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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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305 Squadron Crest
24/25.12.1941 No. 305 Squadron Wellington II W5374 SM-J F/O. Golacki

Operation: Köln

Date: 23/24th December 1941 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 305 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Wellington II

Serial: W5374

Code: SM-J

Base: RAF Lindholme

Location: Sibbertoft, Northamptonshire, England

Pilot: Sgt. Henryk Rozpara 782473 PAF Age 29. Killed

Pilot 2: F/O. Czesław Stanislaw Gołacki P-1554 PAF Age 22. Killed

Nav: F/O. Alfons Antoni Szymon Nowak P-0092 PAF Age 33. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Jan Siwiec P-1148 PAF Age 26. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Eugeniusz Jerzy Baracz 781148 PAF Age 26. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Zdzisław Kurowski 781880 PAF Age 26. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 17:32 hrs from RAF Lindholme joining 30 other aircraft - 10 from Lindholme and 21 from Helmswell.

Left to right: F/O. Gołacki, P/O. Siwiec, Sgt. Kurowski and Sgt Rozpara (courtesy Jerzy Stacherski and Marek Rozpara)


Sgt Rozpara 2nd on left with others - can you name any others? (courtesy Jerzy Stacherski and Marek Rozpara)

Małgorzata Cudowska (relative of Jan Siwiec) offers this identification: L-R Baracz - Roszpara - Nowak - Kurowski - Siwiec

It is thought that the Wellington had been damaged by flak. On return to England the aircraft was seen approaching Sibbertoft at about 500 ft due to the very low cloud base. It would appear that the crew were lost and had been flying blind since crossing the coast. Eye witness reported that the Bomber was on fire prior to crashing just a short distance out of the village on the Naseby road - that had just managed to clear the village buildings.

The aircraft exploded when it crashed at 21:20 hrs, locals from the village removed the bodies and placed them in the outbuildings of the Red Lion pub.

Małgorzata Cudowska (relative of Jan Siwiec) offers this identification:

L-R Gołacki - Siwiec - Nowak - Kurowski - Rospara - Baracz

Thought to possibly be the crew of Wellington W5374 (courtesy Jerzy Stacherski and Marek Rozpara)

Above: Memorial to the crew - kindly submitted by Tony Glover in August 2018

Notes: On the 26th September 1943 at 17:05 hrs all but one of the crew from Wellington Ic DV697 from 14 OTU were killed when that crashed, also just outside the village.

Burial details:

Sgt. Henryk Rozpara. Newark-Upon-Trent Cemetery. Sect. O. Grave 306. Next of kin details not currently available. Born 21st January 1912.

F/O. Czesław Stanislaw Gołacki. Newark-Upon-Trent Cemetery. Sect. M. Grave 305. Next of kin details not currently available. Born 8th September 1919.

F/O. Alfons Antoni Szymon Nowak. Newark-Upon-Trent Cemetery. Sect. L. Grave 305. Next of kin details not currently available. Born 24th October 1908.

Sgt. Eugeniusz Jerzy Baracz. Newark-Upon-Trent Cemetery. Sect. N. Grave 306. Next of kin details not currently available. Born 24th December 1914.

Sgt. Zdzisław Kurowski. Newark-Upon-Trent Cemetery. Sect. N. Grave 305. Next of kin details not currently available. Born 6th July 1915.

P/O. Jan Siwiec. Newark-Upon-Trent Cemetery. Sect. O. Grave 305. Next of kin: Małgorzata Cudowska (related to Jan Siwiec contacted us July 2020). Born 24th October 1915.

Researched for Marek Rozpara, nephew of Sgt. Henryk Rozpara with thanks to Jerzy Stacherski, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol.2', 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'. Thanks also to Trevor Rickard for Newark Cemetery photograph. 2020 - Małgorzata Cudowska

KTY Updated 06.08.2018

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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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), 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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