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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
24/25.05.1944 No.305 Squadron (P) Mosquito FB.VI NT145 SM-Z F/O. Latawiec

Operation: Rhubarb (271)

Date: 24/25th May 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 305 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Mosquito FB.VI

Serial: NT145

Code: SM-Z

Base: RAF Lasham, Hampshire, England.

Location: Wanel, France - other sources state English Channel.

Pilot: F/O. Michał Latawiec P-1762 PAF Age 29. Killed

Nav: P/O. Stanisław Władysław Wator P-1948 PAF Age 33. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Understood to have been shot down by flak and lost over Wanel, France during an attack on German airfields. No further details but we welcome any new information on the loss.

305 Squadron ORB for the day:

Twelve aircraft carried out test flights (07:00) and one practised GH bombing (13:50 hours) and four night cross-country flights were made (05:05).

Operation No. 271. Eight aircraft carried out bombing attack by night on airfields in Holland and France. Fl/Lt. Kolacz crashed on coming in to land and he and Sgt. Kruszynski were killed. F/O. Latawiec and P/O. Wator failed to return.

P/O. Huck attacked secondary target and also W/O. Jablonowski and Fl/Lt. Suszynski returned to Base owing to generator failure when 6 miles from English coast.

Fl/Lt. Gawronski jettisoned his bombs in sea as there was no activity in target area.

305 Squadron Mosquito at RAF Lasham, Hampshire. Right: F/O. Michal Latawiec (courtesy Katarzyna Nyczek)


Crew graves at Abbeville Cemetery, France. (courtesy André Demaret - we are happy to send original photographs of the graves to the next of kin, free of charge, courtesy of André)

Burial details:

F/O. Michal Latawiec. Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension. Plot VI. Row E. Grave 1. Born 8th January 1915, Stalowa Wola, Poland. Next of kin details not available - are you able to assist?

P/O. Stanisław Władysław Wator. Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension. Plot VI. Row E. Grave 2. Born 8th November 1910. Kraków, Poland. Next of kin details not available - are you able to assist?

Researched for relatives of the crew. With thanks to André Demaret for the grave photo, we hope to have others from the Abbeville Cemetery, Katarzyna Nyczek, Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - "Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945", Jerzy Bogdan Cynk - "The Polish Airforce At War" Vol. 2.

23.07.2015 Map added

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', 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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