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.
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.