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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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300 Squadron Crest
22/23.05.1944 300 Squadron Lancaster III LM487 BH:J Fg Off. Adler

Operation: Dortmund, Germany

Date: 22nd/23rd May 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: 300 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: LM487

Code: BH:J

Base: RAF Faldingworth, Lincolnshire.

Location: Krefeld, Germany

Pilot: Fg Off. Wilmelm Adler P-1746 PAF Age 34. PoW (1)

Flt Eng: Sgt. Kazimierza Feliks Kozanecki 780049 PAF Age 31. Killed

Nav: Fg Off. Mieczyslaw Jozef Bergner P-2097/ 781257 PAF Age 22. Killed

Bomb Aimer: Sgt. Stanislaw Antoni Chabrowski 784982 PAF Age 28. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Kazimierz Jankowiak 704737 PAF Age 25. Killed

Air Gnr: Sgt Leon Winkiel 792294 PAF Age 22. Killed

Air Gnr: Sgt. Kazimierz Nawratil 703889 PAF Age 24. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off at 22:47 Hrs from Faldingworth. Part of a group of 361 Lancasters and 14 Mosquitoes to attack Dortmund. The raid fell mainly in residential areas. 852 houses, 6 industrial buildings were destroyed, a further 788 houses were seriously damaged with a ground loss of 335 Germans and 26 PoW’s killed and a further 1,697 people injured.

Above: Lancaster LM487 (courtesy Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945 - see credits)

Above: Lancaster LM487 (courtesy Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945 - see credits)

18 Lancasters were also lost. Another 300 squadron Lancaster, LL857 BH:B, was lost on this night when it was obliged to return following engine trouble. They partly jettisoned their bomb load over the sea but tragically the underpowered Lancaster collided with the stations gunnery butts. 2 of the crew were killed instantly and another died shortly afterwards. 5 crew survived with injuries.

LM487 was claimed by Fw. Hans Kugler, his 3rd Abschuss, from 5./JG300, over the southern edge of Krefeld at 4.500 m at 01:32 hrs. The aircraft was also coned by 5./Flakscheinw: Abt .250 )o) and also claimed by Flak of 4./schw. Flak Abt. 404 (o), 3.,2, 8, &9./schw. Flak Abt. 244 (o) and Grossbattr, 1./404-3./404 (o) ('Lancaster Diessem 9L.O.7/6 at 012:25hrs') The victory was credited to Fw. Hans Kugler, on the 5th September 1944. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (12 May 1944 - 23 July 1944) Part 3 - Theo Boiten)

(1) Fg Off. Wilmelm Adler - survived the war. Born on the 8th October 1910 at Bóbrka. Poland and passed away in 1979 in Los Angeles, USA age 69.

Burial details:

The NoK details for some of this this crew are currently not available - are you able to assist in the completion of these and any other information?

Grave photographs courtesy of our late dear friend, Rob Philips

Sgt. Kazimierza Feliks Kozanecki. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Plot II Row E Grave 5. Born on the 22nd February 1913 at Borowiczki, Poland.

Monika Kozanecka, the great niece of Sgt. Kozanecki’s, informs us that he had no children and that she and her two brother’s, Peter (Piotr) and Jack (Jacek) Kozanecki, are his remaining family.

Sgt Leon Winkiel. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Plot II Row E Grave 4. Born on the 17th November 1921 at Gniew, Poland.

Sgt. Stanislaw Antoni Chabrowski. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Plot II Row E Grave 2. Born on the 29th May 1916 at Ryki, Poland.

Fg Off. Mieczyslaw Jozef Bergner Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Plot II Row E Grave 6. Born on the 15th September 1921 at Lwol, Poland.

Sgt. Kazimierz Jankowiak. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Plot II Row E Grave 1. Born on the 04th February 1919 at Poznan, Poland.

Sgt. Kazimierz Nawratil. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Plot II Row E Grave 3. He was later exhumed and buried in Escaudain where some of his family had settled after the war. Born on the 1st November 1911 at Jaworzno, Poland.

Researched for relatives of the crew. With thanks to Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945’, Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Niebieska Eskadra. Thanks to Monika Kozanecka for the update to NoK details for Sgt. Kozanecki (Sęp 2021). Update to German night fighter claim by Aircrew Remembered (Sęp 2021).

RS 09.09.2021 - Update to NoK details and German night fighter claim

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 09 September 2021, 05:35

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