22.06.1944 No. 315 Squadron Mustang III FZ157 PK-J W/O. Tamowicz
Date: 22nd June 1944 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 315 Squadron (Polish)
Type: Mustang III
Base: RAF Coolham
Location: Cherbourg Beachhead, France.
Pilot: W/O. Tadeusz Tamowicz 793839 PAF Age 25. Survived, injured
REASON FOR LOSS:
12 Mustangs from 315 squadron took off from RAF Coolham at 12:10 hrs with aircraft from 129 and 306 squadrons.
During one of the runs PK-J was hit by several 20mm. shells from ground forces, the pilot was forced to try and land as the engine had been severely damaged. He called to advise what he was doing, then managed to crash land his Mustang in the marshes. Another Mustang FB398 PK-A, that of 26 year old Fl/Lt. Henryk Stefankiewicz P-0564 PAF was also hit, killing the pilot.
After W/O. Tamowicz had landed he managed to crawl out of his aircraft and started bandaging his wounds on his legs. His Sq/Ldr. Eugebiusz Horbaczewski circled and they acknowledged one another.
Amazingly, the Sq/Ldr landed a few kilometres from the downed Mustang on an emergency American airstrip - the Americans lent him a jeep and he collected Tadeusz - drove back to the airstrip - placed him in the cockpit - used him as a cushion and flew back to base in his Mustang!
Left: Sadly Sq/Ldr. Horbaczewski DFC. DSO. VM. was killed on the 18th August 1944, shot down by Fw 190s near Beauvais airfield.
Above left: Sgt. W/O. Tadeusz Tamowicz taken during training at 58 OTU Right: Fl/Sgt. Tadeusz Słoń 781269 (taking the place of W/O.Tamowicz who was receiving treatment for his injuries) with Sq/Ldr. Horbaczewski - showing how they did it! (courtesy IWM)
Course 25-1, 58 OTU Grangemouth, Scotland: Front row: Sgt. McLaren, F/O. Sanders, Fl/Lt. Zweigbergh, Sq/Ldr. Robinson, F/O. Siekierski, P/O. Czernecki - Middle row: Sgt. Tamowicz, Sgt. Syperek, Sgt. Pomielarz, Sgt. Sliwinski, Sgt. Blazejczyk, Fl/Sgt. Banys - Rear row: Sgt. Dunajewski, Fl/Sgt. Chute, Sgt. Hyde, Sgt. Bielicki, Sgt. Ballantyne, Sgt. Bedowski.
KW (Krzyż Walecznych) - awarded to a person who "has demonstrated deeds of valour and courage on the battlefield.
ML (Medal Lotniczy) x 3 - awarded to personnel of the Polish Air Forces in active duty during the Second World War.
None, W/O. Tadeusz Tamowicz KW, 3xML. Born on the 08th August 1919 at Ciemniewo, Ciechanow, Poland. Survived the war and settled in Australia, working as a clerk. Passed away on the 02nd February 1981 in Melbourne after suffering poor health, age just 61 - buried at Ciemniewko, Poland.
Researched for relatives of the pilot. and the Grangemouth Spitfire Memorial Trust who provided me with so much information and assistance during my visit.