11.09.1943 No. 315 Squadron Spitfire Vb W3427 PK-J Fl/Sgt. Stanislaw Grondowski
Operation: Training flight
Date: 11th September 1943 (Saturday)
Unit: No. 315 Squadron (Polish)
Type: Spitfire VB
Base: RAF Ballyhalbert, County Down, Northern Ireland
Location: Lisburn, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Stanisław Grondowski P-782063 PAF Age 34. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
A Grim day for 315 Squadron with 3 accidents - all apparently due to adverse weather conditions. Fl/Sgt Grondowski flew into a hill near Plantation House, Lisburn and was killed, Sgt. Władysław Kołek (Spitfire BL469 PK-F) undershot the runway whilst returning from the same training flight - Killed.
Spitfire BL469 PK-F at RAF Ballyhalbert, County Down, Northern Ireland (courtesy Gretzyngier, Matusiak) Course 29, 58 OTU, Grangemouth, Scotalnd. Front row: Fl/Sgt. Wojcik, Fl/Sgt. Finney, P/O. Parker, P/O. Webster, P/O. Stanislaw Zajdel (Killed in flying accident, 1944 ), Fl/Sgt. Stanisław Grondowski. Middle row: Sgt. Alfred Włodarski (Killed in flying accident, 1944), Sgt. Benner, Sgt. Gowers, Sgt. Taylor, Sgt. Luffman. Rear row: Sgt. Durys, Sgt. Alex Pietrzak (Killed in flying accident, 1945), Fl/Sgt. Urbanczyk.
Sgt. Egon Stanisław Zygmund was injured, but his Spitfire AR338 PK-P was written off. He managed to steer the aircraft between 2 pillars’, breaking the wings off.
Surviving the crash, made his way uninjured, to Glengormley RUC station for assistance.
Sgt. Zygmund was later killed on 29th July1944, whilst serving with 306 Squadron. Believed to be shot down by Allied A/A fire when chasing a V1 over Hastings, Sussex, England.
Left: Sgt. Egon Stanisław Zygmund (courtesy Gretzyngier, Matusiak)315 Squadron graves at Ballycranbeg Cemetery local AFC pay respects (courtesy Joseph Clint)
Fl/Sgt. Stanislaw Grondowski. Ballycranbeg (Mount St Joseph) Roman Catholic Churchyard. County Down, Northern Ireland. Grave 40. Born 11th April, 1909.
With thanks to Joseph Clint who lives in the parish of Ballycran and provided the photo of the grave as well as additional information. Also thanks to 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', Jerzy Bogdan Cynk - 'The Polish Airforce At War' Vol's 1 and 2, the 1333 (Grangemouth Spitfire) Squadron and the Grangemouth Spitfire Memorial Trust who provided me with so much information and assistance during the visit by the webmaster.
Right: Fl/Sgt. Stanisław Grondowski grave.
Memorial to Polish Airman, Warsaw, Poland (archives)