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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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316 squadron badge
21.03.1944 316 Squadron Spitfire Vb W3569 SZ:E Flt Sgt. Kowalski

Operation: Training

Date: 21st March 1944 (Tuesday)

Unit No: 316 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: W3569

Code: SZ:E

Base: RAF Woodvale, Cheshire

Location: Bosley Cloud near Congleton, Cheshire.

Pilot: Flt Sgt. Zygmunt Kowalski P.780689 PAF Age 22. Killed


Lucinda Symmonds from Congleton contacted Aircrew Remembered and informed us that the loss of the aircraft was researched some years ago. A contemporary witness to the events who had been a boy at the time described that on the day in question low cloud was over the hills as often happens.

The Squadron was on its way back to their home airfield and it is thought that they descended below the cloud level believing they were clear of the Pennine hills. Bosley Cloud is in the last ridge-line which Zygmunt's Spitfire clipped and slid along the fields on its belly. It was believed at the time he would have survived except that the Spitfire then crashed nose first into a dry stone wall field boundary and the impact killed him outright.

The wreckage was subsequently recovered and taken to the Congleton tip, which is now the car park next to the library building in Congleton. Here it was dismantled into sections and loaded onto different lorries to be taken away to different sites.

The crash site itself is now destroyed by the small stone quarry just under ½ mile due south from the "The Cloud vantage point".

Crash area Bosley Cloud, Cheshire

58 Operational Training Unit (OTU) course at Grangemouth, Scotland - Flt Sgt. Ryszard Fusiara killed just 3 months later.

Burial Details:

Above: Formby (Our Lady Of Compassion) R.C. Churchyard

Above Flt Sgt. Kowalski and grave (courtesy Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945)

Flt Sgt. Zygmunt Kowalski. Formby (Our Lady Of Compassion) R.C. Churchyard. Plot H. Row B. Grave 2. Born 20 April 1921 in Radawnica, Poland. Next of kin details not available as yet.

Acknowledgments: Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - "Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945", Jerzy Bogdan Cynk - "The Polish Airforce At War" Vol's 1 and 2. Thanks to Lucinda Symmonds for her research information (Apr 2022).

RS 29.04.2022 - New research information added

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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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Last Modified: 29 April 2022, 13:12

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