10/11.04.1942 No. 305 Squadron Wellington II W5519 SM-U F/O. Tadeusz Czolowski
Date: 10/11th April 1942 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 305 Squadron (Polish)
Type: Wellington II
Base: RAF Lindholme.
Location: North Sea - Cromer, Norfolk
Pilot: F/O. Tadeusz Czolowski P-1079 PAF Age 28. Survived (1)
Pilot 2: Sgt. Brunon Malejka 782328 PAF Age 25. Survived (2)
Nav: F/O. Jan Jezycki P-1286 PAF Age 25. Survived (3)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Marian Zajac P-2092 PAF Age 22. Survived (4)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Czeslaw Poniatowski 781581 PAF Age 27. Survived (5)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Kazimierz Wziatek 792662 PAF Age 26. Survived (6)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 22:23 hrs from Lindholme to attack Essen as part of a 254 aircraft bombing raid (167 Wellingtons, 43 Hampdens, 18 Stirlings, 10 Manchesters and 8 Halifaxes). The raid was hampered by cloud over Essen and the bombing force became scattered.
They suffered heavily from the Ruhr flak defences with 14 aircraft lost. A total of 60 aircrew were killed and a further 19 being made PoW. The raid was a failure with very light damage to the target area. 12 houses were destroyed and 7 people on the ground killed and 30 injured.
Crew of Wellington W5519 L-R: Sgt. Malejka, Sgt. Zajac, F/O. Czolowski, F/O. Jezycki, Sgt. Poniatowski and Sgt. Wziatek - half of them to lose their life by war end. (courtesy Chris Mackey)
Wellington W5519 SM-U was seriously damaged by German night fighters over the Dutch coast. But the crew managed to return to England and eventually ditched at 03.10 hrs in the North Sea some 4 mies off Cromer, Norfolk.
They were all rescued by a trawler from their dingy and then picked up by the Cromer lifeboat the H.F. Bailey (shown left) after being launched at 03:58 hrs. and returned.
Some required hospital treatment, but all survived this crash. Their subsequent fates described below:
(1) At a later date attacked by night fighters 29th August 1942 Wellington z1460 SM-N - landed safely at Manston - 3 crew baled out (2 crew PoW, 1 crew member evading, one died on route). Operation: Saarbrücken. Survived the war as a Wing Commander. Further information detailed within our obituary section
(2) Killed 0n 17/18th August 1944. Liberator VI EW275 GR-R. 1586 E.S.P Warsaw uprising drops. Born 10th May 1917 Ksiaż Wlkp, Poland. Further information also on our website, but we always welcome new details as do the relatives.
F/O. Jezycki (3) Awarded DFC. Survived the war. Born 14th October 1907, Długa Kościelna Mińsk Maz Poland. Retired as a Fl/Lt. 300 Squadron. Died 09th April 1984 Chicago, Illinois, USA
(4) Killed on 16th April 1945 Mosquito B.25 KA968 45 (T) Group. On a ferry flight from RCAF Dorval, Canada to Prestwick, Scotland. Lost in Atlantic. Pilot. Fl/Lt Jerzy Waclaw Wielondek also lost. Do you have further information that we could perhaps add? We have very little on this loss. Born 23rd May 1920, Jaworzno, Poland.
(5) Killed on 28/29th August 1942 Wellington IV Z1281 SM-K 305 Squadron. Operation: Saarbrücken. Born 21st April 1915 Meklenburg, Germany. Do you have further information that we could perhaps add?
(6) Parachuted out from a Lancaster III PB252 BH-M 25/26th July 1944. 300 Squadron - evaded capture and returned to England. Operation: Stuttgart. Born 19th June 1916 in Kijów, Ukraine. Died 06th November 1978 Blackpool, Lancashire, England. W/O.300 Squadron. Do you have further information that we could perhaps add?
Researched for relatives of the crew with photographs and information supplied by Chris Mackey the son of Sgt. Brunon Malejka. With thanks to sources quoted.