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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 badge
03.02.1943 No. 308 Squadron Spitfire Vb BL977 Fl/Lt. Koc VM DFC CV

Operation: Circus 258

Date: 03rd February 1943 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 308 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: BL977

Base: R.A.F. Northolt, Middlesex

Location: Calais France.

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Tadeusz Koc C.V. V.M. D.F.C. P-0696 P.A.F. Age 30. Safe – evaded capture.


Tragedy for 308 squadron on this Circus, losing 4 aircraft to II./JG26. 27 year old F/O. Jan Wiejski P-0873 flying Spitfire Vb AD549 shot down and missing near Courtrai. France, F/O. Zbierzchowski flying Spitfire W3657 and Fl/Sgt. Okroj flying Spitfire BL412, both shot down and captured.

 Fl/Lt. Tadeusz Koc also baled out after being attacked, but managed to evade capture, returning to his unit on the 21st February 1943 after travelling through, France, Spain and Gibraltar.

Burial Details:

None – Fl/Lt. Tadeusz Koc C.V. V.M. D.F.C. survived the war. Born on 9th August 1913 (also known as Tadeusz Kotz). Left the service in 1948, at that time with 303 Squadron. Married and settled in Swaziland, Africa. 

Moving then to Collingwood, Canada where he spent the remainder of his life. Died 3rd June 2008 at at a Nursing Home in Collingwood, aged 95. 

Whilst in Canada, published a book of memoirs, ‘Błękitne niebo i prawdziwe kule’ (‘Blue sky and real bullets’) in 2005.

Researched for relatives of the pilot with thanks to the following for further information, Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński – ‘Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945’, Norman L.R. Franks ‘Fighter Command Losses’ Vol. 2, Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek – ‘Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii’, Wikipedia, Wilhelm Ratuszynski, 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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