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Franciszek Antoni Wiza KW (Krzyż Walecznych) & 2 bars DFC: Fighter Pilot 302 315 316 Squadron (Polish)

Update 01st February 2022: After many years and a great deal of research, a small group of committed people and Aircrew Remembered have finally had his grave correctly marked. Details are yet to be finalised on the unveiling.

The shame that an unmarked grave exists for a highly decorated Polish fighter pilot, a naturalised Australian citizen at the time of his death - Aircrew Remembered together with many others have now been battling for 6 years to change this.

With friends from Australia, New Zealand and some in Poland! He will have a headstone. Appeals for funding and press coverage underway.

Born: Monday, 28th February 1916, in Lubeck, Germany. Died: Friday 12th October 1956 New South Wales, Australia.

Franek Grabowski, Aircrew Remembered, along with our many friends, have tried to change this, to place a headstone or other marker on his grave.

The authorities at the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park - (formerly, Botany General Cemetery, New South Wales) have been most helpful, they were keen to assist us in our quest and willing to help in any way that they are able.

Above: left to right: Stanisław Skalski - receiving DSO, Antoni Michał Kolubinski- receiving DFC, Frantiszek Wiza - receiving DFC.

Note: W/Cdr. Stanisław Skalski PAF was born on the 27th November 1918 and passed away on the 12th November 2004 - served with 501, 306, 601 Squadrons. Fl/Lt. Antoni Michał Kolubinski P-0508 PAF was born on the 09th June 1916 and passed away on the 03rd November 1990 - served with 303 Squadron.

Above, same occasion, Jerzy Bajan, Stanisław Skalski and Frantiszek Wiza. (courtesy Peter Sikora) Taken at Bentley Priory (Fighter Command H.Q) 4th April 1945.

Note: W/Cdr. Jerzy Bajan P-1499 PAF was born on the 04th June 1901 and passed away on the 27th June 1967 - served with 316 and 309 Squadrons.

What we know of A/Sq/Ldr. Wiza is as follows:

His father, Józef was born in Sweden and his mother was Polish. Escaped to France and during the middle of 1940, made his way to England.

Trained at 58 Operational Training Unit August 1942 - December 1942
December 1942 - July 1943 315 Squadron
July 1943 - November 1943 316 Squadron
November 1943 - November 1944 302 Squadron
November 1944 - February 1945 315 Squadron
February 1945 - May 1945 61 Operational Training Unit.
25th July transferred to Transport Command - ferried aircraft to India.
Demobbed in June 1947 at RAF Rednal, Shropshire, England.
Returned and stayed in India flying as a commercial airline pilot.
Sunday 27th July 1947, married Thelma Doreen Pell in Calcutta. Thelma was British, but born in India on Wednesday, 10th December 1919

Above - wedding to Thelma Doreen Pell. rear: Bohdan 'Dan' Krahelski, Jennifer Pell (Thelma’s step sister). 2nd row: Frank Pell, Thelma, Frank, Dorothy Pell (Thelma's mother), bottom row. Richard and Michael Horley (Thelma's children)

Note: Bohdan Krahelski P-2117 / 794767 Born on the 24th June 1915 at Mazurki, Poland (now Belarus) and passed away in 1958 in India. As a Fl/Lt. served with 307 Squadron. Also died young at 43 - are you able to assist with any details?

Arrived in Australia on Wednesday,17th March 1948 and flew with New Holland Airways. Became an Australian citizen on Monday, 4th July 1949.

Joined Gibbes Sepik Airways flying with the famous Australian "Ace" Bobby Gibbes
Tuesday, 26th June 1951 uninjured with his navigator Flanagan, during a forced landing at Jacquinot Bay, Papua, New Ginea due to fuel exhaustion and navigational errors. Aircraft suffered minor damage

Married again just prior to his death in 1956 to Vera Lydia Ena Pudney in Calcutta, India. After his death she remarried in 1958.

Died aged 40, on, Friday 12th October 1956. Last known address: 11 Waratah Street, Rushcutters Bay, New South Wales, Australia.

Buried: 'Unmarked' grave, (in space shown above) Eastern Suburbs memorial Park - formerly, Botany General Cemetery, New South Wales, Section 14, Row 28, Grave 1355.

Above: Finally his grave was correctly marked (courtesy Gillian 'The Fixer' Lewis)

V1 Claims:

Thursday 27th July 1944 Fl/Lt. Wiza 315 Squadron Mustang III FX995 PK-E V1 Destroyed 16.35 hrs. Off Dieppe, northern France.
Tuesday 1st August 1944 Fl/Lt. Wiza 315 Squadron Mustang III FX995 PK-E V1 Destroyed 14.35 hrs. Intercepted over the Channel at 2,800 ft, firing two short bursts from 300 yards the diver dived steeply and exploded in the sea.
Tuesday 29th August 1944 Fl/Lt. Wiza 315 Squadron Mustang III FX8785 PK-F V1 Destroyed 13.49 hrs. Newchurch area, England Shared with P/O. Hall of 486 Squadron.

Aircraft Claims:

Friday 18th August 1943 F/O. Wiza 316 Squadron Spitfire MA235 Destroyed 1 Fw190 - Amiens area, northern France.
Friday 18th August 1943 F/O. Wiza 316 Squadron Spitfire MA235 Damaged 1 Fw190 - Amiens area, northern France.
Friday 7th December 1945 Fl/Lt. Wiza 315 Squadron Mustang III HB885 PK-I Destroyed 1 Bf109 Gossen Island, Norway.
Friday 7th December 1945 Fl/Lt. Wiza 315 Squadron Mustang III HB885 PK-I Destroyed 1 Bf109 Gossen Island, Norway.

With thanks to Alan Scheckenbach, Franek Grabowski, Peter Sikora, Brian and Diane Ramsey, Gillian Lewis, Fiona Stace, Kate Tame, Gail Tuffield, Linda Ibrom, Graham Pudney, Francis Gates, Lucyna Artymiuk, Richard Kornicki. Brian Cull/Bruce Lander "Diver! Diver! Diver!", Jerzy Bogdan Cynk - "The Polish Airforce At War" Vol. 2. Also to Elise Neilson from Australia, granddaughter of Thelma Doreen Pell who contacted us in May 2017. Plus many others who have and continue to assist us with this.

Also to Ian D. Martyn founder and website administrator of Medals Reunited New Zealand, who managed to find details of the relatives for us in May 2017.

Below; our friends from New Zealand representing Medals Reunited visited Franks grave in September 2017 and paid their respects. He described his visit:

"We located Franks site and laid flowers and a poppy plus recited the Ode for our man.
A great view looking East over Botany Bay towards the airport, so Frank can count them all out and count them all in.
I briefed the lady on reception at the cemetery and left her my Medals Reunited NZ card. Gave her a brief back ground on why I was there and what is planned for the future".

Above: His last known address, 11 Waratah Street, Rushcutters Bay, New South Wales, Australia.
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KTY - 10.05.2017 Relatives contacted us. 13.05.2017 further information added. KTY - 24.09.2017 Photo of grave visit added.

KTY 19.09.2018 Further details added.

KTY 03.02.2022 Grave phot added.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon

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Last Modified: 02 August 2022, 12:57

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