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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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306 Squadron badge
22.08.1942 No. 306 Squadron Spitfire Vb R6770 UZ-V Fl/Sgt. Kroczyński

Operation: Rhubarb

Date: 22nd August 1942 (Saturday)

Unit: 306 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: R6770

Code: UZ-V

Base: RAF Northolt, Middlesex

Location: South of St. Omar, Northern France

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Brunon Kroczyński 784726 PAF Age 26. PoW No: 25633 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus


Taking off from RAF Northolt a 11:00 hrs under fair weather conditions.

A bad day for 306 Squadron - on this same raid a total of 4 Spitfires were lost - S/Ldr. Tadeusz Czerwiński P-1290 flying Spitfire Vb EN826 UZ-C - Killed, Fl/Sgt. Zdzislaw Horn 782489 flying Spitfire R6904 UZ-D - Killed, F/O. Witold Szyszkowski 76614 flying Spitfire Vb AR381 UZ-R - Killed.

Fl/Sgt. Brunon Kroczyński 784726 also shot down and became a PoW. He did send out a message that he was wounded and that he was going to attempt a forced landing in his Spitfire - this he did in fact, then called his colleagues when he had landed saying that he was OK. The remaing aircraft landed back at RAF Northolt between 12:30 and 12:45 hrs.

Spitfire R6770 under German guard and left: Fl/Sgt. Kroczyński taken in France 1940 (courtesy Chris Mackay)

Fl/Sgt. Kroczyński had an earlier escape on the 19th May 1941 whilst flying a Hurricane IIB again with 306 Squadron.

Engaging Bf 109's from JG52 whilst on convoy patrol at midday he was shot down - wounded, he baled out and was rescued from the sea. P/O. Jan Artur Czapiewski P-0706 flying another Hurricane IIA Z2456 UZ-U was shot down and killed during the same operation and another Hurricane IIB Z3065 also from 306 Squadron flown by Sgt. Kazimierz Rutkowski DFC. P-0692 was attacked but he managed to bail out, safe. A Spitfire IIA P7922 from 234 Squadron was also lost during this air battle, P/O. Alan Stuart Harker DFM baled out, safe.

In front of 306 Squadron Spitfire V UZ-S Left to right: Unidentified ?, Brunon Kroczyński, Stanislaw Marcisz, Bolesław Kaczmarek. (courtesy Chris Mackay) Right: Fl/Sgt. Brunon Kroczyński on the left - other unknown.

Brunon Kroczyński was born on the 16th September 1916 - he died on the 29th November 2016 and buried at Sopot, Poland.

Dedicated to relatives of the pilot with thanks to Chris Mackay. Photos of the crash site from the collection of Michel Beckers. Other sources as quoted below.

KTY 12.10.2015 Photos added from Michel Beckers of crash site.

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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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