03.08.1943 No. 317 Squadron Spitfire VC EE717 P/O. Makowski
Operation: Circus 49
Date: 03rd August 1943 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 317 Squadron (Polish)
Type: Spitfire VC
Base: RAF Perranporth, Cornwall
Location: Plouvien, North Brest, France
Pilot: P/O. Zbigniew Makowski P-2206 PAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
On Circus 49 bombing the airfield at Guipavas north east of Brest when hit by German anti-aircraft guns near Brest. With his engine on fire he was ordered to bail out.
He decided to remain in the aircraft and to try and land EE717 on a small field, the landing was extremely rough with hedges and banks and he suffered a broken leg and other injuries - French farmers also tried to free the pilot but unable to before German soldiers arrived.
They instructed the French to carry him on a stretcher to the nearby village school at Plabennec, but he died from his injuries before they arrived.
P/O. Zbigniew Makowski joined 317 Squadron after his training at 58 OTU, A Squadron, Grangemouth, Scotland.
Front row: P/O. Benoit, P/O. Banach, F/O. Andersz, Fl/Lt. Ridkosil, F/O. Preihs, P/O. Ciach, P/O. Birtus - Centre row: Sgt. Ziendalski, Sgt. Haczkiewicz, Sgt. Makowski, Sgt. Muszynski, Sgt. Gilis,Sgt. Orzechowski, Sgt. Plenkiewicz - Rear row: Sgt. Bednarz, Sgt. Starzynski, Sgt. Kierski, Sgt. Sztuka, Sgt. Murkowski, Sgt. Kobylinski. (Note: A 50% loss from this training group photo)
P/O. Zbigniew Makowski. Brest (Kerfautras) Cemetery - Finistere, France. Plot XlVI, Row 6, Grave 15 Born 14th December 1921
With thanks to The Grangemouth Air Cadets and the Grangemouth Spitfire Memorial Trust who provided me with so much information and assistance during my visit, Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', also to Gildas Saouzanet for grave photograph (February 2016)