On January 2, 1945, while German offensive at Ardennes was still alive but halted, the Bomber Command executed a massive air raid on Nuremberg. Among some 500 bombers, several Polish Lancasters took part in the sortie. Ten bombers were lost that night, one Polish among them. No. 300 Squadron lost its PB823, BH-T, with the crew of six.
It is almost certain that the Polish bomber was shot down by the German night fighter - Hauptmann Becker IV/NJG 6. When it went down in flames near the village of Montois in Eastern France, and near the border with Luxemburg, it damaged some roofs before scattering bodies of its crew and itself in a fresh snow, and in a radius of few hundred meters. Although the very next morning the US Military Police investigated, some bodies could not be identified. They were buried at Grand Failly, a temporary US Military location. In 1964 they were reburied at Pierrepont French National Cemetery.
     S/Ldr Brunon Janas (pilot), W/O Jan Banys (bomb aimer), Sgt Stefan Zielinski (wireless operator), Sgt Maksymilian Wrus (air gunner), Sgt Wiktor Omiotek (navigator), F/Sgt Walenty Heine (air gunner) and Sgt Romuald Drozdowicz (air gunner) are remembered not only by the Poles, but also by the French people of Montois.

Material courtesy of Jean-Paul Gaillot, who researched it. Merci J.P., merci Montois.


Brunon Janas

Jan Banys

Walenty Heine

Maksymilian Wrus

Wiktor Omiotek

Romuald Drozdowicz
---  No photograph of Stefan Zielinski was found so far  ---


The aircraft photographed late in 1944.


The route of the PB283 last sortie.


Faldingworth, April 28, 1995.

The Lancaster fly past and the remaining hangar at RAF Faldingworth.


The commemorative plate on the war memorial erected in the Ville de Montois in November 2003.

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