14.04.1942 No. 306 Squadron Spitfire Vc AB182 UZ-W Sq/Ldr. Wczelik
Operation: Circus 123
Date: 14th April 1942 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 306 Squadron (Polish)
Type: Spitfire Vc
Base: RAF Church Stanton, Somerset
Location: Caen, France
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Antoni Wczelik P-1419 Polish Air Force Age 31. Missing
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off with eleven other Spitfires on Circus 123 at 11:50 hrs, covering 12 Boston aircraft that were to bomb the power station at Mondeville, near Caen, France.
During the return flight the squadron was attacked by four Me109's, Fl/Lt. Jozef Zulikowski (1) with F/O. Bohdan Arct (2) witnessed Spitfire AD182 falling towards the English Channel with white smoke pouring from the aircraft. 28 year old F/O. Edward Jankowski was also shot down and missing during the same attack from JG2.
The remainder of the squadron landed at 13:00 hrs.
(1) Fl/Lt. Jozef Zulikowski survived the war, passed away on the 21st October 1993, age 78. Some details here
(2) Later made Sq/Ldr, F/O. Arct was shot down on the 6th September 1944 flying a Mustang III FB351, survived but taken PoW. Passed away on the 11th May 1973 age just 59. Some details here.
Sq/Ldr. Antoni Wczelik - none - missing, commemorated on the Polish Memorial at Northolt and on the Warsaw Memorial. Born 4 October 1906. Joined 302 Squadron on 20th August 1940. December 1940 joined 317 Squadron. In October 1941 joined 306 Squadron as Squadron leader.
Researched for relatives of the pilot with thanks to the following for further information, 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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 2, Aircrew Remembered own archives.