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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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Polish roundel
27.08.1942 No. 58 OTU Master III W5664 P/O. Belc V.M. K.W and bar, D.F.C

Operation: Instructor Training

Date: 27th August 1942 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 58 OTU. (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Miles Master III

Serial: W8664

Base: RAF Grangemouth, Scotland

Location: RAF Babdown Farm, Gloucester.

Pilot: P/O. Marian Belc VM. KW. DFC. P-1901 PAF Age 28. Killed

Pilot 2: Fl/Lt. Maurice Henry Holder 44070 RAF Age 25. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

On detachment from his duties as an instructor at RAF Grangemouth he was based at RAF Babdown Farm, Gloucester on an instructor training course. Both P/O. Belc and fellow student/instructor Fl/Lt. Holder, came in to land at too low approach, crashing, killing both the crew.

P/O. Belc had a tally of 7 kills to his credit at this time and classed as an ace. Fought in the defence of Poland with 152 Squadron and claimed a kill. After Poland fell he escaped to Romania and then to France where he flew under the command of Cpt. Franciszek Jastrzebski (1) and then onto England. Served with 303 Squadron during the Battle of Britain.

Fl/Lt. Holder also shot down 2 with 3 others shared. Had previously served with 36 and 243 Squadron.

(1) 34 year old, Fl/Lt. Franciszek Jastrzebski killed whilst with 302 (P) Squadron. On the 25th October 1940 flying Hurricane V7593 WX-V. Further details here.

P/O. Marian Belc VM. KW. DFC. (Courtesy Peter Sikora and Kate Tame)


Above left: Graves of the two Instructors. Any relative who would like a higher definition image sent free of charge, please email us.

Burial details:

P/O. Marian Belc VM. KW. DFM. DFC. Northwood Cemetery Grave H. 267. Born 27th January 1914, Paplin, Poland. Husband of Audrey (née Stevenson) Father to Marian Edward - born 27th October 1942.

Fl/Lt. Maurice Henry Holder. Tetbury Churchyard (St. Saviours). South of Chancel. Son of James Henry Holder, and of Maud Emily Holder, of Tetbury, England. Grave inscription reads: "Weep Not, Then Beside This Stone, Wings Once Here Have Spread And Flown".

Researched by Peter Sikora and Aircrew Remembered for relatives and friends of the crew.

KTY - Updated 15.02.2018

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', 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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