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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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309 Squadron badge
18.05.1945 No. 309 Squadron Mustang III KH540 WC-D Fl/Lt. Befinger - Mustang III FB383 WC-X Fl/Lt. Kubica

Operation: Training

Date: 16th May 1945 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 309 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Mustang P-51b III

Serial: Fl/Lt. Befinger - KH540 WC-D

Serial: Fl/Lt. Kubica - FB383 WC-X

Base: Andrews Field, Essex

Location: 45 miles East Bradwell Bay, North Sea

Pilot 1: Fl/Lt. Mieczyslan Franciszek Befinger P-1896 PAF Age 29. Killed

Pilot 2: Fl/Lt Franciszek Kubica P-2135 PAF Age 27. Killed

Update February 2017: We have now further information and additional photographs of Fl/Lt. Mieczyslan Franciszek Befinger from a close relative - page will shortly be updated with these.


During a training exercise both pilots were flying at 18,000 ft 45 miles east of Bradwell Bay in Essex England when they collided. It is understood that both pilots managed to bale out of the Mustangs, tragically drowned before they were picked up.

Both tragically killed after war end in a training accident - hundreds more were to be killed in training accidents. Details of many can be found in the publication by Colin Cummings as shown below.

(Above and below photographs courtesy Halinka Chaston)

Burial Details:

Fl/Lt. Mieczyslan Franciszek Befinger. Epping Cemetery, Essex. Row Z. Grave 9. Son of Mollie Befinger (née Adams). Father to Halinka and Wanda. Born 28th August 1915, Poland.

Fl/Lt Franciszek Kubica. Wonseradeel (Makkum) Protestant Churchyard, Friesland, Netherlands. Row O. Grave 40. Next of kin details not currently available. Born 30th July 1917, Poland.

Researched for relatives of the pilots. With thanks to the daughter, Halinka Chaston of Fl/Lt Befinger who contacted us in January 2017. Also to the following for further information supplied, Colin Cummings - 'The Price Of Peace'. Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow, Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii' 1939-1945'.

KTY 15.01.2017 New map added

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), 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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 03 February 2017, 23:36

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