Bungay war hero’s medals go on auction
By RICHARD WOOD
Friday, August 31, 2012
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.