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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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315 Squadron Crest
23.08.1942 No. 315 Squadron Spitfire Vb BL959 PK-T F/O. Bolesław Sawiak

Operation: Scramble

Date: 23rd August 1942 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 315 Squadron (P)

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: BL959

Code: PK-T

Base: RAF Valley, Wales / RAF Ballyhalbert Northern Ireland

Location: Ratroath, County Meath, Eire

Pilot: F/O. Bolesław Józef Sawiak P-0867 PAF Age 23. Killed


A few Spitfires from the Squadron were stationed at RAF Valley in Anglesey away from their main base at this time of RAF Ballyhalbert in Northern Ireland for general patrols along the Irish Coast.

Two aircraft were scrambled to intercept a lone marauding JU88. Sgt. Tadeusz Lubicz-Lisowski (1) P-2662 PAF damaged his Spitfire during take off and followed shortly in another. In the meantime F/O. Sawiak proceed to his target - guided by his controllers.

He intercepted the JU88 which he hit and they were forced to crash land in Ireland with injured crew. However, during the engagement his aircraft had been hit several times. The pilot suffered wounds with a bullet grazing his knee and going through his elbow. He was forced to crash land his Spitfire in a field some two miles north of Ratoath near Dublin.

The aircraft went into a ditch and he suffered multiple injuries and despite receiving first aid by a local doctor and then rapid transfer to St. Bricins Military Hospital in Dublin the pilot lost his fight for life en-route.

On the 25th August his body was taken to the port at Dun Laoghaire with a military escort for onward travel by boat to England for burial.

(1) F/O. Tadeusz Lubicz-Lisowski - flying Mustang III HB885 PK-I went missing on a Roadstead to Norway on the 23rd December 1944, seen to bale out but body never recovered.

Burial details:

F/O. Bolesław Józef Sawiak. Our Lady Of Compassion RC Churchyard. Plot G Row A Grave 18. Born on the 18th September 1918 the son of John Sawiaka and Josepha Salomea (née Kulpa), from Przemyśl, Poland.

A memorial to 315 (Polish) City of Deblin Squadron pilot F/O Bolesław Józef Sawiak was unveiled at a dedication service outside Ratoath Community Centre, near Dublin, The Republic of Ireland, on Wednesday 23 August, the 75th anniversary of his death. The memorial is close to the site where F/O Sawiak’s Mk Vb Spitfire, BL959 PK-T crashed landed.

Sgt. Tadeusz Lubicz-Lisowski. Remembered on the Polish Memorial, Northolt and in Warsaw. Born on the 01st January 1920 in Lwów, Poland (now Ukraine)

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to sources as quoted below. Thanks to Finian Darby for the information regarding the memorial for F/O Sawiak.

RS 11.02.2019 - Inclusion of link to memorial

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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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