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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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308 Squadron Crest
16.08.1943 No. 308 Squadron Spitfire Vb R7161 Fl/Lt. Olgierd A. Iliński

Operation: Ramrod

Date: 16th August 1943 (Monday)

Unit: No. 308 (P) Squadron

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: R7161 (1)

Base: RAF Hutton Cranswick

Location: near Mavlevrier, France

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Olgierd Antoni Iliński P-0389 PAF Age 29. Killed


Taking part in a Rodeo in the morning of the 16th August when engaged by enemy aircraft and shot down. and killed.

Also hit during the same operation from the Squadron:

23 year old, F/O. Wiesław Mejer 784708 PAF Spitfire Vb AB803 - Taken PoW (Survived the war, died sometime in 2005)
25 year old, Fl/Sgt. Władysław Sznapka 792281 PAF Spitfire W3404 - evaded capture, returned to England via Spain (Survived the war, no further details)
29 year old, Fl/Sgt. Wacław Korwel 783144 PAF Spitfire BM137 - Wounded in both legs and lost fingers of left hand, despite his serious injuries managed to crash land north of Brighton (Survived the war, died at an early age in 1952)

We would be very interested to hear from the relatives of all these pilots with a view to placing a dedicated page to them.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Olgierd Antoni Iliński. Ste. Marie Cemetery. Div 67. Row G. Grave 3.

Further Information: Born Thursday 16th July 1914 in Kosteniec, Russia. Commissioned from the Polish Air Force College on Friday 1st September 1939. Following the Polish campaign he reached France (via Romania and the Mediterranean). Posted with a group of Polish pilots to the observer school at Versailles, and then to the school at Bussac near Bordeaux. Following the French surrender he was evacuated to Britain. In May 1941 posted to No. 55 OTU. Upon completion of training posted to No. 605 Squadron RAF in June, July 1941 reposted to No. 302 (P) Sqn, moving to No. 303 Squadron a week later. In August 1941 he was reposted again, to No. 308 Squadron. February 1942 injured in a car accident and hospitalised, returning to No. 308 Squadron May 1942. Upon completion of a combat tour in December 1942 posted to No. 58 OTU as an instructor. June 1943 he rejoined No. 308.

(With thanks to Wojtek Matusiak for this detailed information)

(1) R7161 history: Built as a Mk I, converted to Mk VB in early 1941. From early April 1941 it was used in No. 92 Squadron, coded QJ-J. On Thursday 7th August 1941 it crash-landed near Deal, Sgt G. P. Hickman was injured. Repaired, R7161 was delivered to No. 315 (P) Squadron at Northolt in late 1941. Coded PK-Y. On Friday 13th March 1942 it was damaged cat.B in a taxiing collision with Sgt. Michał Cwynar 782851 PAF at the controls (uninjured). In mid-July it was delivered to No. 3501 SU at Cranfield for modification, and subsequently delivered to No. 308 (P) Squadron.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with 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', other sources as shown below:

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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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