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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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302 squadron badge
08.09.1942 No. 302 Squadron Spitfire AA854 WX-G Sgt. Mikusek

Operation: Ramrod 37

Date: 8th September 1942 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 302 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: AA854

Code: WX-G

Base: RAF Heston

Location: Le Havre area, France

Pilot: Sgt. Hipolit Mikusek 784021 PAF Age 25. PoW Camp: Stalag Mühlberg-Elbe


Taking off at 12.35 hrs on a ramrod in the Le Havre area. 12 aircraft from the squadron were detailed to protect 6 Boston Bombers that were detailed to attack the dock area. The weather was very good with a slight wind and good visibility.

Grangemouth, Scotland. 58 OTU April 1942. Course 20 / Squad 1: Front row: Sgt. Pawlowski, F/O. Wyganowski, P/O. Powierza, P/O. O'Brien, F/O. Zegallo, F/O. Kolanko, Sgt. Barnes, Sgt. Dowding - Centre row: Sgt. Malec, Sgt. Blore, Sgt. Bassett, Sgt. Bushell, Sgt. Clymer, Sgt. Gray, Sgt. Hawkey - Back row: Sgt. Ryszard Idrian, Sgt. Caldecott, Sgt. Mikusek, Sgt. Haynes, Sgt. Bell, Sgt. Nahlik.

Sgt. Hipolit Mikusek and his 'mount' (see credits)

The target was approached at 12.000 ft and then the Bostons and escorts dived to 6.500 ft - experiencing very heavy flak, but no hits.

The squadron then crossed the French coast when they were attacked by 5 x Fw.190s from JG2. In the immediate combat two 302 Squadron Spitfires were seen to dive into the Channel. F/O. Wroblewski noticed one parachute, Fl/Lt Baranski witnessed one of the aircraft hit the water with a large oil patch spreading over the surface.

All the Squadron heard a single Mayday call. The remainder of the squadron arrived back at base at 14.22 hrs.

It was later established that 25 year old, P/O. Jerzy Stefan Urbanski P-1807 in Spitfire Vb AA856 WX-Z lost his life and Sgt. Mikusek was taken PoW.

Notes: Spitfire AA854 was built at Eastleigh and was fitted with a Merlin 45 engine.

Burial Details: None, Sgt Mikusek survived as PoW. After the war he settled in England and married Joan Armistead. Remaining in the RAF until 1950, he later moved to Chicago, USA where he worked at the Holiday Inn. Died on December 1st 1992.

With thanks to the following for further information, The Grangemouth Air Cadets and the Grangemouth Spitfire Memorial Trust who provided me with so much information and assistance during my visit, Polish Squadron O.R.B. 'website', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol.2. Also to Polish Airforce website for photograph of his Spitfire.

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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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