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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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303 Squadron Crest
08.07.1941 No. 303 Squadron Spitfire IIb P8502 RF-C Sq/Ldr. Tadeusz A. Arentowicz

Operation: Escort

Date: 08th July 1941 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 303 Squadron (PAF)

Type: Spitfire IIb

Serial: P8502

Code: RF-C

Base: RAF Northolt

Location: English Channel off Dunkirk

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Tadeusz Aleksander Arentowicz P-0251 PAF Age 31. Killed


Sq/Ldr. Arentowicz took command of the squadron on the 3rd July 1941 following the loss of Sq/Ldr. Zdzislaw Henneberg on April 12th.

12 Spitfires from 303 Squadron left at 14.30 hrs to provide cover for 3 Stirlings. The squadron were attacked,

One of Squadron Spitfires flown by F/O. Wiktor Strzembosz peeled away and no site was seen of him.

The squadron continued with the escort and on return were attacked again, Sgt. Wacław Giermer 783285 PAF managed to claim one before he was wounded. He managed to return escorted by P/O. Lipinski and landed at RAF Manston.

Whilst all this was going on Sq/Ldr. Arentowicz was heard on the R/T calling for assistance as he was going down. He was never seen by the others and is presumed to have crashed into the Channel off Dunkirk.

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. Tadeusz Aleksander Arentowicz. Commemorated on the Memorial for missing Airman, Warsaw Poland and the Polish Memorial at Northolt. Born on the 19th September 1909 in Sierpc, Poland Next of kin details currently not available.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot, with thanks to Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 1-3, Krzystek’s List, Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii’. With thanks to Neil Jordan for Sgt. Giermer name correction - August 2017.

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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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