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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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315 squadron
15.05.1943 No. 315 Squadron Spitfire IX LZ990 Gp/Cpt. Pawlikowski

Operation: Circus 297

Date: 15th May 1943 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 315 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: LZ990 (1)

Base: RAF Northolt, Middlesex

Location: South East Caen, France.

Pilot: Gp/Cpt. Stefan Pawlikowski P-0587 PAF Age 46. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

The squadron took off at 16:07 hrs to cover six Mitchells that were to bomb Caen Airfield.

Left: Gp/Cpt. Stefan Pawlikowski

Four Fw 190's from II./JG2 jumped the starboard section coming from behind and above.

Also shot down during the same operation Sgt. P-76819 Piotr Lewandoswski flying Spitfire IX BS554 PK-P. He survived but taken as PoW. Hauptmann Erich Rudorffer (2) claimed both 315 aircraft shot down.

Stefan Pawlikowski had already seen action in the first world war and then after war end became a test pilot. When Poland collapsed in 1939 he made his escape to France where he took over the training for the Polish Air Force base. Then, with France falling he escaped to England where he had been requested due to his age, to remain in the organisation role of the Air Force.

As do most pilots he loved flying and life behind a desk was becoming difficult. He managed to persuade W/Cdr. Kolaczkowski to allow him to take up a 315 Squadron Spitfire for this operation, which turned out to be his final flight.

(1) Spitfire IX LZ990, Manufactured at the Castle Bromwich factory and fitted with the Merlin 63 engine.


(2) Hauptmann Erich Rudorffer became one of the highest scoring aces of WW2. He survived the war despite being shot down on several occasions.


Left: Luftwaffe 'Ace' Hptm. Rudorffer


Grave marker and grave today of Gp/Cpt. Pawlikowski at Grainville-Langannerie Polish War Cemetery

Burial Details:

Gp/Cptn Stefan Pawlikowski. Grainville-Langannerie Polish War Cemetery, Normandy France. Sec. 2 Row AA. Grave No. 2. Next of kin details not currently available, Born in Kozłów, Poland on October 11th 1896.

Researched for relatives of the pilot. With thanks for further information supplied to, 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'.

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), 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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 25 January 2016, 22:13

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