19.05.1942 102 Glider Operational Training Unit Hector K9747 Sgt. Szymoński
Date: 19th May 1942 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 102 Glider Operational Training Unit
Type: Hawker Hector
Base: RAF Kidlington, Oxfordshire
Location: At base, RAF Kidlington
Pilot: Sgt. Tomasz Szymoński P-0607 PAF Age 40. Injured/died
Rear Crew: Flt.Sgt.Joseph Simpson 844669 AuxAF Age 44. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
It has taken many hours to trace how this Polish pilot died. We checked various archives we held and found very little. Searched the internet, very little. Then we turned to our Archiwum Mielnika database - using that (although in Polish, we translated the descriptive text) that led us to return to our other archives.
Eventually we managed to find enough information to place a page to Tomasz. To our knowledge his loss is not fully listed anywhere else.
On the 19th May 1942 the pilot was going in very low to the base at RAF Kidlington and misjudged his approach. In the course of his landing he hit a 2 foot high pile of gravel on the boundary with his left wing and caused the aircraft to overturn. The gravel was for use in filling bomb craters, placing it in line with the runway does seem to be unwise? (courtesy Colin Cummings)
The pilot was injured and it has to be said never really recovered. He was then removed from active flying duties o the 12th March 1943 and transferred to the Polish base in London. On the 22nd April 1943 he was admitted to Oxford Hospital where he later died on Tuesday 18th May 1943.
58 Operational Training Unit, Grangemouth, Scotland, Course 19-2:
Front row: Fg.Off. Jan Blaszczyk P-0560 (kia 03.12.1943), Plt.Off. Tomasz Jerzy Jan Legowski P-1800 / 781898 (died 26.11.2011), Fg.Off. Stanisław Grzegorz Kon P-1366 (died 29.11.1984), Fg.Off. Bernard William John Peathyjohns 68158, Fg.Off. Raymond Archibald Watts 65530, Plt.Off. Short, Plt.Off. Rowlands.
Rear row: Sgt. Allen, Sgt. Armstrong, Sgt. Tushingham, Sgt. Jan Józef Zimek 780963 (died 04/12/1986), Sgt. Tadeusz Stanisław Turek P-2217 / 793595 (died 16.01.1993), Sgt. Tadeusz Siemienczuk 783163 (kia 17/04/1942), Sgt. Tomasz Szymonski P-0607 (dow 18.05.1943), Sgt. Bruce.
(Left) Sgt. Tomasz Szymoński. Edinburgh Cemetery (Corstorphine Hill). War Graves Plot Section B Joint Grave 1356. Born on the 16th December 1901, the son of Józef and Petronela Szymonski of Chrościce, Poland.
Flt.Sgt. Joseph Simpson. Wallsend (Holy Cross) Cemetery Sec. 20. Cons.Grave 43. Son of Joseph and Jane Isobel Simpson, of Wallsend; husband of Letitia Laura Simpson, of Cricklewood, Middlesex. Flt.Sgt Simpson was from No. 81 Works Flight.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Archiwum Mielnika database, Chris Hobson 'Failed To Return', Volume 9. Colin Cummings 'Though Without Anger'. Thanks to Roland Griffiths for the information regarding the rear crew member, other sources as quoted below: