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OBITUARY

Col. Mieczyslaw Mumler V.M. D.F.C. C.B.E.

Born December 10th, 1899 in Lwow (Lviv), Poland. Died 5th September 1985 Age 86

Ace status and Battle of Britain Pilot.

(we apologise for the not so brilliant translation)

Mieczyslaw Mümler born on December 10, 1899 in Lwow (Lviv), which then by partitioning the Polish territory was ruled by the Austro-Hungarian empire. The elementary school and middle he attended in Lwow (Lviv). He belonged to of the scouting teams, and later to a Polish independence military organisation. November 5, 1918, he joined the defenders of the Lwow city. In January 1919, he was wounded. In February 1919 he was assigned to the Regiment of the Field Artillery of Polish Legions and took part in the battles for the liberation of Malopolska (Lesser Poland). In 1920, he was seconded to the first group of the Artillery School in Poznan. On 1 October 1920 he was appointed podporucznik (second lieutenant) of artillery officers in the body of the 71 investment. He then received his posting  to 6th  Field Artillery Regiment in Krakow, where he was an officer and five batteries and reconnaissance officer in the regiment. In 1923, he was promoted to the porucznik rank  (lieutenant) with seniority from 1 November 1920, with 12 investment. 

In 1926, he applied for a transfer to aviation and when they are approved by a committee of medical and air service in the air, April 12, 1926, he was directed to a seven-month pilot training application in 11 Fighter Regiment in Lida. On the course, it has been grouped 19 officers of the main types of weapons. 11 Fighter Regiment was then being organised and living conditions were truly Spartan. The officers were accommodated in dormitories and deprived of social life. After graduating with honours from the pilot course, was the pilot badge No. 924 (Official Per. 50/1926) and remained in the 11th Fighter Regiment. July 14, 1928, he was transferred from Lida to 3 Aviation Regiment in Poznan for the position of a fighter pilot. 

In 1929, he became commander of the 132 Fighter Squadron. November 12, 1930, he was assigned to the 4-months squadron commanders course in Polish Air Force Officers Training Centre in Deblin. July 29, 1931, he was seconded to the position of a fighter pilot instructor for non-commissioned officers for the Air School of Shooting and Bombing in Grudziadz, the position he remained until 30 September 1931 In 1931 he was appointed kapitan (captain) with seniority from 1 January 1931 to 20 investment. December 15, 1931 was signed in Czestochowa marriage with Irene Hahan. In 1932, he took part in the International Aviation Competition at Airport in Warsaw, where PWS-10 fighter, along with Stefan Pawlikowski and Peter Laguna participated in the show aerobatics team. March 19, 1934, he was awarded the Medal of Independence. In February 1935 he was awarded the Romanian pilot badge. In the service of the 3rd Regiment of Aviation was a member of the Aero Club of Poznan, where since 1937 he served as President of the gliding section. 

In 1937 he became commander of III / 3 Fighter Squadron. In October 1938, Mieczyslaw Mumlera squadron was assigned to the task force of “Silesia” Army under command of general Bortnowski dealing with the Zaolzie conflict between Czechoslovakia and Poland. In August 1939, after mobilisation 3 Aviation Regiment was assigned to the Army “Poznan” under command of general Kutrzeba. In the Polish Campaign of 1939, III / 3 Squadron participated in battles. He flew PZL P 11c fighter aircraft in combat. He rolled several times successfully stormed the aircraft and motorised enemy troops. September 6, 1939, the downed plane He 111, He 111 September 12 and September 13 Hs 126 Squadron commanded by major pil. Mieczyslaw Mümler in defence of the Polish sky shot down 34 enemy planes. September 16, 1939, the Army of general Kutrzeba been encircled the Bzura. September 17 major pil. Mieczyslaw Mümler with kapitan (Cpt.) pil. Franciszek Jastrzebski and porucznik ( Ltn.) Henryk Bibrowicz at the behest of podpułkownik (Lieutenant Colonel.) obs. Adam Kurowski started circling in the direction of Lublin. Over Brest section has been fired and is scattered. Major Mümler five times a day landed on the field conditions and try to find the command and orders for themselves. September 18, 1939, has decided to passage to Romania. 

This day is remembered with these words:

“It was in the evening, when happily took off. Luck (Lutsk) seen marching columns of Soviet west. Entire region of Lwow (Lviv) was full of fire. From Lwow until the Bóbrka fires. Due Zlotshev troops went to Lwow, Soviet. The same is true in the area of ​​Buczacz Zaleszczyki. Dark sank, gasoline ended, the rain began to drizzle. […] flew over the Lions. Here again I found the damned Germans. Sknilow the airport could not land. remaining one way – to the south. sun went down. What to do – I started to pray! I suddenly remembered that major Wyrwicki when came to us with maps in Kutno, mentioned transport aircraft purchased in England, which goes to the Polish by Romania. If I tried to land in the dark here in the rugged terrain of Malopolska, surely blow machine. a so just to Romania! By the way I forgot that I might not be enough gasoline. Chernivtsi knew before the war. jumped over the Dniester, Prut the next valley. there is a river – turned left and I’m flying over the Prut. after some time on the right saw the light, there should be Chernivtsi. recognised the illuminated airport. not thinking long landed. […] Landing without spurs, completely tore the aircraft directional control […]. Propeller stood in the middle of the airport. was not enough gasoline to podkoÅ‚owanie the hangar. took a deep breath “… In Poland, the other wife with two young daughters. 

                      

Above: Mieczyslaw Mumler, Wojciech Kolaczkowski and gen.Wladyslaw Sikorski, thought to have been taken in 1942

In Romania, he was interned. In October, he got through Yugoslavia to Greece, in Athens in anticipation of the transfer to France visited in the company of pilots from 216 Squadron Acropolis. From the port of Piraeus sailed S / S Pulaski and 23 October arrived in Marseilles where he was sent to a camp for officers rallying in Salon-de-Provence. Later he was transferred to the Air Base, near Lyon Bron. In Bron, near Lyon, was the organiser and leader of No.2 fighter squadron and trained to pilot a fighter Morane – 406 In May 1940, after the start of the Franco-German Centre for Aviation asked Commander pulkownik Col. Stefan Pawlikowski drank a transfer to a unit fighting at the front. He was assigned to Grouppe de Chasse II / 7 to the section that was commander by porucznik Ltn. Wladyslaw Goethel. The section that flew on fighter combat Devoitine D 520 No. 119 M. June 1, 1940, the He 111 aircraft shot down and shot down June 15 to 17 in the fight against the major aircraft engine was damaged and he crash landed in the field conditions near Gray, Haute -Saône. After the fall of France major pil. Mieczyslaw Mümler your Devoitine flew across the Mediterranean to Algiers, where escaped to Morocco. Then, from the port of Casablanca, the English ship sailed to Britain. The campaign was awarded the cross of the French Croix de Guerre and the only Polish airman was awarded the Medaille Militaire. In England, came to the rendezvous point the Polish Air Force in Blackpool.  

July 26, 1940, he was the organiser and first commander of the Polish No.302 Squadron “City of Poznan”. He received the RAF evidence number P-1288 and rank of  Acting Squadron Leader Flight Lieutenant. 302 was organised at the airport at RAF Station Leconfield. In addition to training combat he inspired his subordinates to learn English. August 20, 1940, the 302 fought the first battle in the Battle of Britain. Major pil. Mieczyslaw Mümler was the oldest Polish stage and age participated in the Battle of Britain.18 September 1940 while flying Hurricane Mk IP 3538 WX-J shot down over the mouth of the Thames aircraft he recognised as  Dornier 215 Bomber 302 Squadron commanded to December 9, 1940, the December 14, 1940, he left the course instructor to CFS Upavon. February 1, 1941, he was awarded the Silver Cross of Virtuti Military No. 08990, act decoration made himself Supreme Commander, Gen. Wladyslaw Sikorski. Among the pilots were decorated min. podpulkownik Lt. Col. pil. Jozef Kepinski, kapitan Cpt. pil Stanislaw Brzezina, kapitan Ltn. Stefan Witorzenc‡ and porucznik Ltn. Stanislaw Chalupa. 

February 24, 1941. Mieczyslaw Mumler became chief pilot at 58 Operational Training Unit at RAF Station Grangemouth in Scotland and later in the 55 OTU in Sunderland. In 1941, he was promoted to the rank of Wing Commander, and in 1942 the Group Captain. In September 1942, he was commander of RAF Northolt Station. During this period, occasionally flying combat and one such flight of 308 Squadron Fighter 3 February 1943, the piloting fighter Spitfire Vb damaged FW 190. July 7, 1943, he was awarded the Cross of Valour. October 24, 1943, he became a liaison officer – Senior Polish Liaison Officer at HQ 84 Group Main (Operational Command). February 15, 1944, he was the second time awarded the Cross of Valour. July 14, 1944, he was awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire). In 1945, the 84 Group RAF was on the continent. 

June 19, 1945 he was transferred to Fighter Command. The wife of pulkownik Colonel in 1945 with two children of Polish penetrated the West and in occupied Germany met with her husband. February 21, 1946, he returned to 84 Group RAF. After returning to England in December 1946, he was demobilised. The war ended with the rank of pulkownik colonel. After a stay in the Polish Resettlement Corps in 1948 launched into civilian life in the UK. He moved to London in Lambeth, on the street Albert Square and took a job in a luxury hotel Grosvenor House Hotel as a baker. In exile third daughter was born. Pulkownik Col. pil. Mieczyslaw Mumler belonged to the Polish Air Force Association in the UK. 

After retirement, he lived in Ealing. British citizenship was not granted.

Colonel Mieczyslaw Mumler ace pilot of the Polish Air, defender of Lwow Lviv, one of the few, died on 5 September 1985 in London, Ealing Hospital. He was buried in Gunnersbury Cemetery, Acton near Katyn Memorial at the headquarters of M (grave No. 25). At the funeral on behalf of the late farewell aviation chairman Wheels Senior Aviation Colonel. obs. Tadeusz Lewkowicz. Mieczyslaw Mumler was commemorated on the monument Battle of Britain on the Victoria Embankment in London.

Sent into Aircrew Remembered by Krzysztof Michalski July 2013

With thanks to Krzysztof and also to the daughter of Mieczyslaw Mumler for photographs used. Peter Sikora for some assistance with translation.


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