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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 badge
22.06.1944 No. 315 Squadron Mustang III FZ157 PK-J W/O. Tamowicz

Operation: Strafing

Date: 22nd June 1944 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 315 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Mustang III

Serial: FZ157

Code: PK-J

Base: RAF Coolham

Location: Cherbourg Beachhead, France.

Pilot: W/O. Tadeusz Tamowicz 793839 PAF Age 25. Survived, injured

REASON FOR LOSS:

12 Mustangs from 315 squadron took off from RAF Coolham at 12:10 hrs with aircraft from 129 and 306 squadrons.

During one of the runs PK-J was hit by several 20mm. shells from ground forces, the pilot was forced to try and land as the engine had been severely damaged. He called to advise what he was doing, then managed to crash land his Mustang in the marshes. Another Mustang FB398 PK-A, that of 26 year old Fl/Lt. Henryk Stefankiewicz P-0564 PAF was also hit, killing the pilot.

After W/O. Tamowicz had landed he managed to crawl out of his aircraft and started bandaging his wounds on his legs. His Sq/Ldr. Eugebiusz Horbaczewski circled and they acknowledged one another.

Amazingly, the Sq/Ldr landed a few kilometres from the downed Mustang on an emergency American airstrip - the Americans lent him a jeep and he collected Tadeusz - drove back to the airstrip - placed him in the cockpit - used him as a cushion and flew back to base in his Mustang!

Left: Sadly Sq/Ldr. Horbaczewski DFC. DSO. VM. was killed on the 18th August 1944, shot down by Fw 190s near Beauvais airfield.



Above left: Sgt. W/O. Tadeusz Tamowicz taken during training at 58 OTU Right: Fl/Sgt. Tadeusz Słoń 781269 (taking the place of W/O.Tamowicz who was receiving treatment for his injuries) with Sq/Ldr. Horbaczewski - showing how they did it! (courtesy IWM)

Course 25-1, 58 OTU Grangemouth, Scotland: Front row: Sgt. McLaren, F/O. Sanders, Fl/Lt. Zweigbergh, Sq/Ldr. Robinson, F/O. Siekierski, P/O. Czernecki - Middle row: Sgt. Tamowicz, Sgt. Syperek, Sgt. Pomielarz, Sgt. Sliwinski, Sgt. Blazejczyk, Fl/Sgt. Banys - Rear row: Sgt. Dunajewski, Fl/Sgt. Chute, Sgt. Hyde, Sgt. Bielicki, Sgt. Ballantyne, Sgt. Bedowski.

Awards:

KW (Krzyż Walecznych) - awarded to a person who "has demonstrated deeds of valour and courage on the battlefield.

ML (Medal Lotniczy) x 3 - awarded to personnel of the Polish Air Forces in active duty during the Second World War.

Burial Details:

None, W/O. Tadeusz Tamowicz KW, 3xML. Born on the 08th August 1919 at Ciemniewo, Ciechanow, Poland. Survived the war and settled in Australia, working as a clerk. Passed away on the 02nd February 1981 in Melbourne after suffering poor health, age just 61 - buried at Ciemniewko, Poland.

Researched for relatives of the pilot. and the Grangemouth Spitfire Memorial Trust who provided me with so much information and assistance during my visit.

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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), 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', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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