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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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303 Squadron badge
14.12.1943 No. 303 Squadron Spitfire Vb EN856 F/O. Podobinski

Operation: Training

Date: 14th December 1943 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 303 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: EN856

Code: RF-B

Base: RAF Ballyherbert, Northern Ireland.

Location: 3 miles South West Snaefell, Isle of Man.

Pilot: F/O. Stanislaw Podobinski P-1691 Polish Air Force Age 25. Killed


Flying on a training exercise with Sgt. Bartkowiak who flew as his no. 2. taking off at 14.10 hrs. from RAF Toome to return to base at RAF Ballyherbert.

During the flight he had constant problems with his radio and Operations informed Sgt. Bartkowiak that he should let it be known that as his radio was working he should take the lead. It seems that F/O. Podobinski either refused or that he didn't understand.

Illustration of Podobinski Spitfire by Darren Prior and used with permission

Later Sgt. Bartkowiak realised that they were heading direct to a large hill and he rapidly increased speed and climbed. During this manoeuvre he lost his leader. F/O. Podobinski hit the mountain at approximately 14.35 hrs, 3 miles South West of the summit and was killed.

Grave marker courtesy of Hamishk.

Burial Details:

F/O. Stanislaw Podobinski. Jurby (St Patrick) Churchyard, Isle Of Man. Grave 370. Born 23rd October 1919 in Rzeszów, Poland.

Researched for relatives of the pilot with thank 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, Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945'. Thanks to Ray Collister for the photo of the cemetery. Many thanks to Mike Mcquaid for the image of F/O. Podobinski grave marker.

RS 28.10.2018 - Addition of Grave marker

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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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