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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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304 squadron crest
16.10.1942 304 Squadron Wellington IC R1413 NZ:J Fg Off. Stanislaw M. Targowski DFC

Operation: Anti-submarine sweep

Date: 16th October 1942 (Friday)

Unit No: 304 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: R1413

Coded: NZ:J

Base: RAF Talbenny, Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Location: Bay of Biscay

Pilot: Fg Off. Stanislaw Marian Targowski DFC. P-1073 PAF Age 33. MiA

Pilot 2: Fg Off. Gerard Twardoch 792266 PAF Age 27. MiA

Obs: Fg Off. Tadeusz Oleś P-0367 PAF Age 32. MiA

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Zygmunt Stanislaw Piechowiak 792815 PAF Age 22. MiA

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Wladyslaw Młynarski 781558 PAF Age 27. MiA

Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. Franciszek Kubacik 793503 PAF Age 26. MiA


Took off at 08.25hrs on an anti-submarine sweep. During the patrol the squadron received a telegram informing them that F/O. Targowski had been awarded the DFC.

Shot down by Uffz. Werner Steurich of 13./KG40 at 16.38 hrs. Extract from the 13./KG 40 combat reports written by Lt. Dieter Meister (below) describes the encounter: (see Kracker Luftwaffe Archive)

“After chasing the plane for some 15 minutes both opponents opened fire. The Polish pilot was flying with great skill. Although flying evasive turns he was always heading for England. He also flew in such a way that his machine guns were effective. Then he dropped his depth charges to gain more speed.

After his attack, Lt .Meister flew very low over the Wellington and got into the rear gunner's range of fire. One engine was shot to pieces, coolant began to leak as well as fuel. The two other Ju88's forced the enemy away. Lt. Meister's Ju88 fell behind and tried to gain height.

Flying a new attack Uffz. Steurich's cone of fire was well aimed and the Polish pilot collapsed over the control column. The Wellington's nose went down and the plane crashed into the water. A yellow dingy was observed."

This crew had previously successfully beaten off an attack by V./KG 40 (Same force that shot them down on this date) exactly a month prior to this action.

Burial details

Fg Off. Stanislaw Marian Targowski DFC. Remembered on the Polish War Memorial, England as well as the Warsaw memorial. Born 8th December 1909 in Poland.

Fg Off. Gerard Twardoch. Remembered on the Polish War Memorial, England. Born 11th February 1916, Poland.

Fg Off. Tdeusz Oleś. Remembered on the Polish War Memorial, England. Born 27th January 1910, Poland.

Sgt. Zygmunt Stanislaw Piechowiaki. Remembered on the Polish War Memorial, England. Born 4th April 1920, Poland.

Sgt. Wladyslaw Mlynarski. Remembered on the Polish War Memorial, England. Born 2nd February 1916, Poland.

Sgt. Franciszek Kubacik. Remembered on the Polish War Memorial, England. Born 9th May 1916, Poland.

With thanks to the following for the crew photographs: Robert Gretzyngier, Woitek Matusiak, Wadldemar Wojcik and Josef Zielinski 'Ku czci poległych lotnikow 1939-1945'. With further thanks to Michel Beckers for improved photo of Fg Off. Tadeusz Oleś - May 2016.

Other sources listed below:

KTY 13-05.2016 - Further photo added courtesy Michel Beckers.

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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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