27.09.1940 303 Squadron Hurricane I L1696 RF:T Flt.Lt. Ludwik Witold Paszkiewicz
Operation: Interception Patrol
Date: 27th September 1940 (Friday)
Unit: 303 Squadron (Polish)
Type: Hurricane I
Base: RAF Northolt
Location: Crowhurst Farm, Borough Green, Wrotham, Kent
Pilot: Flt.Lt. (Kapitan) Ludwik Paszkiewicz VM, KW, ML, DFC. P.1293 PAF Age 32. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 08:45 hrs. to intercept incoming Luftwaffe bombers. Shot down and crashed 09:35 hrs at Crowhurst Farm, Borough Green, Wrotham in Kent.
Left: Flt.Lt.. Ludwik Witold Paszkiewicz VM, KW, ML, DFC. (courtesy Peter Sikora) Right: The King talks to pilots of 303 Squadron left to right: Sqn.Ldr. Urbanowicz, Flt.Lt. Forbes, Flt.Lt. Paszkiewicz and Flt.Lt. Zak (courtesy Luton News)
During a training flight on the 30th August 1940 Fg.Off. Paszkiewicz ignored an order not to engage the enemy, as he could not stand by and do nothing while his comrades were in trouble. He jointly, (with Fg.Off. B.J. Wicks of 56 squadron) shot down a Bf.110 piloted by Oberfw. Georg Anthony who was killed, his W/Op gunner Uffz. Heinrich Nordmeyer managed to bale out, but was paralysed after breaking his back due to the low altitude.
Fg.Off. Paszkiewicz demonstrated his joy at downing a German aircraft by performing a victory roll over Northolt upon his return.
His commanding officer was initially furious that he had broken away from the training flight – then he congratulated him for making the first victory for 303 Squadron. (This story well documented in the 'Battle of Britain' film)
He had a total of 6 confirmed kills at the time of his death. This one during training already described, plus five others:
2 x Do.17's - 7th September 1940
1 x Bf. 110 - 11th September 1940
1 x Bf. 109 - 15th September 1940
1 x He.111 - 26th September 1940
The crash site was extensively excavated in October 1977 and some remains of his Hurricane L1696 were recovered and later donated to the RAF Museum at Northolt after first appearing on a well known auction site.
Hurricane L1696 was used as a test aircraft and was depicted in the program ‘Abandoned Engineering’ concerning the Farnborough wind tunnel.
Any relative who would like a copy of his grave taken by Aircrew Remembered in 2012 at a higher resolution, please contact us.
Sqn.Ldr. Kellett, the Commanding Officer of 303 Squadron during the Battle of Britain said this of his comrades in his Chronicle, kindly given to us by his daughter Louise Pemberton:
“We fought together through the great offensive of 1940 and I then knew that the pilots of No. 303 Squadron were not only the best but would also see me through any troubles. In the month of September, 303 Squadron was on top – no squadron from the Empire could equal the courage and skill of our pilots, no bombing could daunt our airmen.” Sqn.Ldr Ronald Kellett 303 Squadron Chronicles
Flt.Lt. Ludwik Witold Paszkiewicz VM, KW, ML, DFC Northwood cemetery, Grave No: H 224. Born 21st October 1907 in Wola Galezowska, Poland. Next of Kin details not currently available.
VM = Virtuti Militari 8831, KW = Krzyz Walecznych, ML = Medal Lotniczy
Researched by Peter Sikora for relatives of the Pilot. With thanks to Rodney Byles for pointing out a couple of corrections - October 2017. Thanks to Peter Myson for the information regarding Hurricane L1696 and its testing. (Jan 2021). Other updates and corrections by Aircrew Remembered (Jan 2021).