No. 305 Polish Squadron Picture Gallery: FACES

Some pictures lack good or any captions; I prefer to leave them without it rather than having it captioned wrongly. Should you be able to help in that matter, please contact me by email. Any help will be much appreciated.

The squadron's commanders:

From left: Jan Jankowski, Bohdan Kleczynski, Robert Beill and Kazimierz Sniegula.


Followed by: Tadeusz Czolowski, Kazimierz Konopasek, Boleslaw Orlinski and Stanislaw Grodzicki.

* * *


RAF Syerston, Spring 1941. The F/Lt A. Nowak crew. The aircraft caries a affectionate girl's name "Elzunia" what suggests its code letters were SM-E. From left (probably): Sgt Dusza, F/O Policiewicz, P/O A. Nowak; F/O Martusiewicz; F/O Jonikas and Sgt Laskowski.


RAF Lindholm, probably July 1941.
The S/Ldr Scibior crew: (from left) Sgt Waclaw Rybak gunner, F/O Mieczyslaw Saferna navigator, S/Ldr Szczepan Scibior pilot, F/O Jerzy Sukiennik navigator, Sgt Stefan Tomicki pilot, and Sgt Michal Kowalski wireless operator. The crew shot down over France in Wellington W5593/SM-P on August5, 1941. Saferna, Sukiennik and Rybak were killed, Scibior became POW, while Tomicki and Kowalski evaded capture. (Courtesy of Simon Roguska)


Left: Sgt Malejka (left) second pilot, Sgt Poniatowski wireless operator, S/Ldr Czolowski pilot, F/O Jezycki navigator, Sgt Zajac and Sgt Wzietek gunners. W/O Brunon Malejka was lost over Poland while flying with No. 1586 Polish Flight from Brindisi. (via R. Gretzyngier) Right: RAF Syerston, first half of the 1941. The ground crew of the Wellington IC SM-B flown by Sgt Kazimierz Mruk.(via Wojciech Zmyslony)


W/Cdr Beill (third from left) and his crew. (via R. Gretzyngier)


Left: On January 27, 1941, Queen ELizabeth visited the RAF Seyrston and the two Polish bomber squadrons stationed there. Photographer captured the moment when then Queen received flowers from the Polish commanders: W/Cdr Jankowski of the 305 and W/Cdr Dudzinski of the 304 (in front of the Queen). Right: The crew of the Wellington II SM-O W5573 after being decorated with the Polish Cross of Valour (from left): F/Lt Kazimierz Joszt (navigator), F/Lt Stefan Sznidel (pilot), Sgt Bronisław Soltysiak, two unknown and Sgt Kazimierz Pasich (wireless op.). (both via Wojciech Zmyslony)


RAF Lindholm, early 1942. The F/Lt Ostaszewski's crew. Their Wellington Z8438 crash-landed at the aerodrome on March 4th. The aircraft returned from the mission damaged by flak, and hit some building at the end of the runway bursting into flames. F/O Ostaszewski (second from right) F/O Rynkiewicz, P/O Dranicki (first on right), Sgt Bala and Sgt Sasin all died. Sgt Galas (second from left) was safe suffering only minor injuries. Right: P/O Walerian Gidaszewski. Navigator of the Wellington W5423, which the whole crew perished on February 26, 1942, while returning form bombing Cologne.


Left: W/Cdr sStanislaw Skarzynski. Already famous aviator before the war, as CO of the RAF LIndholm, he volunteered for a mission, and was lost when his aircraft had to ditch before reaching England. The rest of the crew survived. Right: F/Lt Zygmunt Poplawski (pilot) and F/Lt Marian Aduckiewicz (navigator). They formed a very successful crew, and both were decorated with VM and DFC.


In front of the Merlin-engined Wellington Mk II SM-N (Z8339), first half of 1942 (from left): Kazimierz Ardelli, Henryk Jankiewicz, Marian Swiderski, Stefan Madejczyk, two unknown ground crew and Alojzy Gusowski. Four these airmen were killed over Germany on June 20, 1942 (via Wojciech Zmyslony).


Left:
Two members of the Wellington crew which on 5 March 1943 was despite being badly damaged by flak over target, and then attack by a night fighter was brought back to base: Pilot F/Sgt Kazimierz Artymiuk (left) and Sgt Bronislaw Godlewski VM DFM DFC (US), a rear gunner. Godlewski who lost both his arms during that sortie, was a P.A.F. volunteer from U.S.A. Center: Bronilsaw Godlewski receives the highest Polish decoration, Virtuti Militari. Right: Sgt Godlewski's turret riddles with bullets; ground crew counted 138 of them. Even before he completely recovered from his wounds, he applied for a navigator course and was turned down for obvious reasons.


Left:
Navigator Alfons Nowak, pilot Kazmierz Kielich and unidentified. (via R. Gretzyngier). Center: Sgt Henryk Kwiatkowski, who piloted bombers for the squadron. He did his second tour with No. 301 Squadron. Right: Mosquito navigator F/O Zbigniew Groszek (right).


F/O S. Lewicki navigator - 2nd from the left - and his crew probably at RAF Ingham middle of the 1943.


Left: F/O Karol Rach and F/Lt Jan Paradysz (left), highly decorated navigator, who flew many missions with the squadron on Wellingtons, Mitchells and Mosquitoes. Center: One of the 305 British crew (Unidentified) Right: One of the 305 pilots posing by the Mosquito with the code letter "B". Most likely the photo taken after the war.


Two photographs of navigator, F/O Mieczyslaw Pruszynski. On the left poses by the aircraft featured on the previous photo - the wine could not be identified - but it is safe to say that it did not brought the smile on his face since it he grins that way on every picture.


After-war picture of the 305 airmen. First from left F/Lt Paradysz, F/Lt Poplawski, ?, W/Cdr Konopasek and F/Lt Kielkiewicz. Others are unidentified. Needs info. (via R. Gretzyngier)


Left: Probably Epinoy, France. Group of the 305 airman at the end of the war. In the middle is pilot F/O Waclaw Banaszuk soon after being decorated with DFC. On the right is pilot F/Lt Stefan Rose. Right: A group of the 305 NCO officers. Third from left is Mieczyslaw Ligeza (pilot).


Airmen of the 305 at Volkel (Germany), summer 1945. Seating in a middle front row is pilot W/O Mieczyslaw Ligeza. 2nd from the left in he middle row is navigator F/O Eugeniusz Blok. Needs info. (Courtesy of Mike Ligeza)


F/Sgt Hass (left) and F/O Wilczewski formed an excellent crew with a good chemistry.

* * *

One of the 305 Sqdn ground crew, Tadeusz Karwowski, happened to be a very talented cartoonist, what is evident in the unit's chronicle, spruced up by many of his works. Below are likenesses of some of the flying personnel done by his hand.


Left to right:
The unit's first CO, W/Cdr Jan Jankowski, navigator, killed in operations on March 6, 1943, flying for No 300 Sqdn.
W/Cdr Robert Hirszbandt, OBE DFC, pilot, killed in operations on June 2, 1942
S/Ldr Boleslaw Jarkowski, DFC, pilot, two tours of duty with the 305, then with No. 300 Sqdn, which he also commanded.
F/Lt Mieczyslaw Jonikas, DFC, pilot.
F/O Brunon Okonski, VM, killed in operations on July 10, 1941.


Left to right:
W/O Romuald Bojarczuk, VM, pilot, made two tours of duty with the unit, and was killed in a flying accident after the war.

Sgt Antoni Ostrowski, gunner, killed in operations on September 23, 1942.
W/O Zdzislaw Budnicki, VM, gunner, after the war settled in USA.
F/Lt Nikodem Matylis, VM, pilot, completed two tours of duty, and was killed in a flying accident after the war.


Left to right:
Sgt Stefan Tomicki, pilot, avoided capture after being shot down over Belgium in 1941. Read his report at the "Losses".
Sgt Czeslaw Poniatowski, gunner, killed in operations on August 28, 1942.
F/O Stanislaw Ostaszewski, VM, killed in operations on March 14, 1942.
P/O Leon Ostaszewski, bombardier, killed in operations on September 23, 1942.
F/O Zygmunt Wieliczko, navigator, killed in operations on June 2, 1942.


Left to right:
S/Ldr Zbigniew Siarkowski, VM, pilot, after the war settled in Canada.
W/O Jan Gomula, VM, pilot, ?.
F/O Ryszard Rodzynkiewicz, navigator, killed in operations on September 23, 1942.
F/Lt Tadeusz Chmaj, VM, after the war settled in Australia.

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