22/23.11.1942 No 316 Squadron Spitfire Vb BL246 SZ-A Sgt. Orzechowski
Operation: Night training exercise
Date: 22/23rd November 1942 (Sunday/Monday)
Unit: 316 (Polish) Squadron
Type: Spitfire Vb
Base: RAF Hutton Cranswick, Driffield, Yorkshire.
Location: Barmston, East of Driffield, Yorkshire
Pilot: Sgt. Tadeusz Orzechowski 783097 PAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During night training a No. 2 Operational Training Unit Beaufighter was practising circuits and landings exercises when the two aircraft collided and crashed in the village of Barmston, killing both crew members.
We understand that a recovery group managed to rescue the Merlin engine from the Spitfire and initial reports were that is is in good condition and possible that it could run once again, although this was in 2007 and no news has surfaced as to this progress.
Latest info: (May 2013) I am pleased to advise readers that the rebuild of this Spitfire engine is very much in progress. Being undertaken privately, we are in contact with the person carrying out the rebuild.
Above as described (courtesy of Kazimierz Orzechowski)
He has kindly submitted some photographs but as it is a 'private' project we will not release his details. If you wish to offer him support please use the add info button at the top of the page and I will forward your message.
Course 23 58 O.T.U: Front row: P/O. Bendit, P/O. Banach, F/O. Andersz, Fl/Lt. Ridkosil, F/O. Preihs, P/O. Ciach, P/O. Birtus - Centre row: Sgt. Ziendalski, Sgt. Haczkiewicz, Sgt. Makowski, Sgt. Muszynski, Sgt. Gilis, Sgt. Orzechowski, Sgt. Plenkiewicz - Rear row: Sgt. Bednarz, Sgt. Starzynski, Sgt. Kierski, Sgt. Sztuka, Sgt. Murkowski, Sgt. Kobylinski
Notes: The Spitfire was built at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory and was fitted with the Merlin 45 engine.
Sgt. Tadeusz Orzechowski. Driffield Cemetery, Yorkshire. Grave 6194. Born 13th September 1921 in Lwów, Poland. N.o.K. details not yet available. He was buried on 26th November at a funeral with full military honours.
Researched for relatives of the pilot with thanks to the Grangemouth Air Cadets and the Grangemouth Spitfire Memorial Trust who provided me with so much information and assistance during my visit, Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński – ‘Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945’, Polish Squadron O.R.B. ‘website’. Finally to Kazimierz Orzechowski (relative of the pilot) who contacted us in September 2017 and submitted the photographs.