free web hosting | free hosting | Business Hosting | Free Website Submission | shopping cart | php hosting

27/03/1941 - Hawker Hurricanes V7188,R7187, R3936 and R7656

Type Serial No Unit Station Duty Crew Passenger
Hurricane

Blue 1

V1788

PK-X

No 315 (Polish) Squadron Speke Formation Practice Flying 1 0
Hurricane

Blue 2

R4122

PK-S

No 315 (Polish) Squadron Speke Formation Practice Flying 1 0
Hurricane

Blue 3

V7187

PK-W

No 315 (Polish) Squadron Speke Formation Practice Flying 1 0
Hurricane

Green 1

P3936

PK-Z

No 315 (Polish) Squadron Speke Formation Practice Flying 1 0
Hurricane

Green 2

V7656

PK-V

No 315 (Polish) Squadron Speke Formation Practice Flying 1 0
Hurricane

Green 3

P2974

PK-P

No 315 (Polish) Squadron Speke Formation Practice Flying 1 0

At 10:00 hours on the 27th March 1941 the two sections of "B" flight, No 315 (Polish) Squadron took of from Speke to take part in formation flying practice and simulated attacks at 25,000 feet. After around 15 minutes Sergeant Zaniewski returned to Speke due to high oil temperature landing at 10:15 hours.

First altitude was at 15,000 feet over Preston, but due to heavy clouds at this altitude the operations room changed this to 20,000 feet. Whilst they were practicing in the air the operations room changed their duty and called them for an operational patrol and a new course of 270 degrees at 27,000 feet was set to intercept a group of bandits, The flight became separated in cloud and Pilot Officer Hoyden along with Flying Officer Wolinski gave chase but without apparent effect.

On the way back they were vectored erroneously by the operations room and Pilot Officer Hoyden descending due to lack of fuel, crashed into the sea, whilst Flying Officer Wolinski who was flying on a reciprocal course to that given by the operations room ditched in the sea off Blackpool due to lack of fuel near some fishing vessels and was subsequently picked up by a Fleetwood trawler, he was reported safe at 21:00 hours when he reported that Pilot Officer Hoyden had passed him very fast in clouds and had presumably dived into the sea. No trace of Pilot Officer Hoyden or his aircraft was ever found.

Sergeant Paterek’s aircraft was seen to enter the sea with Flight Lieutenant Szulkowski’s aircraft by British ships in the vicinity of the BAR lightship, Wreckage was subsequently picked up that confirmed the aircraft to be Hurricanes V7187 and V7188. There was no trace of Sergeant Paterek’s and Flight Lieutenant Szulkowski’s bodies.

Pilot Officer Fiedorczuk had also started to experience problems when his engine stopped and was unable to switch fuel tanks due to a frozen valve, only when he descended to 10,000 feet was he able to succeed and made his way to squires Gate were he landed safely at 11:45 hours.

After landing at Squires Gate Pilot Officer Fiedorczuk stated that he saw Sergeant Paterek collide with Flight Lieutenant Szulkowski’s aircraft at 25,000 feet. Sergeant Paterek’s airscrew was seen to cut into Flight Lieutenant Szulkowski’s tail and completely sever it.

The Blackpool Lifeboat "Sarah Ann Austin" was launched after a call from a officer at Squires Gate that a Hurricane was down in the Sea, the order to launch was approved by the Coast Guard at Hoylake and the Lifeboat was launched at 11:50 hours, reaching the crash site at 12:30 hours the Lifeboat returned at 15:30 hours having picked up a propeller blade, medical kit and tail wheel. The Lifeboat authority were later informed that two hurricanes had come down in the sea, the sea was smooth with rain and poor visibility with a fresh wind from the South West. The Douglas, Isle of Man Lifeboat was also launched to search for survivors, shipping was also requested to keep a look out for an aircraft in the sea at 270 degrees, 32 nautical miles from Blackpool. One Anson and one Botha of No 3 School of General Reconnaissance at RAF Squires Gate were sent out to search and drop inner tubes on the sea.

Flight Lieutenant Szulkowski

Flight Lieutenant Szulkowski

On the 20th May 1941 the body of Flight Lieutenant Szulkowski was washed up on the shore at Freshfield and was taken to the mortuary at Formby to be formally identified by the Polish Medical Officer. An examination of the body gave no reason for the cause of the accident. No parachute was found and it appeared certain that he entered the sea whilst still in the aircraft. His wristwatch had stopped at 11:25 hours and had apparently stopped on impact.

Szulkowski's Burial at West Derby

Szulkowski's Burial at West Derby

Flight Lieutenant Szulkowski was buried in West Derby Cemetery on the 24th May 1941, grave No 392, row 11, section RC. All the officers from "B" flight, the non-readiness flight attended together with 1 sergeant and 40 Polish airmen as escort party. Wreaths were sent by the Station Commander, the British Officers, No 315 (Polish) Squadron, "A" Flight, "B" Flight and his old squadron No 65 Squadron at Kirton Lindsey. His brother, Corporal Szulkowski was the chief mourner at the funeral.

Szulkowski's grave at West Derby 2001

Szulkowski's grave at West Derby 2001

Flight Lieutenant Wzadyscaw Szulkowski was born on the 6th November 1909. He graduated from the SPL in Deblin (7th Class), and commissioned on the 15th August 1933. In 1939 he flew as an instructor at the High Fighter Course at Ulez near Deblin. He took part in Polish campaign flying with the so-called "Deblin Group", and through Rumania he was evacuated to France, and then on one of the first ships he reached England. On the 5th August 1940 he was posted to No 65 Squadron and took part in the Battle of Britain. In December 1940 he volunteered for a future No 315 (Polish) Squadron to be formed at Speke, he was decorated with the Polish Cross of Valour and was credited with one victory.

Pilot Officer Eugeniusz Fiedorczuk

Pilot Officer Eugeniusz Fiedorczuk

Pilot Officer Eugeniusz Fiedorczuk was born on the 28th December 1918. He Graduated from the SPL in Deblin (13th Class), and was commissioned on the 1st September 1939. In England he was posted to No 315 Squadron (Polish). He was killed on the 15th August 1942 flying Spitfire No BL751 during a training flight, crashing at Birkdale near Southport. He is Buried at "Our Lady of Compassion" Cemetery at Formby grave No 1-17a. He was decorated with the Polish Cross of Valour and bar and was credited with one probable and one damaged.

Fiedorczuk's grave at Formby

Fiedorczuk's grave at Formby

Sergeant Edward Paterek was born on the 30th May 1910 in Obojna, Poland. He was a NCO at the CWL-1 in Deblin. He took part in Polish campaign flying with the so-called "Deblin Group", he flew as a messenger pilot for the Warsaw Motor-Panzer Brigade. He took part in the French campaign flying with the 1/145 Varsovie Squadron. In England posted to No 302 (Polish). and then to 303 (Polish) squadrons, where he saw action during the Battle of Britain. In December 1940 he was posted to No 315(Polish) Squadron. He was decorated with the Polish Cross of Valour.

Flying Officer Kazimierz Wolinski was born on the 12th May 1910. He was an Officer of the 5 Pulk AAA in Wilno-Lida. He fought in September 1939 as tactical officer in 111/5 Eskadra. Through Rumania and France he reached England where he was posted to No 315 Squadron (Polish). On the 16th Sep 1941 he was killed during a dogfight over channel near Bolougne, flying Spitfire No AB923. He is buried at De L’Est Cemetery in Bolougne, grave No. 284. He was decorated with the Vituti Militari and the Polish Cross of Valour and was credited with two victories and one damaged.

Flying Officer Tadeusz Hoyden

Flying Officer Tadeusz Hoyden

Flying Officer Tadeusz Hoyden was born on the 23 rd June 1916 in Czudun, Rumania. He Graduated from the SPL in Deblin (13th Class), and was commissioned on the 1st September 1939. Through Rumania he evacuated to France where he flew with the "chimney flight" at Rennes. In England he was posted to No 308 (Polish) Squadron, then in February 1941 transferred to No 315 (Polish) Squadron.

On the 8th January 1941, the Air Ministry approved the formation of another Polish fighter squadron at RAF Acklington, No 315 (Polish) and the code letters "PK" were assigned to it. As a British advisor, Squadron Leader H.D. Cooke became its first commander with Flight Lieutenant Davy and Flight Lieutenant Edy commanding the Flights A and B respectively. The Polish Air Force Inspectorate issued an order for Flight Lieutenant Pietraszkiewicz from No 307 (Polish) Squadron to take command of this newly formed unit, promoting him to the rank of a Squadron Leader at the same time. Technical Officer, Flight Lieutenant Jurand and Intelligence Officer, Pilot Officer Narkiewicz, in cooperation with K.W.Fo.2 in Blackpool, assisted him in recruiting the personnel. On the 21st January, Squadron Leader Pietraszkiewicz arrived at Acklington. This date became officially the day the squadron was formed. And in the next few days all the squadron personnel arrived at the station. Most of the pilots and ground crew were from the Szkola Podchorazych Lotnictwa in Deblin, which was a hatchery for many excellent Polish pilots. That's why on the 9th September 1941, General Sikorski, Head of the Polish Armed Forces, gave the squadron the name: "Deblinski" or "City of Deblin".

On the 13th March 1941 the squadron transferred to Speke where it patrolled over convoys in Liverpool Bay, its only combat was an indecisive one with a Ju88 over North Wales, at about 14:50 hours Pilot Officer Fiedorczuk (one of the two survivors of the 27th March 1941) in Hurricane No R4122/PK-S (the he flew on the 27th March 1941) and Flight Lieutenant Mickiewicz in Hurricane No V7660/PK-V (the replacement for V7656 lost on the 27th March 1941) were ordered to intercept a Ju88 approaching Chester. Both pilots spotted the bomber somewhere over Ruthin, Flight Lieutenant Mickiewicz firing all his ammunition in one long burst and then breaking away. Pilot Officer Fiedorczuk made several attacks, firing short bursts, but no real effects of their fire was observed. The Ju88 gunner fired at the Hurricanes and gained a hit on the port main plane and beneath the tail plane of Pilot Officer Fiedorczuk's aircraft, the cockpit perspex was damaged by bullets. The Ju88 then banked to port and dived into cloud cover. Pilot Officer Fiedorczuk reported that he saw slight black smoke from the starboard engine of the Ju88, but no claim was made.

No 315 (Polish) Squadron dispersal at Speke

No 315 (Polish) Squadron dispersal at Speke

Pilot Officer Fiedorczuk and Flight Lieutenant Mickiewicz had intercepted a Ju88A-5 of II/KG77, which subsequently belly landed at Le Culot airfield, France with two of the crew wounded. The Ju88 gunner reported the destruction of a Spitfire which was appears actually to have been Pilot Officer Fiedorczuk s Hurricane, although not claimed by Pilot Officer Fiedorczuk and Flight Lieutenant Mickiewicz, this was the first successful encounter of No 315 (Polish) Squadron, and would have been the squadrons first victory.

The squadron departed Speke for Northolt to re equip with Spitfires on the 10th July 1941 to be replaced by another Polish squadron No 303 (Polish) Squadron who arrived the same day bringing their Spitfires with them.

Position Rank Name Service No Age Status
Pilot

Blue 1

Flight Lieutenant Wladyslaw Szulkowski P-76747 32 Killed

At sea

Pilot 

Blue 2

Pilot Officer Eugeniusz Fiedorczuk P-0328 23 Landed at Squires Gate

OK

Pilot 

Blue3

Sergeant Edward Paterek P-793342 31 Killed

Missing at sea

Pilot

Green 1

Flying Officer Kazimierz Wolinski P-0722 31 Ditched

OK

Pilot

Green 2

Pilot Officer Tadeusz “Rumun” Hoyden P-0530 25 Killed

Missing at sea

Pilot

Green 3

Sergeant Zaniewski - - -

Speke Incidents

BACK TO SPEKE