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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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317 Squadron badge
Fl/Lt. Mieczyslaw Adamek DFM 1 bar, VM, CV 4 bars

Operation: Ranger

Date: 18th May 1944 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 317 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: ML275

Code: JH-B

Base: RAF Chailey, East Sussex

Location: Seaford Head, East Sussex.

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Mieczysław Adamek DFM 1 bar, VM., CV. 4 bars. P-2095 PAF Age 25. Killed


During the afternoon of the 18th May 1944, 317 squadron were taking part in a Ranger when the Spitfire ML275 was hit by flak over Fecamp, France.

Struggling to maintain height and unable to return to the forward landing ground at Challey his squadron leader, Włodzimierz Miksa ordered him to abandon his aircraft.

Sadly, his parachute caught on the tailplane and he drowned. His body was picked up later by the Newhaven Lifeboat.

Prior to his death became an ace with 6 confirmed kills, 2 shared and another probable.

Above: grave at Northwood Cemetery. (photographed by Aircrew Remembered May 2013)

Right: Memorial at Chailey, West Sussex (courtesy David Boyce who sent this into us August 2015)

The memorial commemorates the loss of the only two Polish pilots who lost their lives flying from RAF Chailey - Fl/Lt. Jan Kurowski and F/O. Adamek - killed on the 18th May 1944. Memorial dedicated in 2000 on the site of the Plough public house in Plumpton, Sussex.

Burial Details:

Fl/Lt. Mieczysław Adamek DFM. 1 bar, VM., CV. 4 bars. Northwood Cemetery. Sec H. Grave 444. NoK details not known as yet.

Further information: Born on the 18th September 1918 in Tashkent, Russia son of Polish exiles. At the outbreak of the invasion of Poland already a qualified fighter pilot ( trained at the School of Aviation at Bydgoszcz IN 1936) flew P.11 against the Luftwaffe. On the 6th September intercepted several Ju. 87 and with others shot it down. At the same time the story goes he had to force land his aircraft (no fuel) and landed next to the Ju.87, together with locals captured the Luftwaffe pilot.

After escaping to Romania he eventually, with many other Polish aircrew arrived in Britain, after training joined 302 Squadron. In 1942 posted as an instructor to 58 OTU in Grangemouth, Scotland. November 2nd, 1943 rejoined the fight with 317 Squadron.

Researched for relatives of the pilot. With thanks to the following for further information supplied, Peter Sikora, 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. 3.

KTY 02.08.2015 Memorial added

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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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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