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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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316 Squadron crest
17.06.1943 No. 316 Squadron Spitfire IX BR143 SZ-Q Fl/Lt. Stefan Stegman K.W. Bar

Operation: Circus (Béthune, France)

Date: 17th June 1943

Unit: No. 316 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: BR143

Code: SZ-Q

Base: R.A.F. Northolt

Location: North Sea off Ostend, Brugge, Belgium

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Stefan Stegman K.W. Bar P-76711 P.A.F. Age 28. Killed


Escorting a force of 23 Blenheims on a large circus operation to the power station near Béthune, northern France. 



The bombing raid was a success and none of the 23 Blenheims were lost although several of the escort were hit and damaged, thought to be by F.W. 190’s from JG26. The combat occurred at 09.15hrs with the aircraft coming down in the North Sea off Brugge, Belgium. His body was washed up on the shore at Ostend July 3rd.


Above: Oostende New Cemetery – with insert grave of Fl/Lt. Stegaman. Left: F/O. Stegman

Burial Details:

Fl/Lt. Stefan Stegman. Oostende New Communal Cemetery. Plot 9B. Row. 5. Grave 20. Born on October 15th, 1910. Escaped to England in 1939 joining R.A.F. in January 1940. After further training, he joined 229 Squadron at Northolt on September 26th 1940. 

Posted to the newly-formed 316 Squadron at Pembrey on March 22nd 1941. Tour complete, went to 58 O.T.U., Grangemouth, Scotland on November 28th 1941, as an instructor. Rejoined 316, then stationed at Heston, on May 15th 1942. He was awarded the KW (gazetted 15th November 1942). 

Stegman was appointed Flight Commander on March 14th 1943.

Aircrew Remembered would like to thank Robert Gretzyngier, Woitek Matusiak, Wadldemar Wojcik and Josef Zielinski for the use of some of these photographs. We highly recommend their publications regarding WW2 Polish Air Force and are happy to provide other researchers information where they can be purchased.

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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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