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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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16.08.1943 No. 308 Squadron Spitfire AB803 P/O. Mejer

Operation: Ramrod

Date: 16th August 1943 (Monday)

Unit: No. 308 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: AB803

Base: RAF Hutton Cranswick, Yorkshire.

Location: Bernay St. Martin Airfield, France.

Pilot: P/O. Wieslaw Mejer P-1726 PAF Age ? PoW


Left at 07.35 hrs to form up at RAF Westhampnet - left at 10.20 hrs to meet the Marauders north of Beachy Head. Crossed the French coast at Fecamp, when operations notified them of two groups of Luftwaffe in the area.


The Luftwaffe attacked out of the sun in huge numbers with many air battles taking place over the airfield at Bernay St. Martin.

Jg2 lost 20 aircraft this day with 308 squadron losing 4 aircraft (plus 3 from other squadrons written off, with others returning with battle damage).

P/O. Ilinski was shot down and killed in Spitfire Vb R7161, Fl/Sgt. Sznapka was also shot down in Spitfire Vb W3404. but evaded capture (returned via Spain). Fl/Sgt. Korwel (1) who had some fingers shot off, also wounded in the legs, managed to return to crash land north of Brighton, he survived, but aircraft, BM137 was written off. Fl/Lt. Zulikowski aircraft was also damaged, but returned to base.

P/O. Mejer (shown left) was seen to bale out of his aircraft which was emitting smoke after being hit.

Note: Spitfire Vb AB803 built at the Castle Bromwich Factory, fitted with a Merlin 45 engine.

(1) Fl/Sgt Korwel returned to Poland after the war. Tragically he was executed by communists in 1952. Shown on right during training at 58 OTU RAF Grangemouth, Scotland.

Burial Details:

None, P/O. Wieslaw Mejer was made PoW. Survived the war and settled in the United Kingdom. Previous to joining 308 Squadron in December 1942 he served a period as an instructor at 58 OTU Grangemouth, Scotland.

Researched for relatives of the pilot. With thanks to the following for further information supplied, 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. 2. Polish Squadron ORB's.  

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), 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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 14 August 2014, 20:33

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