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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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RAF Crest
29.04.1941 No. 18 OTU Wellington I L4297 Plt.Off. Hawkes

Operation: Training

Date: 29th April 1941 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 18 OTU (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Wellington I

Serial: L4297

Code: ?

Base: RAF Bramcote, Warwickshire

Location: Weston Hall, Bulkington, Warwickshire

Pilot Inst: Plt.Off. Ronald James Hawkes 81030 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Pilot (U/T): Sgt. Tadeuszz Szostak 783508 PAF Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Jan Zwolski 781199 PAF Age 28. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Zygmunt Pawel Gaik 782652 PAF Age 23. Killed


Taking off from RAF Bramcote for night circuit training.

At 0109 hrs whilst descending to land at Weston Hall near Bucklington, the aircraft’s undercarriage caught on tree branches causing it to crash, killing all for men aboard.

Above left: Sgt. Zygmunt Pawel Gaik and right original grave marker (see credits)

Above: crew grave photographs (courtesy Bill Glover and Stephen Daglish)

Burial details:

Plt.Off. Ronald James Hawkes. New Brentford Cemetery. Sec C.C. Grave 184. Son of Charles E. Hawkes and Nellie Hawkes, of Brentford, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. Tadeusz Szostak. Nuneaton (Oaston Road) Cemetery. Collective grave H 100. Born 26th September 1919 in Gdów, Wieliczka, Poland. Son of Karol and Hania (Tatarski) Szostak, Brother of Bolesław, Olenka, Jadwiga, and Zofia.

Sgt. Jan Zwolski. Nuneaton (Oaston Road) Cemetery. Collective grave H 100. Born 1st October 1912 in Koprzywnica, Sandomierz, Poland. Next of Kin details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Sgt. Zygmunt Pawel Gaik. Nuneaton (Oaston Road) Cemetery. Collective grave H 100. Born 13th November 1917 in Kraków, Poland. Next of Kin details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

For further details our thanks to the following, Bill Glover, Stephen Daglish for grave photographs. Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Further information from these titles/organisations are available from us, contact us via Helpdesk. Thanks to Anna Wing, the niece of Sgt. Szostak, for the update to his NoK details.

RS 30.12.2019 - Update to NoK details for Sgt. Szostak.

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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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