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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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27.05.1944 440 (City of Ottawa) Squadron, RCAF Typhoon Ib MN342 Fg Off. Nicholas Stusiak

Operation: Non-Operational height test

Date: 25th May 1944 (Thursday)

Unit No: 440 (City of Ottawa) Squadron, RCAF, 143 Wing, 2nd Tactical Air Force

Type: Typhoon Ib

Serial: MN342

Code: I8:P

Base: RAF Hurn, Dorset, England

Location: At Waterhouse Farm, Middle Bockhampton near Bransgore, Hants

Pilot: Fg Off. Nicholas ‘Nick’ Stusiak J35984 RCAF Age 24. KIFA

Above: Fg Off. Nicholas ‘Nick’ Stusiak as a WO2 from his service record

Note: KIFA = Killed in Flying Accident

REASON FOR LOSS

Fg Off. Stusiak, from "A" Flight, took off in Typhoon MN342 from RAF Hurn on the 25th May 1944 at 10:55 hrs on a properly authorised height test.

From eye-witnesses accounts Fg Off. Stusiak pulled his aircraft up into a steep climb, lost control, and the Typhoon went into an inadvertent spin from which the pilot could not recover because of insufficient altitude.

A Court of Inquiry was convened to determine the circumstances leading to the crash and death of Fg Off. Stusiak:

At about 11:23 hrs a Typhoon and a P-47 Thunderbolt were seen in the vicinity of the town of Bransgrove, Hants, engaging in "dog fighting" or more correctly a turning match at 500 ft to 200 ft. The Typhoon in its attempts to get on the tail of the Thunderbolt, while in a steep turn, spun in and crashed;

The aircraft crashed in a field at Waterhouse Farm, Brockhampton near Bransgore, 1 mile from Winkton Airfield at 11:25 hrs;

On impact the aircraft caught fire which was tackled by a fire tender from the nearby USAAF station of Winkton. When the fire was extinguished, the aircraft was identified as Typhoon Ib MN342 flown by Fg Off. Stusiak.

Note: Winkton Airfield was Station #414 and the home of the USAAF 404th Fighter Group (FG), 84th Fighter Wing, 9th Air force. The group had arrived at RAF Winkton on the 4th April 1944 and were equipped with the P-47 Thunderbolt. It is possible that the P-47 Thunderbolt involved came from Winkton. At the time when the Court of Inquiry was convened the pilot of the P-47 had not been identified and he remains unknown to this day.

The Court of Inquiry concluded that the primary causes leading the accident were:

Due to the excessive tightening of a steep turn, which caused a loss in flying speed, leading to a high speed stall and entering a spin;

That the pilot was flying at such a low altitude that he had insufficient time or height to recover from the spin before he crashed;

That Fg Off. Stusiak disobeyed his Flight Commander’s instruction to carry out a height test, in that he was "dog fighting" at a very low altitude with another aircraft.

The funeral for Fg Off. Stusiak took place on the 31st May 1944 at 15:00 hrs. The service was conducted by the RCAF Protestant Chaplain, Sqn Ldr. Ashford, after which his body was interred in the soldiers’ plot at the Bournemouth North Cemetery.

Burial details:

Fg Off. Nicholas Stusiak. Bournemouth North Cemetery Row J.4. Grave 90. Inscription: 'IN MEMORY OF OUR BELOVED SON'. Born on the 19th May 1920 in Bienfait, Saskatchewan. Son of Alexander and Veronica (née Pentalychuk) Stusiak of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

WO2. Stusiak R106871 was appointed to a commission and promoted to Plt Off. on the 16th July 1943 whilst with 111(F) Sqn at RCAF Station Patricia Bay, British Columbia.

Two of his brothers also served in the RCAF when he enlisted:

Sgt. John Stewart Stusiak R172415 (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) serving overseas;

LAC. Victor Virgo Stusiak R252925 serving at #4 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Researched by Ralph Snape and dedicated to this pilot and his family.

Other sources as quoted below:

RS 20.08.2023 - Initial upload

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Acknowledgements
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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