04.04.1943 No. 315 Squadron Spitfire IX EN185 PK-J F/O. Panek
Operation: Ramrod 51
Date: 04th April 1943 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 315 Squadron (Polish)
Type: Spitfire IX
Base: RAF Northolt, Middlesex
Location: Rouen, France.
Pilot: F/O. Przemysław Wojciech Panek P-1730 PAF Age 23. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 13:35 hrs with 9 others to offer cover for 70 Flying Fortress's returning from Billancourt. At around 25,000 ft. they crossed the coast of France turning to return when Spitfire EN124 flown by Fl/Lt. Stanislaw Lukaszewicz and EN185 collided at 14:30 hrs, killing both pilots.
A horrific day for Polish squadrons with 315 Squadron losing 4 aircraft, 3 pilots killed, 1 taken P.o.W, 316 Squadron also lost an aircraft but the pilot managed to evade capture and return. A total of 13 Spitfires were lost this day 10 valuable pilots killed!
Course 26, 58 O.T.U at Grangemoouth, Scotland: Front row: P/O. Bialecki, P/O. Dubielecki, F/O. Kalinowski, P/O. Radziszewski, P/O.Bartys, P/O. Meyer - Centre row: Sgt. Sczepankiewicz, Sgt. Tomkczak, P/O. Panek, P/O. Sworniowski, P/O. Stankiewicz, P/O. Radwanski, Sgt. Stanski - Rear row: Sgt. Lewicki, Sgt. Jan Sweryda, Sgt. Szajda, Sgt. Gieerczycki, St. Jaszczar, Sgt Kepdzynski.
Notes: EN185 Spitfire Built by Eastleigh Aerodrome on the 10th November 1942, fitted with the R.R. Merlin 61 Engine.
F/O. Przemyslaw Wojciech Panek. St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen. Plot S.I, Row G, Grave 12. From Poznań, Poland. Born 27th February, 1920. Next of kin details not available as yet.
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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 2, Polish Squadron O.R.B. 'website'.