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OBITUARY

Group Captain Tadeusz Francis Lewkowicz

Born: 28th July 1899, in Zimna Woda in the vicinity of Lvov, Poland. Died: 1st March 1993 in Whittington Hospital, London Age 94

Completed  teacher college and then from 10th March, 1917 took part in the First World War with the 24 Infantry Regiment of Austro-Hungarian Imperial Forces. He took part in battles on Italian and Russian front. After joining the Polish Forces on 2nd November 1918 he took part in defending the city of Lvov. Lewkowicz was later transferred to the Armoured Train ‘PP-3’ and took part in all the battles of the train in the Polish-Ukrainian War. In December 1919 was released from the army. 

On 7th June, 1920 he passed the examination for the secondary school certificate. On 1st July, 1920 he again enlisted the army and with the 205 Field Artillery Regiment took part in the Polish-Bolshevik War. After the war  for one year Lewkowicz was a student at Engineering College in Lvov, then he took a post of a primary school teacher. On 4th Oct, 1922 he returned to the army and completed the Infantry Officer Cadet School in Bydgoszcz. 

In 1924 Lewkowicz was posted to the 53 Infantry Regiment in Stryj and then on 12th Apr, 1926 he was transferred to the Polish Air Forces, took part in a pilot course with the 11 Air Force Regiment in Lida, then joined an observer course at the Air Force Training Centre in GrudziÄ…dz. In 1927 he was posted to the 22 Flight in the 2 Air Regiment in Crakow. He was completed a signaller course at the Signaller Training Centre in Zegrze from November 1927 to May 1928 and rejoined the 22 Flight. In June 1928 he was transferred to the 5 Air Regiment in Lida. Lewkowicz was commander of the 56 Flight and later of the Training Squadron. In 1937 he completed the Higher Air Force Academy in Warsaw and then he became a lecturer of the Academy. 

Tadeusz Lewkowicz took part in the campaign in Poland from 1.09.1939 to 19.09.1939 as an operational officer with the Air Force General HQ. Via the Tatar Pass he crossed the frontier to Hungary. He was interned in Hungary and in November 1939 he made his way from Budapest via Yugoslavia and Italy to France and enlisted with the Polish Air Forces under French command. He was the commander of the Volunteer Squadron, then 2nd Deputy Commander of the Air Force Training Centre in Lyon. 

After the surrender of France he arrived in the United Kingdom on 7th July 1940 and came under British command (P-0108). He joined Navigation Course at RAF Station Blackpool and then at RAF Station Prestwick. He was assigned to the 18 Operational Training Unit at R.A.F. Bramcote. On 8th Dec, 1941 he was posted to the 301 Polish Bomber Squadron at R.A.F. Hemswell. He took part in operational flights over the Continent, among others: Cherbourg, Boulogne, Cologne, Wilhemshaven, Kiel. In May 1942 Lewkowicz was transferred to the HQ Polish Air Forces. 

He became the chief of the Personal Section and later he was Commanding Officer of Supply and Organisation Branch. From 14th Apr, 1946 he was the Chief of  Demobilisation Section Polish Air Forces. On 16th April 1947 he was released from the army and completed two years contract with the Polish Resettlement Corps. From 15th April 1949 he began his civilian life in the U.K. He settled in London as a  joint-owner of the  ‘Fleet Laundry Hampstead Ltd’. He died on 1st March 1993 in Whittington Hospital, London, buried on the Highgate Cemetery.

Tadeusz Lewkowicz was commissioned  2nd Lieutenant 1924. Promoted to Lieutenant 1926, Flight Lieutenant 1934, Squadron Leader 1939, Wing Commander 1944, Group Captain 1964.

Left: Taken in 1924 (courtesy Krzysztof Michalski)

Decorations:

Poland: The Order of Polonia Restituta, The Cross of Valour, The Gold & Silver  Cross of Merit, The Cross for Defending the city of Lwow, The Cross for the War 1918-1921, The Medal for the War 1918-1921, The Commemorative Medal of the 10th Anniversary of Independence, Medal for Long Service, Air Force Medal and Three Bars.

Great Britain: The War Medal 1939-1945, The Defence Medal, Air Crew Europe Star, Star 1939-1945.

Prepared and written for Aircrew Remembered by Krzysztof Michalski

Sources:

1.Army Records Center, Warsaw

2.Ministry of Defence, Hayes.

3.Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum, London.


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