03.02.1943 No 315 Squadron Spitfire IX BS409 PK-B P/O. Stanislaw Blok V.M. C.V. D.F.C.
Operation: Circus 258
Date: 03rd February 1943 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 315 Squadron (Polish)
Type: Spitfire IX
Base: RAF Northolt, Middlesex
Location: At airfield, RAF Northolt, Middlesex
Pilot: P/O. Stanislaw Blok VM. CV. DFC. P-1681 PAF Age 27. Injured
REASON FOR LOSS:
It would be more sensible to re-produce the ORB from the Squadron for this day:
'8/10ths cloud at 3,000ft. this morning, good visibility.
We were off at 10.35 hrs. but we got no further than West Malling before we were recalled by Ops. Weather was considered too bad. However, we tried again this afternoon, and this time the operation was carried out.
The target was St.Omer, and we were airborne at 14.25 hrs. crossing the coast at 14.50 hrs. over Deal at 22-25,000ft. The French coast was crossed near Calais and we arrived over St. Omer two minutes early. We orbited the target, waiting for the bombers.
They arrived , pursued by flak, and dropped their bombs.The return trip was quite eventful. West of Calais, we saw 4 Fw. 190’s going south west at 18,000ft., 5 of the same breed coming from the East at 23,000ft., and 7 more flying parallel to the Wing at 25,000ft.
We were ordered to climb and turn left into the sun, and the Huns, seeing that we were gaining height more quickly than they, turned to the right. 3 of them dived and the remaining 4 were attacked by us, while 306 went for the 5 which were coming from the East.
However, these escaped, so 315 turned left and saw the formation of 7 enemy aircraft trying to attack 306. We went in immediately and a dog-fight developed.
The lucky P/O. Blok, showing the damage to his Spitfire
Two of our boys, P/O. Blok and P/O. Cwynar, each got a Hun for certain, and several other pilots had a squirt without seeing any result. P/O. Blok’s machine was badly holed in the starboard wing by enemy aircraft which followed him as far as Manston. However, he made a perfect landing in spite of having the starboard aileron and flap unserviceable. Those on the ground wondered why he came in so fast, but stopped wondering when they saw the aircraft. We had no other casualties. One aircraft was on rescue readiness near the coast during the operation.'
P/O. Blok had apparently tried to open his canopy in order to bale out of the damaged Spitfire, but is was stuck so he had to make it back to England.
Standing in front of Spitfire W3896 PK-F L-R: F/O. Jan Pawel Falkowski, P/O Franciszek Kornicki, Sgt Stanisław Blok, Sgt Aleksander Chudek, Sgt Mieczysław Matus, Sgt Czesław Marona (mechanik), P/O Zygmunt Drybanski (Spitfire W3896 was lost on the 23rd November 1941 when P/O. Wladyslaw Grudzinski was shot down and killed on a 'Rhubarb' over Gravelines, France)
None - P/O. Stanislaw Blok VM. CV. DFC. (also known as Block) survived the war. Born on 15th April 1916 in Wejherowo, Poland, a fighter 'ace' with 5 confirmed victories, 1 probable and 2/3 damaged. Also claimed a V1. After escaping through Romania he joined 315 Squadron (served later as Squadron Commander) - also served with 603, 164 and 54 Squadron's. Settled in England after the war, sadly he died on the 17th September 1994 at South Ascot, Berkshire, England, age 78.
Researched for relatives of the pilot with thanks to the following for further information, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 2, Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Wikipedia, Peter Sikora, Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Polish Forum, Aircrew Remembered own archives. Wilhelm Ratuszynski - 'Polish Squadrons Remembered'.