08.09.1942 No. 302 Squadron Spitfire AA854 WX-G Sgt. Mikusek
Operation: Ramrod 37
Date: 8th September 1942 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 302 Squadron (Polish)
Type: Spitfire Vb
Base: RAF Heston
Location: Le Havre area, France
Pilot: Sgt. Hipolit Mikusek 784021 PAF Age 25. PoW Camp: Stalag Mühleberh-Elbe
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 12.35 hrs on a ramrod in the Le Havre area. 12 aircraft from the squadron were detailed to protect 6 Boston Bombers that were detailed to attack the dock area. The weather was very good with a slight wind and good visibility.
Grangemouth, Scotland. 58 OTU April 1942. Course 20 / Squad 1: Front row: Sgt. Pawlowski, F/O. Wyganaowski, P/O. Powierza, P/O. O'Brien, F/O. Zegallo, F/O. Kolanko, Sgt. Barnes, Sgt. Dowding - Centre row: Sgt. Malec, Sgt. Blore, Sgt. Bassett, Sgt. Bushell, Sgt. Clymer, Sgt. Gray, Sgt. Hawkey - Back row: Sgt. Idrjan, Sgt. Caldecott, Sgt. Mikusek, Sgt. Haynes, Sgt. Bell, Sgt. Nahlik.
Sgt. Hipolit Mikusek and his 'mount' (see credits)
The target was approached at 12.000 ft and then the Bostons and escorts dived to 6.500 ft - experiencing very heavy flak, but no hits.
The squadron then crossed the French coast when they were attacked by 5 x Fw.190's from JG2. In the immediate combat two 302 Squadron Spitfires were seen to dive into the Channel. F/O. Wroblewski noticed one parachute, Fl/Lt Baranski witnessed one of the aircraft hit the water with a large oil patch spreading over the surface.
All the Squadron heard a single Mayday call. The remainder of the squadron arrived back at base at 14.22 hrs.
It was later established that 25 year old, P/O. Jerzy Stefan Urbanski P-1807 in Spitfire Vb AA856 WX-Z lost his life and Sgt. Mikusek was taken PoW.
Notes: Spitfire AA854 was built at Eastleigh and was fitted with a Merlin 45 engine.
Burial Details: None, Sgt Mikusek survived as PoW. After the war he settled in England and married Joan Armistead. Remaining in the RAF until 1950, he later moved to Chicago, USA where he worked at the Holiday Inn. Died on December 1st 1992.
With thanks to the following for further information, The Grangemouth Air Cadets and the Grangemouth Spitfire Memorial Trust who provided me with so much information and assistance during my visit, Polish Squadron O.R.B. 'website', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol.2. Also to Polish Airforce website for photograph of his Spitfire.