17.06.1943 No. 316 Squadron Spitfire IX BR143 SZ-Q Fl/Lt. Stefan Stegman K.W. Bar
Operation: Circus (Béthune, France)
Date: 17th June 1943
Unit: No. 316 Squadron (Polish)
Type: Spitfire IX
Base: R.A.F. Northolt
Location: North Sea off Ostend, Brugge, Belgium
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Stefan Stegman K.W. Bar P-76711 P.A.F. Age 28. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Escorting a force of 23 Blenheims on a large circus operation to the power station near Béthune, northern France.
The bombing raid was a success and none of the 23 Blenheims were lost although several of the escort were hit and damaged, thought to be by F.W. 190’s from JG26. The combat occurred at 09.15hrs with the aircraft coming down in the North Sea off Brugge, Belgium. His body was washed up on the shore at Ostend July 3rd.
Above: Oostende New Cemetery – with insert grave of Fl/Lt. Stegaman. Left: F/O. Stegman
Fl/Lt. Stefan Stegman. Oostende New Communal Cemetery. Plot 9B. Row. 5. Grave 20. Born on October 15th, 1910. Escaped to England in 1939 joining R.A.F. in January 1940. After further training, he joined 229 Squadron at Northolt on September 26th 1940.
Posted to the newly-formed 316 Squadron at Pembrey on March 22nd 1941. Tour complete, went to 58 O.T.U., Grangemouth, Scotland on November 28th 1941, as an instructor. Rejoined 316, then stationed at Heston, on May 15th 1942. He was awarded the KW (gazetted 15th November 1942).
Stegman was appointed Flight Commander on March 14th 1943.
Aircrew Remembered would like to thank Robert Gretzyngier, Woitek Matusiak, Wadldemar Wojcik and Josef Zielinski for the use of some of these photographs. We highly recommend their publications regarding WW2 Polish Air Force and are happy to provide other researchers information where they can be purchased.