircraft factory at Broughton in North Wales, a group of British workers, men and women, set out to break the world record for building a Wellington bomber from scratch. Smashing the current 48 hour record held by the Americans, the workers managed to build the bomber in an astonishing 23 hours and 50 minutes. So who were the men and women who made this record-breaking Wellington? This program has traced six of them, one of whom, Bill Anderson, was only 14 years old. This is their story. (From the UK) (Documentary) G CC

  5. #15

    Default Re: PAF Stories

    The real Charlie Brown ( True story )

    Look carefully at the B-17 and note how shot up it is - one engine dead,
    Tail, horizontal stabilizer and nose shot up.. It was ready to fall out of the sky.
    (This is a painting done by an artist from the description of both pilots many
    Years later.) Then realize that there is a German ME-109 fighter flying next to it.
    Now read the story below. I think you'll be surprised

    Charlie Brown was a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot with the 379th
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	inline.jpg 
Views:	235 
Size:	47.4 KB 
ID:	419857
    Bomber Group at Kimbolton , England . His B-17 was called 'Ye Old Pub'
    And was in a terrible state, having been hit by flak and fighters.
    The compass was damaged and they were flying deeper over
    Enemy territory instead of heading home to Kimbolton.

    After flying the B-17 over an enemy airfield, a German pilot named Franz Stigler was
    Ordered to take off and shoot down the B-17. When he got near
    The B-17, he could not believe his eyes. In his words, he 'had
    Never seen a plane in such a bad state'. The tail and rear section
    Was severely damaged, and the tail gunner wounded.
    The top gunner was all over the top of the fuselage.
    The nose was smashed and there were holes everywhere.

    Despite having ammunition, Franz flew to the side of the B-17
    And looked at Charlie Brown, the pilot. Brown was scared and struggling
    To control his damaged and blood-stained plane.
    BF-109 pilot Franz Stigler B-17 pilot Charlie Brown
    Name:  inline1.jpg
Views: 622
Size:  8.2 KBName:  inline4.jpg
Views: 547
Size:  12.5 KB
    Aware that they had no idea where they were going, Franz waved at
    Charlie to turn 180 degrees. Franz escorted and guided the stricken
    Plane to, and slightly over, the North Sea towards England . He then
    Saluted Charlie Brown and turned away, back to Europe . When Franz
    Landed he told the CO that the plane had been shot down over the sea,
    And never told the truth to anybody. Charlie Brown and the remains
    Of his crew told all at their briefing, but were ordered never to talk about it.

    More than 40 years later, Charlie Brown wanted to find the Luftwaffe pilot
    Who saved the crew.. After years of research, Franz was found.
    He had never talked about the incident, not even at post-war reunion.

    They met in the USA at a 379th Bomber Group reunion, together with 25
    People who are alive now - all because Franz never fired his guns that day.

    (L-R) German Ace Franz Stigler, artist Ernie Boyett, and B-17 pilot Charlie Brown.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	inline3.jpg 
Views:	143 
Size:	26.1 KB 
ID:	419860
    When asked why he didn't shoot them down, Stigler later said,
    "I didn't have the heart to finish those brave men. I flew beside
    Them for a long time. They were trying desperately to get home
    And I was going to let them do that. I could not have
    Shot at them. It would have been the same as shooting at a man in a parachute."

    Both men died in 2008

    This is a true story !

  6. #16

    Default Re: PAF Stories

    They also served: how a Polish airman escaped to fight again

    Tuesday, November 06, 2012

    In this month of Remembrance, when we pay tribute to the British men and women who gave their tomorrow for our today, Greg Drozdz, of Hinckley, provides us with a timely reminder that service personnel of other Allied nations also made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

    Greg's late father, Henryk Drozdz, served in the Polish Air Force, attached to RAF Bomber Command, at RAF Bitteswell, near Lutterworth.
    Name:  inline.jpg
Views: 582
Size:  23.5 KB
    He said: "My father was born on March 8, 1920, into a family of eight brothers and sisters in a village on the outskirts of Warsaw, called Zastow.

    "He was intent on a career in agricultural engineering when the Nazis invaded, changing his life forever.

    "As ground crew, he helped keep Polish planes in the air for a few days battling the Nazis.

    "My grandfather handed him a camera as they said goodbye, which is why we have inherited an album of photos related to Dad's war service."

    Amazingly, Greg's father also kept a detailed diary.

    "Until his death in 2008, the diaries remained in the bottom drawer of his desk, unread. We had them translated and Dad's world from 1939 to 1946 opened up to us, providing wonderful insights," said Greg.

    "My father escaped, under Nazi attack, south through Poland to Rumania and then via France, to England.

    "He was later posted to RAF Bitteswell on August 25, 1941. His diary records: 'I sat on the grass to write letters. The beautiful sunset made everything look lovely and romantic. As I went into the tent, with the eyes of my soul I saw my family home and inside, my dear mother and all the family. Mother is crying, wondering if her beloved son is still alive'.

    "Bitteswell opened as a grass airfield in March 1940, becoming home to elements of No18 (Polish) Operational Training Unit.

    "No creature comforts here: Dad had to live in a tent and travel considerable distances for food and other amenities.

    "Dad serviced the Wellington bombers the Poles used for night flight training.

    "A major incident was the crash of a Wellington bomber on the airfield on September 29, 1941."

    Of the crash, Henryk wrote: "After work, I went to Lutterworth with some friends. We spent the evening in the pub.

    "Suddenly, there are two explosions. We saw a glow in the sky and our hearts beat faster fearing the camp is burning. We hurried back: at once, we understand there must have been a crash and ammunition was exploding.

    "My heart is full of sorrow and tears come to my eyes – what an accursed night! Seven people were killed, only one survived. They died a soldier's death during heroic training towards liberating their country – peace to their memory.

    "I am tormented that my friend Astramowicz has been killed. I don't want to watch the burning remnants of his plane. I talked to Astramowicz only yesterday – he was such a friendly man.

    "Poor Stefek is also dead. Did you think you would die like this? Love demands sacrifice and you have done that in full. My dear friend from school, you have gone and will not return."

    Greg adds: "The only survivor was pulled from the flaming fuselage by a motor transport driver, S W J Green, who was awarded the George Medal for his brave actions.

    "My father later trained as a flight engineer in a Lancaster bomber, undertaking 30 missions to places such as Nuremburg and Berlin.

    "After demob, Dad came to live in Leicester, on Fosse Road South and worked at Stibbe's Engineering. By 1946, he met my mother in Hinckley and after naturalisation, settled there for the rest of his life.

    "He did not return to Poland until 1969. The Poles feared Soviet oppression if they returned home. His beloved mother and father died in the 1960s, so when he said goodbye to them in 1939, it was the last time he saw them alive.

    "Dad's operational base was Faldingworth, in Lincolnshire, which he re-visited for the first time in 1999. There was a flypast by a Lancaster. It brought my dad to tears. When he composed himself, he told us he was crying for 'all the young Polish eagles who never came back'.

    "I wonder if the irony is lost on all the Polish migrants who now work in the distribution warehouses on the old Bitteswell airfield site? They are treading in the same footsteps as their forebears, although in much altered circumstances.

    "Bitteswell formed a small part of my father's war but nevertheless a very important one. It bought him to the area where he was to settle."

  7. #17

    Default Re: PAF Stories

    Kazimierz 'Paddy' Szrajer - Telegraph

    Kazimierz 'Paddy' Szrajer

    Kazimierz “Paddy” Szrajer, who has died aged 92, played a key part in a nail-biting behind-the-lines mission to retrieve a captured rocket from the Nazi’s secret V-2 wonder-weapon programme.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	inline.jpg 
Views:	279 
Size:	80.6 KB 
ID:	425780
    A V2 rocket Photo: ALAMY
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	inline2.jpg 
Views:	153 
Size:	26.1 KB 
ID:	425781
    Kazimierz Szrajer

    6:31PM GMT 05 Nov 2012

    The rocket had failed on a test firing and had come down in a remote marsh area in P oland. But before the Germans discovered its location, it was retrieved by members of the Polish Home Army. The trophy was taken at a time when Allied intelligence knew of the existence of very advanced Nazi weapons, but had few details. So when the Poles contacted London to let them know that they had a virtually complete V-2 rocket disassembled and hidden away, immediate steps were taken to retrieve the most important components.

    An RAF Dakota based at Brindisi was fitted with extra fuel tanks so that it could fly to a rudimentary airstrip near the front line in southern Poland and collect the parts and some key personnel. But the RAF also required a Pole who could act as co-pilot and interpreter. Szrajer – one of the RAF’s most experienced special duties pilots – was selected for the operation, code-named Wildhorn III .

    The outbound flight departed on July 25 1944, flying over Yugoslavia and Hungary to Tarow, 200 miles south of Warsaw, where the crew identified torch signals from the ground and landed on the airstrip, which proved to be very soft. The rocket components were loaded and five high-ranking passengers boarded the aircraft; but, as the crew attempted to taxi for take-off, the port wheel stuck in the mud. Everything had to be offloaded, and Szrajer organised the partisans of the ground party in an attempt to free the aircraft. The wheel track was stuffed with straw, but a second attempt to taxi also failed. Wooden boards were then laid in the trench, but to no avail.

    Szrajer discussed the problem with thos e on the ground and decided that the parking brake must have locked on. To free the wheel, the hydraulic leads supplying the brake were cut but a further attempt to taxi failed. With dawn breaking, and the noise from the revving engines likely to attract uninvited guests, the partisans dug trenches under the aircraft’s main wheels.

    The Dakota’s captain, New Zealander Flying Officer Culliford, made preparations to destroy all papers and secret equipment, and to burn the aircraft should the last attempt to move the aircraft fail. With both engines at full power, the Dakota started to move and it staggered into the air — just clearing a wood. However, the crew’s difficulties were not over. Because its hydraulic fluid had bled away, the undercarriage could not be retracted. The pilot’s report merely stated that t he reservoir was recharged “with all available fluids” until sufficient pressure was obtained to permit the undercarriage to be pumped up by hand.

    On arrival at Brindisi after a five-hour flight the aircraft had no brakes, and the two pilots had to land on an emergency runway before unloading their precious cargo. The commanding officer of the squadron praised the four-man crew for the “courage, determination and coolness with which they carried out what must be one of the outstanding and epic flights of the war by an unarmed transport aircraft”.

    The valuable rocket components were later flown to England, where the Dakota crew were presented with gallantry medals by the Polish G overnment in Exile. Szrajer receiving the Cross of Valour.

    Kazimierz Szrajer was born in Warsaw on December 30 1919 and began flying gliders when he was 16. When the Germans invaded his homeland, he joined many of his countrymen and made the exhausting journey to freedom through Hungary and Yugoslavia, finally arriving in England from France.

    After training as a pilot he joined No 301 (Polish) Squadron in September 1941 to fly the Wellington bomber. Over the next months he flew 22 bombing operations against some of Germany’s most heavily-defended targets. Three times his bomber was damaged and he was forced to crash land on his return.

    In May 1942 Szrajer was transferred to No 138 (Special Duties) Squadron, where a Polish Flight was being formed. From the airfield at Tempsford he flew his Halifax to many parts of Europe to drop supplies and agents to Resistance forces, conducting 13 missions to France, five to Norway and four to Poland.

    On October 29 he took off for Warsaw. But on the return flight his aircraft was badly damaged by a German night fighter and Szrajer had to ditch his bomber in the North Sea. One dinghy was punctured, so the seven-man crew had to clamber aboard the one remaining. After a few hours in the sea, they were rescued by a launch.

    At the end of his tour in July 1943, Szrajer was awarded the DFC and the Virtuti Militari, Poland’s highest award for gallantry.

    In January 1944 Szrajer returned to operations when he joined No 1586 Flight at Brindisi. He flew many sorties to support Italian, Yugoslav and Greek partisans, and dropped agents and supplies over Poland on six occasions before his epic flight to retrieve the V-2 parts.

    Following the Polish uprising in Warsaw, seven Halifax aircraft took off on the night of August 4/5 to drop the first supplies to the beleaguered city. Szrajer was the pilot of one of the aircraft; it was his 100th and final operation.

    Towards the end of the war, Szrajer flew to the Far East to repatriate survivors from Japanese prisoner of war camps. He remained in the RAF flying transport aircraft until the end of 1948, when he embarked on a civilian flying career almost as adventurous as his wartime experiences.

    He joined the Lancashire Aircraft Corporation and flew converted Halifax bombers. In July 1949 he flew to Schleswig in Germany and over the next few months flew 149 sorties ferrying supplies into Berlin during the Airlift.

    In October 1955 he and his family left for Canada, where everyone knew him as “Paddy”. He flew supplies to the Arctic to s upport the construction of the Distant Early Warning Radar Chain (DEW Line) that stretched from Alaska to Greenland. Over the next few years he made long-range charter flights to destinations all over the world.

    After the outbreak of civil war between Nigeria and the province of Biafra, he volunteered in 1969 for a Canadian charity, Canairelief, to take food to the starving millions. Flying a four-engine Lockheed Constellation, he flew by night to an airstrip on a converted stretch of the highway in the jungle at Uli in Biafra.

    Szrajer later became the chief pilot of Nordair and converted to the Boeing 737 jet airliner. He was the captain of the airline’s longest-range charter when he flew to Gua m in the Pacific to pick up refugees from Vietnam destined for Montreal. He flew his last flight on May 12 1981, having amassed more than 25,000 hours’ flying time. He retired to Barry Bay in Ontario.

    Kazimierz “Paddy” Szrajer was predeceased by his wife Liliana, and is survived by their son and daughter.

    Kazimierz “Paddy” Szrajer, born December 30 1919, died August 18 2012

  8. #18

    Default Re: PAF Stories

    Great thread Mariusz.... always some heroic reading!
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  9. #19

    Default Re: PAF Stories

    Marius that's a great read. Amazing piece of Polish and Canadian history. Thanks for posting.

    (Kazimierz “Paddy” Szrajer exploits would make for a great movie)

  10. #20

    Default Re: PAF Stories

    Hi Dastier,

    They did make a film about the story in B&W in I think 1957 or 58, starring Michael Rennie, I found a photograph of the film poster to advertise the film hope that you like it.

    Name:  Battleofv1.jpg
Views: 473
Size:  85.1 KB

    Best wishes


Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Stories of Poles at war

    In Polish Armed Forces in the West (Polskie Siły Zbrojne na Zachodzie) 1939-1947
    02-16-2015, 11:16 AM
  2. Question GI Stories: "Rail Splitters" - Published by Stars & Stripes in Paris 1944-1945

    In Doc's, paper items, photos, propaganda
    05-29-2012, 11:41 PM
  3. Looking for Photos, Documents, Stories, etc.

    In Polish Resistance in WW2 (Armia Krajowa)
    03-18-2012, 07:06 AM
  4. MacDill AFB history, stories and images

    In History and research
    07-26-2011, 02:06 AM
  5. U.S. Army Pamplets and G.I. stories

    In Doc's, paper items, photos, propaganda
    10-29-2009, 10:29 AM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts