AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.
Check our Research databases: Database List


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

315 squadron
15.05.1943 No. 315 Squadron Spitfire IX LZ990 Gp/Cpt. Pawlikowski

Operation: Circus 297

Date: 15th May 1943 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 315 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: LZ990 (1)

Base: RAF Northolt, Middlesex

Location: South East Caen, France.

Pilot: Gp/Cpt. Stefan Pawlikowski P-0587 PAF Age 46. Killed


The squadron took off at 16:07 hrs to cover six Mitchells that were to bomb Caen Airfield.

Left: Gp/Cpt. Stefan Pawlikowski

Four Fw 190's from II./JG2 jumped the starboard section coming from behind and above.

Also shot down during the same operation Sgt. P-76819 Piotr Lewandoswski flying Spitfire IX BS554 PK-P. He survived but taken as PoW. Hauptmann Erich Rudorffer (2) claimed both 315 aircraft shot down.

Stefan Pawlikowski had already seen action in the first world war and then after war end became a test pilot. When Poland collapsed in 1939 he made his escape to France where he took over the training for the Polish Air Force base. Then, with France falling he escaped to England where he had been requested due to his age, to remain in the organisation role of the Air Force.

As do most pilots he loved flying and life behind a desk was becoming difficult. He managed to persuade W/Cdr. Kolaczkowski to allow him to take up a 315 Squadron Spitfire for this operation, which turned out to be his final flight.

(1) Spitfire IX LZ990, Manufactured at the Castle Bromwich factory and fitted with the Merlin 63 engine.

(2) Hauptmann Erich Rudorffer became one of the highest scoring aces of WW2. He survived the war despite being shot down on several occasions.

Left: Luftwaffe 'Ace' Hptm. Rudorffer

Grave marker and grave today of Gp/Cpt. Pawlikowski at Grainville-Langannerie Polish War Cemetery

Burial Details:

Gp/Cptn Stefan Pawlikowski. Grainville-Langannerie Polish War Cemetery, Normandy France. Sec. 2 Row AA. Grave No. 2. Next of kin details not currently available, Born in Kozłów, Poland on October 11th 1896.

Researched for relatives of the pilot. With thanks for further information supplied to, 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'.

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
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.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2024
Last Modified: 22 March 2021, 19:36

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor