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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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303 squadron badge
21.05.1944 No. 303 Squadron Spitfire Vb BM565 Sgt. W. Kempka

Operation: Ramrod 905

Date: 21st May 1944 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 303 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Spitfire VB

Serial: BM565

Base: RAF ALG Horne, England

Location: Villiers Northern France.

Pilot: Sgt. Wiktor Kempka 793627 PAF Age 25. PoW


10 Spitfires leaving Manston at 09.50 hrs. Shot down during a ramrod during the morning of the 21st May after crashing near Villiers, France.

This was the first massed operation against German communication and radar targets over Northern france, consequently large number of casualties were incurred with fighter command losing 30 aircraft. 9 Pilots killed, 6 evading capture, 9 taken PoW, 3 wounded with 3 escaping injury.

303 Squadron and right: Sgt. Wiktor Kempka

Another 303 Squadron pilot, Stanislaw Brzeski VM, DFC flying Spitfire EP461, survived but also taken PoW.

He escaped an earlier Ramrod (240) operation. On the 23rd September 1943, flying Spitfire IX BS180 his aircraft's engine was shot up after an attack by four Fw.190's, baling out in the English Channel, he made several Mayday calls which were picked up by the Wing air sea rescue section. Rescued within 40 minutes by a Walrus aircraft.

Burial Details:

None, Sgt Kempka survived and settled in Great Britain after the war. No further details. Died 9th April 2006 in England, age 91.

With thanks to the following for additional information, the 1333 (Grangemouth Spitfire) Squadron and the Grangemouth Spitfire Memorial Trust who provided me with so much information and assistance during my visit, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol's. 1 and 2, Polish Squadron O.R.B. 'website'.

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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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Last Modified: 03 February 2017, 23:51

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