26/27.03.1942 No. 300 Squadron Wellington IV Z1269 BH-L F/O. Zelazinski
Date: 26/27th March 1942
Unit: No. 300 (Polish) Squadron
Type: Wellington IV
Base: RAF Hemswell
Location: 3.5. km. South East De - Kooy airfield, Netherlands
Pilot: F/O. Bogumil Zelazinski 76733 PAF Age 27. Killed
Pilot 2: P/O. Boleslaw Uszpolewicz P-1629 PAF Age 28. Killed
Obs: F/O. Franciszek Jakubowski P-1001 PAF Age 32. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Jerzy Kwiecinski 780881 PAF Age 22. Missing
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Teofil Niemeczek 782834 PAF Age 27. Missing
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Wladyslaw Stachurski 793106 PAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Their Wellington took off at 19:40 hrs from Hemswell to bomb Essen. On the way onward to Germany, in the area above the north part of Holland (Kooysluis in Holandii - 3,5 km SE of airfield De Kooy, near Balgzand Canal), they were attacked by Messerschmitt Me 110 with the crew of First Lieutenant Prinz zur Lippe - Weissenfeld and radio operator Renette from 5./NJG2.
The Polish Wellington was the first plane they spotted at a altitude of 4800 meters. The first attack at 22:25 hours local time of March 26 1942, was all wrong. The tail gunner spotted the plane and shot at her. The second attack was better and the Wellington dropped her bombs (that was above the polder Wieringermeer) and they tried to escape
L-R: F/O. Bogumil Zelazinski, P/O. Boleslaw Uszpolewicz and F/O. Franciszek Jakubowski, Sgt. Jerzy Kwiecinsk and Sgt. Teofil Niemeczek
But the ME 110 persisted and in the third attack zur Lippe shot the starboard engine to pieces. At 22:27 hours the plane went down, burning fiercely. Two parachutes were seen, but the airmen drowned at sea.
They were probably: F/O Franciszek Jakubowski and P/O Boleslaw Uszpolewicz. Their bodies were later found ashore. The four bodies of the crew that were found, were buried at British War Cemetary in Bergen-op-Zoom in Holland.
F/O. Bogumil Zelazinski. British War Cemetery. Bergen-op-Zoom Row A, Sector 31, grave 10. Born on the 23rd October 1915 in Kazań, Poland.
P/O. Boleslaw Uszpolewicz. British War Cemetery. Bergen-op-Zoom Row A, Sector 31, grave 12. Born on the 25th April 1914 in Poniewież, Lithuania.
F/O. Franciszek Jakubowski. British War Cemetery. Bergen-op-Zoom Row A, Sector 31, grave 8. Born on the 17th June 1910 in Dęblin, Ryki, Poland.
Sgt. Jerzy Kwiecinski. Commemorated on the Memorial to missing Airman in Warsaw, Poland. Born on the 28th October 1920 in Chełmno, Poland.
Sgt. Teofil Niemeczek. Commemorated on the Memorial to missing Airman in Warsaw, Poland. Born on the 22ns September 1915 at Kleszczów, Bełchatów, Poland.
Sgt. Wladyslaw Stachurski. British War Cemetery. Bergen-op-Zoom Row A, Sector 31, grave 9. Born on the 09th February 1911 at Wola Pierowa, Kutno, Poland.
Researched by: Grzegorz Korcz from Poland for Aircrew Remembered. With thanks to the following for the crew photographs: Robert Gretzyngier, Woitek Matusiak, Wadldemar Wojcik and Josef Zielinski "Ku czci poległych lotnikow 1939-1945”.
Izabela Poltorzecka (for the photo of Uszpolewicz and German loss card), Izabela Poltorzecka and Marteen Noot for the details of the loss. For Polish War graves website (See links pages) for the grave photographs.