21.10.1943 No 18 OTU Wellington III BK471 Sgt. M. Sołecki
Date: 21st October 1943 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 18 OTU (Operational Training Unit)
Type: Wellington III
Base: RAF Bircotes
Location: 2 miles North Airfield, Bircotes
Pilot: Sgt. Mieczysław Sołecki 793230 PAF Age 34. Killed
Pilot (Obs): Fl/Lt. Stefan Karol Alberti P-0031 PAF Age 36. Killed (1)
Nav: Sgt. Jerzy Sawicki 793799 PAF Age 30. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Roman Kot 780470 PAF Age 24. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Zbigniew Antoni Marynowski 703890 PAF Injured - survived
We welcome any further information relatives are able to provide to add to this page of remembrance.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Yet another training tragedy, thousands of aircrew from all nationalities lost their lives preparing to join squadrons. (some 13 on this day - just within the Bomber Command OTUs)
Taking off from RAF Bircotes in Nottinghamshire at 1917 hrs for an evening navigational training exercise. Shortly after leaving the pilot, Sgt. Sołecki informed base that they had a problem with one of the engines and requested to return and land.
At 19:57 hrs. with the situation having worsened, the aircraft came down in some trees, 2 miles North of the airfield, bursting into flames.
Subsequent inspection established that a taper pin had sheared within one of the engines causing the catastrophic failure.
(1) Fl/Lt. Stefan Karol Alberti escaped serious injury during the German invasion of Poland on the 3rd September 1939. Flying with No. 21 (1) EB Eskadra Bombowa Lekka on a PZL-23B Karas D1/K98 when they were shot down.
Newark-Upon-Trent Cemetery in Nottinghamshire, where some 397 Polish aircrew rest today.
Sgt. Mieczysław Sołecki. Newark Cemetery. Grave 319A. Born 22nd October 1909 in Dabrowa Górnicza, Poland.
Fl/Lt. Stefan Karol Alberti. Newark Cemetery. Grave 319A. Born 23rd October 1907 in Wadowice, Poland.
Sgt. Jerzy Sawicki. Newark Cemetery. Grave 319A. Born 28th December 1913 in Dżubga Kaukazus, Poland.
Fl/Sgt. Roman Kot. Newark Cemetery. Grave 319A. Born 30th September 1919 in Szczebrzeszyn, Poland.
For further details our thanks to the following, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945’. Aircrew Remembered archives.