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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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R.A.F. Crest
28.08.1941 Master I T 8581 58 O.T.U. Fl/Lt. Grzeszczak - P/O. MacDonald

Operation: Training

Date: 28th August 1941 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 58 OTU (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Miles Master I

Serial: T8581

Base: RAF Grangemouth, Scotland

Location: Maddieston, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Bohdan Grzeszczak P-1391 Polish Air Force Age 33. Killed

Pilot U/T: P/O. William Moody MacDonald 102146 RAF Age 20. Killed


On a training run when practicing mock dog fights and turns the Miles Master went into a spin which could not be corrected diving into the ground and catching fire, killing both pilots.

Fl/Lt. Grzeszczak joined 58 OTU as an instructor on 21st April 1941. Earlier had joined 303 squadron on the 21st August after escaping from France. He is credited with shooting down a He111 on the 26th September and an Me109 on the 27th. Awarded the KW (1) on the 1st February 1941.

(1) KW - Krzyż Walecznych (Polish Cross of valour) - awarded after demonstrating deeds of valour and courage on the field of battle.

A group of pilots of No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron RAF standing by the tail elevator of one of their Hawker Hurricane Mark Is at RAF Leconfield. They are (left to right): Pilot Officer Mirosław Ferić, Flying Officer Bohdan Grzeszczak, Pilot Officer Jan Zumbach, Flying Officer Zdzisław Henneberg and Flight Lieutenant John A. Kent, a Canadian who commanded 'A' Flight of the Squadron at this time. (Courtesy IWM)

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Bohdan Grzeszczak. Northwood Cemetery, Middlesex. Sec H. Grave 179. Also remembered on the Polish War Memorial at Northolt. Born 10th August 1908 in Warsaw. Poland. No Next of Kin details available as yet.

P/O. William Moody MacDonald. Bangor Cemetery, Northern Ireland. Sec 3.K. Grave 160. Also remembered on the Queens University War Memorial in Belfast. Son of Robert and Sara MacDonald, of Bangor, Northern Ireland.

Researched for relatives of both pilots. With thanks to for further information to The Grangemouth Air Cadets and the Grangemouth Spitfire Memorial Trust who provided me with so much information and assistance during my visit, Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', The Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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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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