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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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304 squadron crest
05/06.04.1942 No. 304 Squadron Wellington IC X9764 P/O. Alfred Osadziński

Operation: Köln

Date: 5/6th April 1942

Unit: 304 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: X9764

Code: NZ-?

Base: R.A.F. Lindholme, Yorkshire

Location: Geetbetz, 28 Km. East-North-East of Leuven, Belgium

Pilot: P/O. Alfred Osadziński P-1570 P.A.F. Age 25. Killed

Co/pilot: P/O. Kazimierz Ziemiański P-1586 P.A.F. Age 25. Killed

Nav: Fl/Lt. Zygmunt Natkański P-76775 P.A.F. Age 34. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Dominik Marian Grajnert P-783452 P.A.F. Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Ludwig Karol Assman P-1538 P.A.F. Age 26. Killed (1)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Zdzisław Babraj P-780935 P.A.F. Age 22. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 22.58 hrs from R.A.F. Lindholme to bomb Cologne. A record force of 263 aircraft taking part on a single target. 

The main target within Cologne was the Humboldt engineering works where crews reported good bombing results. However, photographs after the raid proved that the target had been missed by as much as 5 miles.

Night fighters claimed two aircraft, a Hampden AT156 EA-C from 49 Squadron flown by F/O. Kay D.F.M. who was made a P.o.W., 2 other crew members killed and the fourth evading capture.

Oblt. Heinrich Peterson (2) from 6./NJG1, his first abschuss shot X9764 down at 02.28 hrs over Geetbetz – all the crew were killed.

              

Left to right: P/O. Kazimierz Ziemiański, Fl/Lt. Zygmunt Natkański, Sgt. Dominik Marian Grajnert, F/O. Ludwig Karol Assman, Sgt. Zdzisław Babraj 

(1)  F/O. Ludwig Karol Assman survived an earlier incident whilst flying on Wellington IC W5720 NZ-Q. Hit by flak, ditched some 30 miles off cromer and rescued after spending some 17 hours in a dingy by the Sheringham lifeboat, ‘Foresters Centenary’.

(2) Understood to have survived the war despite being wounded on the 6/6th June 1942 after a collision with a 149 Squadron Stirling R9314. All but one of the crew managed to survive after ditching in the Channel. The rear gunner, 21 year old Sgt. Keith Roderick from Glamorgan, Wales, was killed when the Me110 hit his turret. The Me110 crew baled out.

                            

                           

(Grave photographs courtesy of our friend, the late Rob Phillips, we do have updated photographs taken in 2013 by our new researcher,Victoria Fifield – interested party’s are welcome to contact us for copies)

Burial Details:

P/O. Alfred Osadziński Heverlee War Cemetery. Plot III. Row E. Grave 1. Born 13 September 1917. From Katy, Kraków. Poland.

P/O. Kazimerz Ziemianski Heverlee War Cemetery. Plot III. Row E. Grave 2. Born 23 October 1916. From New York (U.S.A).

Fl/Lt. Zygmunt Natkański Heverlee War Cemetery. Plot III. Row E. Grave 5. Born 4 September 1907. From Skierniewiec. Poland.

Sgt. Dominik Marian Grajnert Heverlee War Cemetery. Plot III. Row E. Grave 6. Born 4 August 1919 From Krzepczów Piotrków.

Sgt Ludwig Karol Assman Heverlee War Cemetery. Plot III. Row E. Grave 3. Born 9th October 1915 From Nupajedel (Cz).

Sgt. Zdzisław Babraj Heverlee War Cemetery. Plot III. Row E. Grave 4. Born 27 March 1920 From Kraków, Poland.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Victoria Fifield (for new photographs of the graves t Heverlee), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński – ‘Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945’, Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek – ‘Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii’, Bill Chorley – ‘Bomber Command Losses Vol’s. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions’, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie – ‘Nightfighter War Diaries Vol’s. 1 and  2’, Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt – ‘Bomber Command War Diaries’, Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker – ‘Kracker Luftwaffe Archives’. Aircrew Remembered own Archives.

Acknowledgements: 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', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', 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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