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W/Cdr. Tadeusz Mieczyslaw Czolowski VM. DFC. Born 27th December 1904 in Lwów Poland. Died 23rd February 1996, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Tadeusz Mieczyslaw Czolowski, 92, a decorated Polish war hero at age 14, died Feb. 23 in his Jefferson Park home. Mr. Czolowski was recruited into the Polish Army when he was a high school student in Poland, according to his son, Tadeusz. He fought in the infantry in Poland's war against the Bolsheviks in 1918 and was awarded the Cross of Valour. 

Appointed to a Polish military academy and, after he was commissioned, transferred to the Air Force in Poland. During World War II, Mr. Czolowski served as commanding officer of a French pilot training school. 

In 1942 escaped injury when he ditched his Wellington II W5519 SM-U successfully. All his crew survived this, some were killed on later operations.

In the 1940s, he joined the Polish forces in England, carrying out night bombing missions. For these missions, he was awarded the equivalent of the Polish medal of honour and the Distinguished Flying Cross by King George VI, among other military honours. 

He eventually was appointed as chief liaison officer for the Allied Air Forces in Europe. 

Mr. Czolowski came to the United States in 1952 and eventually settled in Chicago's Jefferson Park neighbourhood. He was a co-founder of the Polish Air Force Association in the United States. 

Besides, his son, survivors include his wife, Wiktoria and another son, Tadeusz Antoni. 

His wife:

Wiktoria K. Czolowski, 92, who aided the Polish resistance for six years during World War II and immigrated to Chicago in 1952, died Friday, January 12th 2001, of heart failure in her Jefferson Park home. 

Mrs. Czolowski was born in Przemysl, in eastern Poland, and studied to become a teacher. In 1933, she married Tadeusz Mieczyslaw Czolowski, a pilot in the Polish Air Force. After Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Mr. Czolowski escaped to France and served as a commanding officer at a pilot training school. He then joined Polish forces in England. 

Mrs. Czolowski left the couple's villa in western Poland to live with her parents in Przemysl. There, she became involved in the resistance, arranging for money and supplies to be provided to the partisans. In 1941, her brother, who had been accused of helping the resistance, was killed at Auschwitz. 

Mrs. Czolowski worked as a financial officer for her father's company until her husband sent someone to help her and her son Tadeusz escape with false passports in 1944. 

Mrs. Czolowski and her son traveled from Poland to Prague to Pilsen, where they were shot at by Czechoslovakian border guards. After six days, they reached Germany, where they met up with Mr. Czolowski, who was the chief liaison officer for the Allied Air Forces in Europe. 

After moving to England and having another son, the couple came to Chicago and settled in the Jefferson Park neighbourhood. They continued to help Polish immigrants through the Polish Air Force Association, which Mr. Czolowski co-founded. In addition to her son Tadeusz, Mrs. Czolowski is survived by another son, Tadeusz Krystian; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. 

With thanks to James O’Connor who for many years had been his neighbour and contacted us with this information. Also to the Chicago Tribune for the obituary details.

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• Last Modified: 19 September 2015, 20:37 •