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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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305 squadron crest
10/11.04.1942 No. 305 Squadron Wellington II W5519 SM-U F/O. Tadeusz Czolowski

Operation: Essen

Date: 10/11th April 1942 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 305 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Wellington II

Serial: W5519

Code: SM-U

Base: RAF Lindholme.

Location: North Sea - Cromer, Norfolk

Pilot: F/O. Tadeusz Czolowski P-1079 PAF Age 28. Survived (1)

Pilot 2: Sgt. Brunon Malejka 782328 PAF Age 25. Survived (2)

Nav: F/O. Jan Jezycki P-1286 PAF Age 25. Survived (3)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Marian Zajac P-2092 PAF Age 22. Survived (4)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Czeslaw Poniatowski 781581 PAF Age 27. Survived (5)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Kazimierz Wziątek 792662 PAF Age 26. Survived (6)

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off at 22:23 hrs from Lindholme to attack Essen as part of a 254 aircraft bombing raid (167 Wellingtons, 43 Hampdens, 18 Stirlings, 10 Manchesters and 8 Halifaxes). The raid was hampered by cloud over Essen and the bombing force became scattered.

They suffered heavily from the Ruhr flak defences with 14 aircraft lost. A total of 60 aircrew were killed and a further 19 being made PoW. The raid was a failure with very light damage to the target area. 12 houses were destroyed and 7 people on the ground killed and 30 injured.

Crew of Wellington W5519 L-R: Sgt. Malejka, Sgt. Zajac, F/O. Czolowski, F/O. Jezycki, Sgt. Poniatowski and Sgt. Wziatek - half of them to lose their life by war end. (courtesy Chris Mackey)

Wellington W5519 SM-U was seriously damaged by German night fighters over the Dutch coast. But the crew managed to return to England and eventually ditched at 03.10 hrs in the North Sea some 4 mies off Cromer, Norfolk.


They were all rescued by a trawler from their dingy and then picked up by the Cromer lifeboat the H.F. Bailey (shown left) after being launched at 03:58 hrs. and returned.





Some required hospital treatment, but all survived this crash. Their subsequent fates described below:

Above L-R: Sgt. Czeslaw Poniatowski, Sgt. Brunon Malejka, Sgt. Marian Zajac.


F/O. Czolowski (1) At a later date attacked by night fighters 29th August 1942 Wellington Z1460 SM-N - landed safely at Manston - 3 crew baled out (2 crew PoW, 1 crew member evading, one died on route). Operation: Saarbrücken. Survived the war as a Wing Commander. Further information detailed within our obituary section.





Sgt. Maleika (2) Killed 0n 17/18th August 1944. Liberator VI EW275 GR-R. 1586 E.S.P Warsaw uprising drops. Born 10th May 1917 Ksiaż Wlkp, Poland. Further information also on our website, but we always welcome new details as do the relatives.





F/O. Jezycki (3) Awarded DFC. Survived the war. Born 14th October 1907, Długa Kościelna Mińsk Maz Poland. Retired as a Fl/Lt. 300 Squadron. Died 09th April 1984 Chicago, Illinois, USA





Sgt. Zajac (4) Killed on 16th April 1945 Mosquito B.25 KA968 45 (T) Group. On a ferry flight from RCAF Dorval, Canada to Prestwick, Scotland. Lost in Atlantic. Pilot. Fl/Lt Jerzy Waclaw Wielondek also lost. Do you have further information that we could perhaps add? We have very little on this loss. Born 23rd May 1920, Jaworzno, Poland.




Sgt. Poniatowski (5) Killed on 28/29th August 1942 Wellington IV Z1281 SM-K 305 Squadron. Operation: Saarbrücken. Born 21st April 1915 Meklenburg, Germany. Do you have further information that we could perhaps add?


Sgt. Wziątek (6) Parachuted out from a Lancaster III PB252 BH-M 25/26th July 1944. W/O (sierżant) - 300 Squadron - evaded capture and returned to England. Operation: Stuttgart. Born on the 19th June 1916 in Radzymin, Wołomin, Poland. Died 6th November 1978 and laid to rest in Blackpool, Lancashire, England .



Researched for relatives of the crew with photographs and information supplied by Chris Mackey the son of Sgt. Brunon Malejka. Thanks to Mark Wziątek, the Grandson of Sgt. Wziątek, for his corrections. With thanks to sources quoted.

RS 12.11.2018 - Correction to Sgt. Wziątek's details.

Acknowledgements: 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', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', 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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