23-06.1944 No. 306 Squadron Mustang III FB168 UZ-H Fl/Lt. Potocki VM DFC CV
Date: 23rd June 1944 (Friday)
Unit: No. No. 306 (Polish) Squadron
Type: Mustang III
Base: RAF Holmesley South, Hampshire
Location: Emergency airstrip in Normandy, France
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Jan 'Spud' Wladysaw Potocki CV. VM. DFC. P-1856 PAF Age 25. Safe
REASON FOR LOSS:
Weather for the day was fair and good visibility. Twelve aircraft from the squadron took off at 11.10 hrs – eight as fighter bombers and the remaining four as escort.
The squadron met fierce opposition from the Luftwaffe over Dreaux with several combats taking place.
Squadron leader Janus Marciniak was shot down in Mustang FX970 UZ-C and killed.
Fl.Lt, Tomanek, Fl/Lt. Budrewicz were also shot down, taken PoW Fl/Sgt. Michalkiewicz shot down - evading capture.
Fl/Lt Potocki was also hit but managed to crash land at an allied emergency strip in Normandy returning to his unit later that day, taking a lift from France in a light aircraft. (his Mustang was destroyed)
Three other 306 Squadron aircraft suffered Cat B. damage on this operation.
Jan 'Spud' Wladysaw Potocki - tet pilot at Avro Aircraft Company (courtesy Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Canada - see links)
None - Fl/Lt. Jan 'Spud' Wladysaw Potocki CV. VM. DFC. survived the war, settling in Canada during the 1950's.
Joined the Avro Aircraft Company as a test pilot. It had been reported that he did reach speeds of Mach 2 although the records show it was 1.9.
Following the cancellation of the CF-105 he joined North American Rockwell, Also as a test pilot. Later, following an accident, not related to flying, he lost an eye so with his wife they purchased a Motel complex in Columbia, Ohio where, on 23rd December 1996 he died, age 77.
Researched for relatives of the pilot with thanks to the following for further information, Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Canada, Wilhelm Ratuszynsk our friend at Polish Squadrons Remembered, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 3, Wikipedia, Aircrew Remembered own archives.