AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.
Check our Research databases: Database List

.

We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

303 squadron badge
21.05.1944 303 Squadron Spitfire Vb BM565 Sgt. W. Kempka

Operation: Ramrod 905

Date: 21st May 1944 (Sunday)

Unit No: 303 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Spitfire VB

Serial: BM565

Base: RAF ALG Horne, England

Location: Villiers Northern France.

Pilot: Flt Sgt. Wiktor Kempka 793627 PAF Age 25. PoW, Unknown camp

REASON FOR LOSS:

10 Spitfires leaving Manston at 09.50 hrs. Shot down during a ramrod during the morning of the 21st May after crashing near Villiers, France.

This was the first massed operation against German communication and radar targets over Northern france, consequently large number of casualties were incurred with fighter command losing 30 aircraft. 9 Pilots killed, 6 evading capture, 9 taken PoW, 3 wounded with 3 escaping injury.

303 Squadron Spitfires and right: Flt Sgt. Wiktor Kempka

Another 303 Squadron pilot, Stanislaw Brzeski VM, DFC flying Spitfire EP461, survived but also taken PoW.

Earlier on the 23rd September 1943 Flt Sgt. Kempka took off at 14:45 hrs flying Spitfire IX BS180 on a Ramrod 240 part 1 mission. He was one of 12 Spitfire IXs from the Sqn that joined 302 Sqn, led by Wg Cdr. Gabazewicz, on the first fighter sweep for 72 Marauders bombing Beauvaia/Tille airfield.

Flt Sgt Kempka’s Spitfire was attacked by 4 Fw190s and as a result of damage sustained to his engine had to bale out. He made several Maydays and was located by the Wing air/sea rescue section after a very short time.

227 Sqn 'C' Flight Walrus 2735, flown by Fg Off. Edmiston and, crew Sgt. Green and Flt Sgt. Birch-Hurst, was scrambled at 16:30 hrs to search an area 30 miles south of Beechy. The Walrus was escorted by two Spitfires; Spitfire 8072 flown by WO Waddington and Spitfire 7734, flown by Fg Off. Fletcher. Flt Sgt. Kempka was located and rescued with the Walrus and escorts returning at 17:40 hrs.

Burial Details:

None, Flt Sgt Kempka survived and settled in Great Britain after the war. No further details. Died on the 9th April 2006 in England, aged 91.

With thanks to the following for additional information, the 1333 (Grangemouth Spitfire) Squadron and the Grangemouth Spitfire Memorial Trust who provided me with so much information and assistance during my visit, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol's. 1 and 2, Polish Squadron O.R.B. 'website'. Thanks to Michael Meras for the additional information on the Ramrod 240 mission (Nov 2022)

RS 09.11.2022 - Additional information added

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
Acknowledgements
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.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2024
Last Modified: 09 November 2022, 08:52

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor