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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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300 Squadron Crest
24/25.04.1944 No. 300 Squadron (Polish) Lancaster III LM486 BH-C Sq/Ldr. Ludwig J. Kurowski

Operation: Karlsruhe

Date: 24/25th April 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: 300 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: LM486

Code: BH-C

Basre: RAF Faldingworth

Location: North Sea - West of Vlissingen

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Ludwig Józef Kurowski P-0819 PAF Age 34. Missing

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Wladyslaw Pruss 793556 PAF Age 26. Missing

Nav: F/O. Zbigniew Antoni Woch P-1780 PAF Age 30. Missing

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Wladysław Karałun 794454 PAF Age 31. Missing

W/Op: Fl/Sgt. Karol Krysiak 703157 PAF Age 27. Missing

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Michal Wlodzimierz Wijtyk 784189 PAF Age 28. Missing

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Józef Zygmunt Walecki 704024 PAF Age 24. Missing


Took off at 22:09 hrs from Faldingworth - this along with LL855 BH-G were the first aircraft from 300 squadron to be lost since changing over to the Lancaster. In 1947 the Polish Armed Forces collected money in order for a memorial to be erected.

LM486 was claimed to have been shot down by the German Night Fighter Ace Oblt. Heinz Wolfgang Schnaufer Stab IV.NJG1. It was shot down at 02:40 hrs at a height of between 5,000 and 5,800 m. The aircraft came down 10 Km West of Vlissingen in the sea. No bodies were recovered.

Oblt. Schnaufer also has claims for two others this night, 115 Squadron Lancaster DS734 and a Halifax from 192 Squadron LW622. He survived the war with a total claim of 121 kills.

From the squadron's ORB's this day:

"Morning working parades were carried out and daily inspections of aircraft completed.
In the morning one crew were engaged on levelling bomb sights. Two other crews were engaged on aircraft serviceability tests, combining it with W/T test. Other crews were engaged in their sections. In the afternoon one crew practiced bombing over the Bombing Range. The crews allotted for operations were briefed at 17:00 hours. The target
being ‘Karlsruhe’. Seven crews took off, five of them returned. Two were missing. Crews reported very difficult weather conditions. To reach the target they had to cross clouds
over the target. Crews reported some dummy fires and dummy markers. The raid was very concentrated and caused big fires. They were opposed by strong heavy flak and had two combats with enemy night fighters. Operational flying during the day amounted to 4 hours. Operational flying amounted to 30 hours 35 minutes."

Burial Details:

Sq/Ldr. Ludwig Józef Kurowski. Commemorated on the Polish Memorial Northolt and Warsaw. Born 03rd January 1919, Warsaw, Poland. 

Fl/Sgt. Wladyslaw Pruss. Commemorated on the Polish Memorial Northolt and Warsaw. Born 27th July 1919, Żnin, Poland. 

F/O. Zbigniew Antoni Woch. Commemorated on the Polish Memorial Northolt and Warsaw. Born 19th November, Ruszlew. 

Fl/Sgt. Wladysław Karałun. Commemorated on the Polish Memorial Northolt and Warsaw. Born 03rd July 1913, Wilno, Poland (now Ukraine) 

Fl/Sgt. Karol Krysiak. Commemorated on the Polish Memorial Northolt and Warsaw. Born 22nd October 1917, Praska, Olesno, Poland.

Fl/Sgt. Michal Wlodzimierz Wijtyk. Commemorated on the Polish Memorial Northolt and Warsaw. Born 17th July 1916, Poland.

Fl/Sgt. Józef Zygmunt Walecki. Commemorated on the Polish Memorial Northolt and Warsaw. Born 13th November 1920, Opole Lub, Poland.

KTY 22.07.2015 Map 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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