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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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303 Squadron badge
12.04.1941 No. 303 Squadron Spitfire IIa P8029 RF-P Sq/Ldr. Henneberg D.F.C. V.M.

Operation: Rhubarb

Date: 12th April 1941 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 303 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Spitfire IIa

Serial: P8029

Code: RF-P

Base: RAF Northolt, Middlesex.

Location: English Channel, 13 miles from English coast

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Zdzislaw Karol Henneberg DFC. VM. P-1393 PAF Age 29. Missing


On a rhubarb operation over France. The attack was made by six, 303 squadron Spitfires led by Sq/Ldr. Henneberg. 


Above left to right: Henneberg, Kent and Pisarek

The ORB for that day reads:

Fl/Lt. Lapkowski (1) and P/O. Waszkiewicz (2) attacked an aerodrome and erection works. Fl/Lt. Arentowicz (3) and F/O. Feric (4) failed to locate an aerodrome, but attacked buildings, F/O. Feric produced sparks from various overhead power lines. Sq/Ldr. Henneberg and Fl/Lt. Kustrzynski attacked Heinkels on the ground, and a large building near a Railway Station. Fl/Lt. Kustrzynski evidently silenced a gun position on the building, but Sq/Ldr. Henneberg’s aircraft was damaged. He came down in the sea thirteen miles from the English coast - his position was reported by F/Lt. Kustrzynski. However he was not picked up and has been reported missing.

During the attack on the airfields he was hit by flak form the battery at Berck-sur-Mer airfield. He managed to fly to about 20 km for Dungeness when he was forced to ditch. Rescue launches did make a search but he was never found.

(1) Fl/Lt. Waclaw Lapkowski was killed on the 2nd July 1941 over the English Channel.
(2) P/O. Mieczyslaw Waszkiewicz shot dow and missing a few days later on the 16th April 1941.
(3) Fl/Lt.Tadeusz Aleksander Arentowicz shot down and missing in the English Channel on the 8th July 1941
(4) F/O. Miroslaw Feric Killed during a training accident on the 14th February 1942.

Burial Details:

Sq/Ldr. Zdzislaw Karol Henneberg D.F.C. V.M. Commemorated on Polish Air Force Memorial, Northolt, Middlesex. Panel 22 and also on the Warsaw Memorial. Next of kin details not known. Born 11th May 1911 in Warsaw, Poland.

Researched for relatives of the pilot. With thanks to the following for further information supplied, Peter Sikora, 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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 1, Aircrew Remembered own Archives. 

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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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