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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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605 Squadron Crest
24.09.1940 605 Squadron Hurricane I P3832 Pkt Off. Głowacki VM

Operation: Patrol

Date: 24th September 1940 (Tuesday)

Unit: 605 Squadron

Type: Hurricane I

Serial: P3832

Code: UP:P

Base: RAF Croydon

Location: Ambleteuse, France

Pilot: Plt Off. Witold Józef Głowacki VM 76739 PAF Age 26. Survived/ Died (1)


Taking off for a patrol at 15:41hrs flying as 'Yellow 1' with Plt Off. Ian Muirhead flying 'Yellow 2'. Told to make their way to the Beach Head area when they spotted a Dornier. Plt Off. Muirhead attacked from starboard with Plt Off. Głowacki attacking from port. The Dornier jettisoned its bomb load over the sea, Plt Off. Muirhead closed in hitting the port engine. Plt Off. Głowacki also hit the Dornier with several bursts, with the enemy aircraft crashing into the sea of Cap Gris Nez.

Flt Lt. Ian James Muirhead DFC was killed just a few weeks later on the 15th October 1940. Flying Hurricane I N2546 when he was shot down by Bf109s over Maidstone.

Both fighters were then attacked by Bf109s, Muirhead managed to lose them but Głowacki was hit over the French town of Ambleteuse and crash landed his Hurricane.

Several photographs shown above, taken by a German War correspondent show Plt Off. Głowacki clearly alive, although slightly injured with a head wound. He died later that same day.

(1) The circumstance leading to his death has been the subject of much speculation and several reports being circulated include that:

He died from an allergic reaction to a tetanus injection;
He was executed as a traitor by the SS;
He died from delayed shock trauma.

Burial Details

Plt Off. Witold Józef Głowacki VM. Guines Communal Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France. Plot Mil. Grave 1. Born on 30th October 1913 in Berlin, Germany to Polish parents.

Moved to Poland after the first world war, but spoke fluent German. Joined 145 squadron on 12th August 1940 prior to posting to 605 squadron on 31st August. Awarded the Silver Virtuti Militari (posthumously) on 1st February 1941.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered for relatives/friends of the pilot. Thanks to Marek for the correction to the name of the crash site (Nov 2019) . Acknowledgments: Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - "Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945", Jerzy Bogdan Cynk - "The Polish Airforce At War" Vol 1.

RS 04.11.2019 - Editorial to correct name of crash site

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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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