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Fl/Sgt. Jan Jøzef Zimek 780963 Pilot PAF Born November 20th 1918. Died December 1986. Age 68.

Understood to have been born in the USA, the son of Polish immigrant. Joined Polish Air Force Cadets School in Deblin, Poland in 1939, evacuated with other cadets.

Started his training at 58 OTU in Grangemouth, Scotland in March 1942 on course 19-2. Following this, joined 315 Squadron (Polish) in May 1942 - in September 1942 posted to 317 Squadron (Polish) before finally going to 41 Squadron in October 1942.

Later that month he crash landed in Eire, surviving this he was then interned - only being released in July 1943.

From then we know nothing about what he did during the war and immediately afterwards.

We know that in September 1948 he moved with a Ms. Dorothy Foster to Trinidad, Jamaica and married on the 23rd September of that year. Sailing on the SS Orbita.

Left: SS Orbita ocean liner built in 1913-14 - Passenger transport after WW1, then used as a troop ship until 1949 - dismantled in 1950 in Newport, Wales.

Some time later they both returned to England and settled down - we do not know if they had children but if so, we would very much like to be able to contact them.

Jan Jøzef Zimek died in December 1986 in Cockermouth, Cumbria, England age 68. Dorothy died in May 1992 age 70 in Preston, Lancashire.

Polish historians, Peter Sikora and Lukas Gredys would very much like to make contact with the family / relatives in order to find out more on his career and life after ww2 for a new publication currently under preparation titled ‘Polish Wings Over Ireland’.

Indeed they would like to hear from any Polish relatives regarding service in Ireland during the war years. Please contact us in the first instance.

Course 19-2 at 58 OTU. Grangemouth, Scotland: Front row: F/O. Blaszczyk (1), P/O. Legowski, F/O. Kon, F/O. Peathy-Johns, F/O. Watts, P/O. Short, P/O. Rowlands - Rear row: Sgt. Allen, Sgt. Armstrong, Sgt. Tushingham, Sgt. Zimek, Sgt. Turek (2), Sgt. Siemienczuk (3), Sgt. Szymonski, Sgt. Bruce.

(1) Fl/Lt Jan Blaszczyk P-0560 Killed 3rd December 1943, 318 Squadron Hurricane IIb BP135
(2) P/O. Tadeusz Turek P-2217 killed 20th Seotember 1943, 609 Squadron Tyhpoon Ib JP745
(3) Sgt. Tadeusz Siemienczuk 783163 killed 17th April 1942, 58 OTU Spitfire Ia R7073
With thanks to Kate Tame for her extensive search to date.

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• Last Modified: 11 February 2015, 01:05 •