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

Operation: Ramrod

Date: 16th August 1943 (Monday)

Unit: No. 308 Squadron (Polish) Dywizjon Myśliwski 'Krakowski'

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: AB803

Code: ZF-?

Base: RAF Hutton Cranswick, Yorkshire.

Location: Bernay St. Martin Airfield, France.

Pilot: P/O. Wieslaw Mejer P-1726/784708 PAF Age 22. PoW No. 3137 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria

REASON FOR LOSS:

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 (claims) with 308 squadron losing 4 aircraft (plus 3 from other squadrons written off, with others returning with battle damage).

29 year old, P/O. Olgierd Antoni Iliński P-0389 PAF was shot down and killed in Spitfire Vb R7161, 25 year old, Fl/Sgt. Władysław Sznapka 792281 PAF was also shot down in Spitfire Vb W3404. but evaded capture (returned via Spain). 29 year old, Fl/Sgt. Waclaw Korwel 783144 PAF (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. 28 year old, Fl/Lt. Józef Zbigniew Zulikowski P-0715 PAF aircraft was also damaged, but returned to base.

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

Above 58 OTU Grangemouth. Course 26: Front row: P/O. Bronisław Jan Bialecki, P/O. Ryszard Dubielecki, F/O. Zbigniew Teofil Kalinowski, P/O. Jan Radziszewski, P/O. Edward Emil Bartys, P/O. Wieslaw Meyer. Centre row: Sgt. Włodzimierz Roman Szczepankiewicz, Sgt. Franciszek Tomczak, P/O. Przemysław Wojciech Panek, P/O. Adam Sworniowski, P/O. Ryszard Franciszek Stankiewicz, P/O. Jan Radziszewski, Sgt. Wacław Stanski. Rear row: Sgt. Stanisław Józef Lewicki, Sgt. Jan Sweryda, Sgt. Władysław Jan Szajda, Sgt. Jerzy Janusz Gierczycki, Sgt. Mieczysław Jaszczak, Sgt Antoni Teofil Kępczyński.

Note: Spitfire Vb AB803 built at the Castle Bromwich Factory, fitted with a Merlin 45 engine. The Squadron disbanded at RAF Ahlhorn, Germany on the 18th December 1946.

(1) Fl/Sgt Korwel returned to Poland after the war. Tragically he was executed by communists in 1952.

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.

Notes on training photograph:

Fl/Lt. Bronisław Jan Białecki P-1949/783425 PAF. Born on the 09th June 1917 - passed away on the 21st June 2006 age 89.
Fl/Lt. Ryszard Dubielecki P-1715/783386 PAF. Born on the 13th February 1920 - passed away on the 19th March 2011 age 91.
Fl/Lt. Zbigniew Teofil Kalinowski P-0231 PAF. Born on the 07th October 1910 - passed away on the 22nd February 1985 age 75.
Fl/Lt. Jan Radziszewski P-1736/783645 PAF. Born on the 20th April 1916 - no further details.
Fl/Lt. Edward Emil Bartys P-1709/783413 PAF. Born on the 26th September 1919 - passed away on the10th October 1977 age 58.
Fl/Lt. Wiesław Meyer P-1726/784708 PAF. Born on the 01st September 1920 - passed away in 2005.
Sgt. Włodzimierz Roman Szczepankiewicz 793904 PAF. Born on the 28th September 1916 - passed away in 2003.
W/O. Franciszek Tomczak 792015 PAF. Born on the 01st July 1920 - passed away on the 20th September 2008 age 88.
F/O. Przemysław Wojciech Panek P-1730/783487 PAF. Born on the 27th February 1920 - killed on the 04th April 1943 age 23.
Fl/Lt. Adam Sworniowski P-1739/781025 PAF. Born on the 19th February 1918 - killed on the 19th June 1944 age 26.
F/O. Ryszard Franciszek Stankiewicz P-1737/783491 PAF. Born on the 18th August 1915 - killed on the 15th December 1942 age 27.
Fl/Lt. Jan Radziszewski P-1736 /783645 PAF Born on the 20th April 1916 - no details on date of death.
F/O. Waclaw Stanski P-2677/782355 PAF. Born on the 17th July 1920 - passed away on the 18th June 1986.
W/O. Stanisław Józef Lewicki 792032 PAF. Born on the 02nd July 1921 - passed away on the 28th October 1989 age 68.
W/O. Jan Sweryda 780709 PAF. Born on the 31st March 1919 and passed away on the 29th March 1975 age 56.
Fl/Lt. Władysław Jan Szajda P-1740/783471 PAF. Born on the 31st October 1919 - killed on the 04th April 1944 age 25.
Sgt. Jerzy Janusz Gierczycki 782951 PAF. Born on the 27th February 1919 - killed on the 27th April 1943 age 24.
W/O. Mieczysław Jaszczak 783146 PAF. Born on the 22nd April 1915 - passed away on the 16th April 1982 age 69.
W/O. Antoni Teofil Kępczyński 780464 PAF. Born on the 10th August 1917 - no details of death.

KTY Updated 31.01.2019

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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