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.

300 crest
300 Squadron (P) Wellington IV Z1409 BH-A Sgt. Izydor Konderak

Operation: Osnabrück

Date: 17th/18th August 1942 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit No: 300 Squadron (P) (Mazowiecki), 1 Group

Type: Wellington IV

Serial: Z1409

Code: BH:A

Base: RAF Ingham

Location: Emlichheim / Coevorden

Pilot: Sgt. Izydor Konderak 782574 PAF Age 25. Injured

Obs: Flt Lt. Ruciński Kazimierz Zakrzewski P-0892 PAF Age 31 PoW No: 633 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan

WOp/Air Gnr: WO. Henryk Kazimierz Kowalski 792306 PAF Age 23. PoW No: 27061 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus

WOp/Air Gnr: WO. Władysław Vandalli 793209 PAF Age 32. PoW No: 25630 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus

Air Gnr: WO. Jan Hmenia 794584 PAF Age 28. PoW No: 25642 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug


Taking off at 21:57 hrs one of 7 from the squadron to bomb Osnabrück with a combined force of just 139 aircraft. Far smaller than was expected for this the planned first 'Pathfinder' operation of the war. Many squadron commanders reported that their units were unready which resulted in this operation being carried out in the standard way.

Wellington Z1421 BH:V understood to be flown by Fg Off. Ireneusz Sawicki 783622 PAF was forced to abandon the operation after the pilot’s escape hatch opened and could not be closed. (This aircraft was listed as missing on the 3rd November 1942 with the loss of all five Polish crew)

111 aircraft found the target which was easily identified by ground detail, they bombed from 12,000 to 15,000 feet between 00:28 and 00:40 hrs. all but one returning to report a successful attack.

The town reported a sharp attack on the north and north-western parts of the town. 77 dwelling houses and 4 military buildings were destroyed with a further 125 buildings seriously damaged including the town's main hospital, a paper mill, and a copper-wire factory. 7 people were killed in the town with a further 15 injured.

Above L-R: Sgt. Izydor Konderak, Flt Lt. Ruciński Zakrzewski, WO. Henryk Kowalski and WO. Jan Hmenia.

Wellington Z1409 crashed at Emlichheim (some reports state that it was close to the village of Coevorden) at 01:45hrs. It was contested by Oblt. Herbert Lutje of 8./NJG1, his 10th Abschuss, and by Flak of the 8th Flak Division. It was later confirmed on the 1st December 1944 that Oblt. Herbert Lutje was credited with the Victory. (shown right)

All five crew survived but the pilot Sgt. Konderak later died of his injuries. Most records, including Polish, show that he died on the 22nd of August 1942 however, the CWGC list him as dying of his injuries on the 18th August. The four remaining crew were taken PoW.

The Drenthe Air War Research Foundation has placed a Lost Wings Information Panel which bears the crash location of Wellington Z1409 and dedicated a page to the aircraft and crew on their website.

On an earlier operation to Duisberg on the 27th July 1942, this crew survived a landing incident at RAF Ingham, only the pilot was slightly injured receiving treatment at the station sick quarters.

Burial details:

Sgt. Izydor Konderak. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 15.CV.17 - Born on the 15th June 1917 at Michałopol, Poland. 1 x Medal Lotniczy

Other crew details:

Flt Lt. Ruciński Kazimierz Zakrzewski - Born on the 3rd February 1909 in Warsaw, Poand. Died on the 16th February 1982 in London, England, age 73. 2 x Krzyz Walecznych. 2 x Medal Lotniczy

WO. Henryk Kazimierz Kowalski - Born on the 30th September 1919 at Gumowo, Po;and - Died 30th September 2001 on Blackpool, England, age 82. 2 x Krzyz Walecznych, 1 x Medal Lotniczy.

WO. Władysław Vandalli - Born on the 18th December 1910 - Died 24th May 1969 in Reading, England, age 59. 2 x Krzyz Walecznych, 1 x Medal Lotniczy

WO. Jan Hmenia Born on the 8th March 1914, died in 1982, age 82. 3 x Krzyz Walecznych 1 x Medal Lotniczy

Researched for Jack Crayton by Kelvin Youngs (Webmaster) (on behalf of relatives of WO. Henryk Kazimierz Kowalski) and dedicated to the relatives of this crew. With thanks Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum Mielnika, Archiwum: Ulepszone Dane Personalne Sił Powietrznych 1940 - 1947 (Feb 2022). Thanks to Yannic Wethly of the Drenthe Air War Research Research Foundation for the link to their website (Feb 2023).

Other listed below.

RS 10.02.2023 - Addition of Drenthe Air War Research Foundation link.

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
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: 10 February 2023, 14:08

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