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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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302 squadron crest
08.11.1940 No. 302 Squadron Hurricane I P3538 WX-J Sgt. Kosarz

Operation: Patrol

Date: 08th November 1940 (Friday)

Unit: No. 302 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Hurricane I

Serial: P3538

Code: WX-J

Base: RAF Northolt.

Location: Pennybridge Farm, Mayfield Xavierian College, Sussex

Pilot: Sgt. Wilhelm Kosarz (Vilém Košař) 780828 Polish Air Force Age 32. Killed


Took off from Northolt at 13:30 hrs. to join up with 615 Squadron over the base. They were then ordered to patrol Croydon at 20,000 ft.

During the patrol the leader of 302 Squadron saw a large formation of Me109s approaching from about 5,000 ft above to the south. These passed over the top of the squadron. 615 squadron noticed them turn in a circle and saw two of them dive down to attack 302 squadron at a very high speed - they gave warnings and both squadrons took evasive action.

Nobody from 302 squadron realised that anyone had been hit until landing at Northolt. It turned out that Sgt. Kosarz had been shot down by an Me109 and the aircraft crashed at Pennybridge Farm, Mayfield Xavierian College in Sussex. 

It seems that he did bail out of his aircraft but was killed as his parachute caught fire. 

He had joined No.5 Operational Training Unit on the 2nd September 1940 to convert to Hurricanes before joining 302 Squadron on the 26th September 1940.

Burial Details:

Sgt. Wilhelm Kosarz (Vilém Košař). Northwood Cemetery - Middlesex, Service Section H Grave 274. Born 20th June 1908, Karviná, Czechoslovakia. He had lived in Poland since 1926. In 1939, he joined the Czechoslovak Legion, fighting on the Polish side against Germans, and became a member of the famous Czech Quartet of 4 pilots (Košař, Balejka, František, Pavlovič). Only Balejka survived the war. (thanks to Jiri for this further detailed information).

Researched for relatives and friends of the pilot. With thanks to Robert Gretzyngier, Woitek Matusiak, Wadldemar Wojcik and Josef Zielinski for Polish information that we may have used.

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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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