23.06.1941 No. 303 Squadron Spitfire II P8330 RF-D P/O. Gładych VM DFC
Operation: Circus 20
Date: 23rd June 1941 (Monday)
Unit: No. 303 Squadron (Polish)
Type: Spitfire II
Base: RAF Northolt, Middlesex
Location: Near Ramsgate, Kent
Pilot: P/O. Boleław Michał Gładych VM. DFC. Polish Air Force Survived - injured
REASON FOR LOSS:
The squadron left RAF Northolt, Middlesex at 19.37 hrs to escort six Blenheims who were to attack Mardyck aerodrome. Over the target area they were met by fierce A/A. fire with a great number of Luftwaffe fighters also engaging in combat - confusion took place - Sgt. Szlagowski, Wunsche, Wojciechowski and F/O Strzembosz each destroyed a 109 and Sgt. Adamek got two. P/O. Bondair a probable.
P/O. Boleław Michał Gładych VM. DFC (courtesy Roy Fowler, Kijek Bachmatiuk via Michel Beckers)
P/O. Gladych also shot down one at 12,000 ft. During the furious dog fight he made a very steep dive to avoid an attacker and crashed into another Me109 severing the tail plane.
He was injured but managed to fly his Spitfire back to England where he crash landed near Ramsgate, hitting a telegraph pole in the process which totally destroyed P8330. He recovered and taken to Ramsgate hospital where he received treatment for facial injuries, broken collar bone and a skull fracture. (Other sources state that he rammed the 109)
None - P/O. Boleław Michał Gładych survived and went on to serve and survive the war. No further details available. We would like to invite others who may have information on his post WW2 career. We understand that after the war he settled in the United States of America.
Researched for relatives of the pilot with thanks to the following for further information, Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 1, N/A.AIR 27/1663, Aircrew Remembered own archives. Michel Beckers, Roy Fowler, Kijek Bachmatiuk.