M.I.9/S/P.G. (-) 631
This information contained in this report id to be treated as
MOST SECRET


STATEMENT BY
P782276 Sgt. KOWALSKI, M. 305 Polish Sqn, R.A.F.

Left: GIBRALTAR 30 Dec 41.                  Length of Service: Polish Air Force since 1935.
Arrived: GOUROCK 4 Jan 42.                                                                                              

 

1941

7 Aug
Shot down near
MARCHE

     
     I was the wireless operator in a Wellington Mk II which left LINDHOLM aerodrome at 2230 hrs. on 6 Aug 41 to bomb ARCHEM. We were attacked by a ME.110 night fighter over Belgium, and shot down. I think we shot the ME down also. I landed by parachute at MARCHE, South-West of LIEGE at 0045 hrs. on 7 Aug 41.
     I hid in the woods for 12 hours and so escaped capture. I then walked on to PESSOUX, near MARCHE. A Belgian accosted me in the street there and told the German were looking for me. He took me to his house, where he gave me civilian clothes and 1000 Belgian francs collected from friends who wanted to help. I stayed les than half an hour in this house. A man, who was there took me to another house which was three miles out of PESSOUX and said he would take me to BRUSSELS next day.
     At 0400 hrs. on 8 Aug 41, this friend took me to the nearest railway station, which was at CINEY, and there we caught the train to BRUSSELS.
     At BRUSSELS, we went to the American Consulate, but found it had been closed by the Germans, so we went to the Portuguese Consulate. There I discovered that the secretary was attached to an organisation. My Belgian friend left me there. The Portuguese secretary took me took me to the house of a Belgian woman, where I stayed from 8 Aug till 27 Sep. A Scotsman, whose name I have forgotten, often visited that house. He was being sheltered in another Belgian house in BRUSSELS, and had been there for 18 months. - Sgt. A. COWAN, 4 Camerons, and Pte. B. CONVILLE, 1 Glasgow Hrs (interviewed by M.I.9(b) 7 Jan 42).
     I stayed there till 8 Oct 41 when I returned to the first house, as the lady of the second house was ill. I stayed there till 10 Oct, and while there met Sgt. TOMICKI (S/P.G.(-)630), who had been in the same plane with me.
     On the 10 Oct, about 2000 hrs. we were taken with a guide to the Gare du Midi and there we met on the train Sgt. Obs. J.L. IVES (S/P.G.(-)632), and my story from now on is identical with his.

     The other members of my crew were:
     1st. pilot: - S/Ldr S. SCIBOR. He was taken by the Germans in BRUSSELS after he had been at large for nine days. I think that he was denounced.
     Rear Gunner: - F/O M. SAFERNA. He was found in the trees near our crashed plane with his parachute open, but he was dead. I think that he was hit on the way down by one of the wings of the plane, which broke off.
     Observer: - F/O J. SUKIENNIK. He jumped out of the plane without his parachute, and was found dead about 100 meters from the crashed plane.
     2nd. pilot: - Sgt. TOMICKI.
     Front Gunner: - Sgt. RYBAK. He was killed in the plane. I think he was blacked-our before the crash.

     Our plane was destroyed on crashing and the automatic device for destroying the I.F.F. had been connected and the detonator was in position.
     I left in the plane my log-book and on rice paper there was a list of enemy beacons and X-code.
     The observer's and Pilot's maps were also left in the plane, but they were unmarked. Photographs of the target and Syko machine were also left in the plane. I have heard on several occasions that the Belgians, when they know there is a crashed British plane in the neighborhood, go out and  destroy all equipment that might be useful to the enemy.


INTERVIEWED by M.I.9. and A.I.1(k)  6 Jan 42                              APPENDIX A -  List of helpers

Distribution:                                                                                         Distribution: M.I.9 (I.S.)
                                                                                                                              M.I.6. (D)
A.I.1. (a) P.W.    M.I.9.(I.S.)    M.I.6. (D)
A.I.1. (k)             M.I.9. (d)                                                                APPENDIX D - Secret Intelligence
S.I.O., H.Q. Bomber Command, R.A.F.                                             Distribution:  A.I.1(a)
   "          "     Fighter Commnad, R.A.F.                                                                  A.I.1(k)
   "          "     Coastal Commnad, R.A.F.                                                                 M.I.14(d)
   "          "     Army Co-operation Commnad, R.A.F.