Fg.Off. Wladyslaw Nowak – first Victory

written by S/Ldr Jelinski

    The squadron was formed on August 26, 1940 in Blackpool, Lancashire, England. On September 4th 1940, it was transferred to R.A.F. Church Fenton in Yorkshire. Initial flying personnel and the ground crews came mainly from the Polish Air Force (P.A.F.) No. 4 Regiment (rgmt), originally based in the in the city of Toruń, Poland, and from No. 3 Regiment originally based in the city of Poznań. The Royal Air Force (R.A.F.) assigned designation was: 306 Polish Fighter Squadron.

    During the training period the squadron was commanded by the R.A.F. Officers with Polish understudies. Thus the first Commanding Officer (C.O.) was Sqn.Ldr. Douglas Scott  (Sqn.Ldr. Tadeusz Rolski was the Polish Commander),  Flt.Lt. Kennard was C.O. Flight “A” (Flt.Lt. Jerzy Zaremba),  Flt.Lt Tennant was C.O. Flight “B” (Flt.Lt. Stefan Witozenc). The pilot’s roster was as follows:

F/O Jerzy Slonski (4 rgmt )
F/O Stanislaw Zielinski (reserve)
F/O Jozef Zulikowski (4 rgmt)
F/O Kazimierz Rutkowski (3 rgmt)
F/O Jamusz Kosmowski (3 rgmt)
F/O Bohdan Bielkiewicz (CWS)
F/O Wladyslaw Nowak (2 rgmt)
F/O Roman Skalski (reserve)
P/O Edward Jankowski  (4 rgmt)
P/O Edward Zielinski  ( 4 rgmt)
P/O Zdzislaw Langhamer (4 rgmt)
P/O Jan Czapiewski (4 rgmt)
Sgt. Wladyslaw Pudrycki  (4 rgmt)
Sgt. Marcin Machowiak (3 rgmt)
Sgt. Henryk Pietrzak (4 rgmt)
Sgt. Kazimierz Waskiewicz (4 rgmt)
Sgt. Jan Smigielski (4 rgmt)
Sgt. Leon Kosmowski (4 rgmt)
Sgt. Jozef Jeka (4 rgmt)
Sgt. Stanislaw Wieprzkowicz (4 rgmt)
Sgt. Wawrzyniec Jasinski  (3 rgmt}
F/O Stanislaw Puzyna was the squadron Adjutant
F/Lt Rafal Dabrowski was the squadron Engineering Officer

    The squadron crest was made up of a duck in flight with bright blue wings placed on a rhombus with a white background (original design in the 4th Regiment), this was augmented in 1940 by a brown bear inserted inside the rhombus above the duck. The bear was added to honor S/Ldr Douglas Scott , who came from the 605 R.A.F. Squadron – 605 Squadron had a brown bear in it’s crest. The squadron identifying insignia “UZ” were painted on the fuselage of each machine.
    All pilots, when wearing their battle dress, have also worn a green silk on their necks.The 306 day was on September 4th each year, to commemorate the issue of the first order of the day.
The pilot’s training started on the following aircraft: Fairey Battle, Miles Master, and finally on Hawker Hurricane. On November 7th, the squadron was ready for battle and was transferred to R.A.F. Station Tern Hill, located in Shropshire. The assignment was to provide defense for the Liverpool – Birmingham region. The fighter patrols were conducted within a triangle bounded by the cities of Birmingham, Crewe and Manchester. The idea was to intercept German aircraft - bombers or reconnaissance and destroy them. Additional night flying training, extended squadron’s capabilities, and the night patrols permitted cooperation with the ground based Army searchlight units. During one of such patrols one section from flight “A" commanded by F/Lt Kennard, withF/O Bielkiewicz and P/O Jankowski, intercepted a Heinkel 111, and opened fire, but the enemy aircraft escaped into a layer of clouds. 
    In December 1940, the squadron suffered a few accidents. In one of them S/Ldr
Scott collided  on take off with another training aircraft, crashed and suffered serious injuries. He was replaced by S/Ldr D.E. Gilliam , though by that time S/Ldr Rolski was in command of the squadron with S/Ldr Gilliam looking over his shoulder. On December 8, P/O Rutkowski’s Hurricane caught fire and although he landed safely, he suffered first and second degree burns. Then, on December 24th  F/Lt Tennant was killed in an aircraft accident. Two replacement pilots, both Battle of Britain veterans reported to the squadron, after the service in RAF squadrons: P/O Wladyslaw Rozycki and P/O Karol Pniak. On February 13th 1941, the airfield was suddenly covered by fog, as two Hurricanes were on approach to land, P/O Bohdan Bielkiewicz hit the deck and was killed instantly, whereas P/O Edward Jankowski crashed and suffered serious injuries. On April 3rd 1941, British personnel were posted away and the squadron’s overall command was passed on to S/Ldr Rolski.  On April 15, 1941 No. 1 Polish Fighter Wing was formed consisting of an RAF 601 squadron, 303 and 306 Polish Fighter squadrons. 306 squadron received Hurricane Mk.II aircraft, an improved version of their standard equipment, and began patrols over shipping in the English Channel. The squadron was used also on night patrols in the defense of the City of London. 
    On May 10th 1941,
F/O Wladyslaw Nowak, during a night patrol, intercepted and shot down a Heinkel 111,  thus scoring the first kill for the 306 squadron.

Right: Zygmunt Jelinski today. In 1944, S/Ldr Jelinski was seriously wounded with V-1 explosion while on leave in London. In the same mishap he lost his wife and infant baby. After the war he settled first in Canada, then in USA. He had noticeable carrier as a computer scientist. Retired, he lives with his family in California.

F/O Nowak (Polish) Combat Report            

F/O Wladyslaw Nowak

            ² 11.5.41 (date)
            ² Flight "A" Sq. 306 (unit)
            ² One (no. of a/c claimed)
            ² He 111 (type of a/c claimed)
            ² 01.15 (time)
            ² From N. London to near S. Coast (location)
            ² 12.000 (altitude)
            ² 1 He 111 destroyed (result)
            ² 1 Hurricane II AC (a/c flown)
            ² Nil (own casualty)

                       General Report
        I took off at 00.20 hrs on 10.5.41 with orders to patrol London at 19.000 ft. Whilst circling over the Thames I saw an aircraft which I recognized as a Hurricane. Shortly afterwards  I saw a big aircraft flying head on towards on me on a southerly course towards London - I did a sharp turn, but the aircraft disappeared. I received a vector of 180o and at the same time sighted another aircraft flying south to London, also head-on towards me at above 12.000 ft. I did a sharp turn but lost the a/c against the smoke of London fires - I dived to 10.000 ft and saw it again against the sky at about 150 yards away. I could not see exhaust flames but the under part of the aircraft was lit up by the fires below. I approached to within 30 yards and saw the flames of two engines. I was then at 12.000 ft. I could not be sure of the silhouette to I turn to port and passed below the a/c and then recognized it as a He 111. Simultaneously the e/a saw me and dived. I followed and fired three short bursts from 50-15 yards. I received return fire from the upper rear gun of the e/a. I saw what appeared to be tracer bullets. The e/a began to climb to starboard and I fired three more short bursts from 50/20 yards. The e/a turned to port and dived. When he flattened out I dived on him and made a further attack from 40 yards closing to 10 yards in one long burst. My guns then ceased to fire and I saw that the port engine of the e/a was on fire. It was when flying south at 9.000 ft and losing height. The e/a was then about 12 miles North Beachy Head. I did not follow as I had no more ammunition and my R/T went U/S.

       I returned to Northolt and landed at 01.35 hrs. On Y service information received through 11 Group I claim this a/c as destroyed.

                                                       /-/ Nowak F/O.

    To: H.Q.F.C. Int                From: 11 Group Int. IG 124


1 Hurricane II 306 Polish Squadron F/O Nowak took off Northolt 0020 hrs. landed 0135 hrs. Orbit London Fighter Night Patrol: north of London sighted He.111 flying south at 12.000 ft - followed. Running fight ensued to about 12 miles north of Beachy Head when F/O Nowak had to break off combat as he had used all his ammunition and his radio was hit. Port engine of He.111 was on fire and it was gliding south at about 9.000 ft. weather clear full moon, visibility good. Our loses one Hurricane II. Cat 1. Enemy loses one He.111 damaged.
R.0300 hrs.   11/5/41.


    To: - HQ FC INTEL.          From: - 11 Group Intel.                   IG/168   11/5

Ref: Patrol 306 Sqdn. 0020-0135 hrs. 11/5 and "Y" Service report of enemy crew in dinghy in Channel south of Shoreham, enemy causalities for this patrol now amended to read "1 He.111 destroyed". Amend casualty state accordingly.--1812 R.1821.     11/5