14.12.1943 No. 303 Squadron Spitfire Vb EN856 F/O. Podobinski
Date: 14th December 1943 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 303 Squadron (Polish)
Type: Spitfire Vb
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
REASON FOR LOSS:
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.
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.