05.12.1941 No. 306 Squadron Spitfire II P7749 UZ-B Sgt. Otton Pudrycki
Date: 05th December 1941 (Friday)
Unit: No. 306 Squadron (PAF)
Type: Spitfire IIa
Serial: P7749 (“The City of Bradford IV").
Base: RAF Speke
Location: St. Pauls Avenue, Lytham
Pilot: Sgt. Otton Pudrycki 782879 PAF Age 30 Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
On the 16th August 1941 at 12.44 hrs, he had claimed a BF109E East of Hardelot in France. A great day for the squadron, with 5 x 109.s destroyed with one other damaged.
On 5th December taking off at 09.30 hrs on a routine training exercise with others from the squadron, around the estuary of the Ribble River.
During the morning, the weather deteriorated with very low cloud. His aircraft was seen to be flying very low over the school at on St Pauls Avenue in Lytham before finally crashing at 10.30 hrs.
Many eye witnesses spoke about the efforts he made prior to crashing to avoid the school and are convinced that he saved many lives taking the actions he did that day. A plaque was unveiled in Hawkins library within the AKS school on the 6th December 1991 in honour of the Polish fighter pilot.
Sgt. Pudrycki being strapped into his aircraft - RAF Northolt May 1941
Notes: The court of enquiry following the crash decided that it was due to pilot error of judgement in that he should have returned to base earlier. Also that he had stalled the aircraft during a right hand climbing turn. This was disputed by members of the Squadron who held the pilot in very high esteem and that as an instructor he would not have allowed the aircraft to stall. Spitfire IIa P7749 had been built 8th December 1940 at the Castle Bromwich factory, fitted with Merlin XII, delivered to 603 Squadron on 11th December 1940 then to 111 squadron 24th May 1941, before finally going to 306 squadron on the 28th October 1941.
Sgt. Otton Pudrycki Layton Cemetery, Blackpool, England. Grave BB443. Born on 3rd February 1911 in Łódź, Poland. Next of kin details not available as yet.
Layton Cemetery contains the graves of 39 Commonwealth service personnel of WW2, in addition some 26 airmen of the Polish Air Force (whose headquarters in exile were in Talbot Square in the town), and one airman of the Royal Yugoslav Air Force.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to John Foreman - ‘RAF Victory Claims WW2’ Vol.2, Krzystka List, Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', 'Polish Database’.