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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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315 squadron badge
04.04.1943 No. 315 Squadron Spitfire IX BS514 Sq/Ldr. Szczesnyy V.M. D.F.C.

Operation: Ramrod 51

Date: 4th April 1943 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 315 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: BS514

Base: R.A.F. Northolt, Middlesex.

Location: 10 miles North East Roeun, France

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Henryk Szczesny V.M. D.F.C. P-76781 P.A.F. P.o.W. Camp Sagan and Belaria.

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 13.35 hrs ten aircraft left R.A.F. Northolt on a Ramrod to escort 70 B-17’s after bombing Billancourt. During the turn to escort these over Roeun Fl/Lt. Lukasiewicz and P/O. Panek collided – both pilot were killed.

The Squadron was bounced by 15 Fw 109’s 10 miles North East of Rouen. During this skirmish both Sq/Ldr. Szczesny and Sgt OstrowskI were shot down. A grim day indeed for the Squadron, losing four valuable pilots.

                    

Burial Details:

None: P/O. Henryk Szczesny V.M. D.F.C. survived the war and settled in England. In 1946 transferred to the R.A.F. where he served until 1965. Son of Stanislaw and Marianna, née Werc. Born March 27th 1909 in Poland. Previously served in 302, 317 Squadrons before joining 315 Squadron. Died in London on 25th July 1996.

Researched for relatives of the pilot with thanks to the following for further information, 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’, Norman L.R. Franks ‘Fighter Command Losses’ Vol. 2, Wikipedia, Aircrew Remembered own archives.

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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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