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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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04.04.1943 No. 315 Squadron Spitfire IX EN185 PK-J F/O. Panek

Operation: Ramrod 51

Date: 04th April 1943 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 315 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: EN185

Code: PK-J

Base: RAF Northolt, Middlesex

Location: Rouen, France.

Pilot: F/O. Przemysław Wojciech Panek P-1730 PAF Age 23. Killed


Took off at 13:35 hrs with 9 others to offer cover for 70 Flying Fortress's returning from Billancourt. At around 25,000 ft. they crossed the coast of France turning to return when Spitfire EN124 flown by Fl/Lt. Stanislaw Lukaszewicz and EN185 collided at 14:30 hrs, killing both pilots.

A horrific day for Polish squadrons with 315 Squadron losing 4 aircraft, 3 pilots killed, 1 taken P.o.W, 316 Squadron also lost an aircraft but the pilot managed to evade capture and return. A total of 13 Spitfires were lost this day 10 valuable pilots killed!


Course 26, 58 O.T.U at Grangemoouth, Scotland: Front row: P/O. Bialecki, P/O. Dubielecki, F/O. Kalinowski, P/O. Radziszewski, P/O.Bartys, P/O. Meyer - Centre row: Sgt. Sczepankiewicz, Sgt. Tomkczak, P/O. Panek, P/O. Sworniowski, P/O. Stankiewicz, P/O. Radwanski, Sgt. Stanski - Rear row: Sgt. Lewicki, Sgt. Jan Sweryda, Sgt. Szajda, Sgt. Gieerczycki, St. Jaszczar, Sgt Kepdzynski.

Notes: EN185 Spitfire Built by Eastleigh Aerodrome on the 10th November 1942, fitted with the R.R. Merlin 61 Engine.


Burial Details:

F/O. Przemyslaw Wojciech Panek. St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen. Plot S.I, Row G, Grave 12. From Poznań, Poland. Born 27th February, 1920. Next of kin details not available as yet.

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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 2, Polish Squadron O.R.B. 'website'.

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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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