Date: 17th June 1944 (Saturday)
Unit: No. 303 Squadron (Polish)
Type: Spitfire Vb
Base: ALG - RAF Horne. (1)
Location: Saint-Martin-de-Fontenay, south of Caen, France
Pilot: W/O. Leon Zygarlicki 783220 PAF Age 24. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Take off at 11.30 hrs on a patrol led by Sq/Ldr. Koc DFC following the Normandy invasion flew over a German strong hold at Saint-Martin-de-Fontenay where it was repotted that a large section had attacked U.S. troops. he and F/O. Swietlikowski attacked the column.
Right: W/O. Leon Zygarlicki
The attack started at around 12.55 hrs. Following initial attacks W/O Zygarlick was seen to jettison his long range fuel tanks at 13.00 hrs, diving again, but upside down towards the target. F/O. Swietlikowski saw the aircraft hit the ground and explode.
Due to lack of fuel he was unable to make another pass to confirm what happened to W/O. Zygarlicki and returned to base. He did confirm that during the attacks they were under fire from anti aircraft guns.
(1) ALG - Advanced Landing Ground, in this case, 'Horne' situated 30 miles south of London near Horley. Used mainly to offer protection from the V.1 rockets.
Notes: Spitfire Vb BM407 had been built at the Castle Bromwich Works on the 2nd April 1942. Fitted with R.R. Merlin 45M engine.
303 Squadron in formation (see credits)
Grangemouth, Scotland 58 OTU. Course 21. Polish flight: Front row: Sgt. Kirchner, P/O. Habela, P/O. Uchwat, P/O. Nentwich, P/O. Mroczyk, P/O. Skibinski, Sgt. Lisowski – Centre Row: Sgt. Korwell, Sgt. Domanski, Sgt. Gajewski, Sgt. Bzowski, Sgt. Fraczek, Sgt. Kwasniewski – Back Row: Sgt. Benzinski, Sgt. Karasinski, Sgt. Slepica, Sgt. Malczewski, Sgt. Blaha, Sgt. Zygarlicki, Karasinski. W.
Bayeux War Cemetery Then and Now (see credits)
Left: Grave of W/O. Leon Zygarlicki 783220 at Bayeux, France
W/O. Leon Zygarlicki. Bayeux War Cemetery, Calvados, France. Plot II Row G. Grave 21. Born on 28th June 1919 at Belzec Poland. NOK details not available as yet.
Researched for relatives of the pilot with thanks to the following for their additional information:
The Grangemouth Air Cadets and the Grangemouth Spitfire Memorial Trust who provided me with so much information and assistance during my visit, Polish Squadron O.R.B. 'website', Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945'. Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum London. Also thanks to Jim at the WW44 forum for the Bayeux photographs.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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