19.03.1945 No 309 Squadron Mustang III FX860 WC-P Fl/Lt. Sawicki
Operation: Operational Sortie
Date: 19th March 1945 (Monday)
Unit: No. 309 Squadron (Polish)
Type: Mustang P51-d III
Base: RAF Andrews Field, Eseex
Location: Broomfield Hall, Broomfield, Essex.
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Stanislaw Sawicki P-1576 (783432) PAF Age 31. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Joined the Squadron on 1st November 1940 - no records available of his initial training. An experienced pilot with 922 hours including 91 on the Mustang. Posted to 41Operational Training Unit on the 13th June 1942 and then returned to 309 on the 17th July 1942.
It is understood that during the return from an operational sortie Sq/Ldr. Glowacki noticed grey smoke coming from the exhaust of FX860. Immediately afterwards the aircraft turned to the left in what was thought to be an attempt at a forced landing. Eye witness statements said that they heard an irregular explosion coming from one of the Mustangs flying at about 300 ft. at 08:40 hrs. The aircraft then made a very sharp turn to port and appears to stall, crashing into the ground on its port wing from about 30 ft. and burst into flames.
Other witnesses stated that the pilot turned so sharp to avoid the hospital that they were certain he would hit if he had carried on and made perhaps a safer landing.
The pilot was rescued from the aircraft badly burned but died of his injuries some 10 hours after the crash.
The report from the accident investigation was that the aircraft craned due to failure of the engine - No. 3 con rod had failed and the pilot lost flying speed and stalled during his final approach to make the forced landing at a very low height.
Note: Form W2116 (Air Accident investigators report) is available free of charge to relatives if they wish to contact us.
Above as described
Fl/Lt. Stanislaw Sawicki. North Weald Bassett Churchyard (St Andrew). Row 3 Grave 2. Next of kin details not available. Born 7th May 1913 at Odessa - then in Russia, now Ukraine.
Researched for relatives of the pilot. With thanks to the following for further information supplied, Geoffrey Gillion, for grave photograph, National Archives Kew, England, 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'.