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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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306 Squadron Crest
19.08.1942 No. 306 Squadron Spitfire Vb AD581 UZ-M Sgt. Czachla

Operation: Dieppe

Date: 19th August 1942 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 306 Squadron (P)

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: AD581

Code: UZ-M

Base: RAF Northolt

Location: Malvern Avenue, Harrow, Middlesex

Pilot: Sgt. Stefan Czachla 782696 PAF Age 22. Survived


Trained at 58 Operational Training Unit in Grangemouth, Scotland.

Joined 306 Squadron and during the Dieppe raids the Squadron gave cover to ground troops.

During the operation F/O. Emil Alfred Landsman P-0821 PAF flying Spitfire Vb BM424 was hit and taken PoW. (Survived the war, passed away on the 28th September 2004, age 89) Sgt. Czachla ran out of fuel on the return trip. Trying to crash land his Spitfire he caught a house roof at 252 Malvern Avenue , he survived suffering minor injuries.

On the 27th September 1943 during a period training pilots at No. 16 Service Flying Training School his aircraft, a Miles Master III W8710 collided with another Master DL612 over Radcliffe on Trent in Nottinghamshire. His pupil pilot was killed but he managed to bale out.

A tip of one of the propellers from the Spitfire is now on display at RAF Northolt Museum.

58 OTU. Grangemouth, Scotland. Course 18-1:

Front row: P/O. Dewar, F/O. Barnett, Fl/Lt. Timney, F/O. Lenton, F/O. Lovell, F/O. Webb. Centre row: Sgt. Shaw, F/O. Wiejski, F/O. Martini, F/O. Ronowicz, P/O. Mozolowski. Rear row: Sgt. Pratt, Sgt. Brown, Sgt. Hanzelka, Sgt. Czachla, Sgt. Richardson, Sgt. Baklarz

(NOTES: Jan Wiejski P-0873 - Killed 02.02.1943 age 28. Florian Martini P-1078 - Died 16.02.2001 age 86. Ryszard Sylwester Ronowicz P-1082 - Killed 09.08.1945 age 29. Jan Józef Zygmunt Mozolowski 781400 - Died 22.11.1979 age 60. Piotr Tadeusz Hanzelka 793154 - Killed 05.06.1943 age 24. Stefan Czachla - (aka Curtis), 782696 - 30.11.1996 age 76. Mieczysław Baklarz 792187 - Died 18.01.1984 age 66.)

Left: Grave at Vale Cemetery and Crematorium (courtesy Forscher)

Stefan Curtis (formerly used the name of Czachla) passed away age 76 on the 30th November 1996.

Burial details:

Sgt. Stefan Czachla. Vale Cemetery and Crematorium, Luton, England. Plot: Section P Row 2 Grave 27. Born on the 11th July 1920 in Wanna, Germany. Husband to Stanislawa Curtis (died 03rd December 2000)

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot. With thanks to Forscher of Find A Grave for photo and details of W/O. Stefan Czachla - November 2017. Other sources as quoted below:

KTY - 20.11.2017

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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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