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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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300 Squadron crest
14/15.01.1943 No. 300 Squadron Wellington IV Z1387 BH-Q Sgt. Stanislaw Gosiewski

Operation: Lorient, (German U-Boat base) France.

Date: 14/15th January 1943

Unit: No. 300 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Wellington IV

Serial: Z1387

Coded: BH-Q

Location: English Channel off French coast

Pilot: Sgt. Stanislaw Gosiewski 792204 PAF Age 20. Missing

Nav: P/O. Stefan Jerzy Žukotyński P-1982 PAF Age 26. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr:: Sgt. Jerzy Burda 793667 PAF Age 24. Missing

Air/Bmr/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Henryk Imiołek 781370 PAF Age 27. Missing

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Jozef Jednaki 793701 PAF Age 23. Killed


Part of a 122 aircraft raid on this French Port of Lorient - 63 Halifaxes, 33 Wellingtons, 20 Stirlings and 6 Lancasters. Z1387 took off at 22.34hrs from Ingham to attack the German U-Boat base - 2 aircraft were lost on this raid - both in the sea. No reports of attacks from the German night fighters so may well have been brought down by flak.

300 Squadron Wellington IV Z1387 BH-Q

Crew left - right: Sgt. Gosiewski, P/O. Žukotyński, Sgt. Burda, Sgt. Imiołek, Sgt. Jednaki.

Some of the crew shown here during their training with 18 OTU - L to R: Jerzy Burda, Henryk Imiołek, Stanislaw Gosiewski, Adam Kozakiewicz (Killed on Wellington Z1401 BH-Q on 6/7th December 1942) and Stefan Jerzy Žukotyński.

The other aircraft lost was a Wellington from 426 Squadron. The bodies of P/O Žukotyński and Sgt. Jednaki were washed ashore in late March and are buried in the Cherbourg Old Communal Cemetery and the remainder of the crew are remembered on the Northolt Memorial.

The bomb runs were considered "wild" with 120 buildings in the city destroyed - including 2 churches. 12 people on the ground were reported killed. This area was attacked a further 7 times during the war.

Burial Details:

Sgt. Stanislaw Gosiewski. Commemorated on the Northolt Memorial. From Ostrołęce, Poland.

Left: Polish Memorial, Northolt (taken by Aircrew Remembered 2012)

P/O. Stefan Jerzy Žukotyński. Cherbourg Old Communal Cemetery Grave No. 54. From Jarosławiu, Poland.

Sgt. Jerzy Burda. Commemorated on the Northolt Memorial. From Szewna, Poland

Sgt. Henryk Imiołek. Commemorated on the Northolt Memorial. From Sancygniów, Poland

Sgt. Jozef Jednaki. Cherbourg Old Communal Cemetery Grave No. 55. From Ostrawie, Poland

We would like to thank Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wojcik and Josef Zielinski for the use of some of these photographs. We highly recommend their publications regarding WW2 Polish Air Force and are happy to provide other researchers information where they can be purchased.

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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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