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Thread: 304 Sqn Polish groundcrew

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    Default 304 Sqn Polish groundcrew

    Does anyone have any information on Stefan PIASECKI born 9th May 1915 in Sulejowek Poland. He served in the Polish Air Force at the outbreak of WW2, escaped to England via Romania & France from around Marseilles area by ship to Liverpool. Joined 304 Squadron as a mechanic and stayed with the Sqn until demobbed in 1946, settled in England & became a British citizen in 1950.

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    blackhand, Hi,

    Stefan Piasecki married in Q2 1947. 3 children (all Male). All Registrations in Durham East. With that Surname it will probably not be too difficult to track down.

    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Greg K is your man for Polish gen. I'll let him know you're looking for info.

    Greg
    "You can take the boy out of Wales,
    But you can't take Wales out of the boy!!"

    Greg Harrison
    100 Squadron and 100 Squadron Association Historian
    100 Squadron Researcher 1917 - present day
    1 Group Researcher 1940 - 1945

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    Hello Blackhand,

    Yes, I think I can help you with information on this man. Please bear with me whilst I dig out my files and I will return shortly with the information.

    Regards
    Neville

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    Hello Blackhand,

    Will this do?

    PIASECKI L/Ac Stefan P-782476

    He was a mechanic and was born on 9th May 1915 at Sulejowek, Poland which is about 10 miles east of Warsaw. Immediately prior to the German invasion of Poland the Poles had secretly moved their men and machines to grass airstrips so he would not have been bombed in the first days of the war. When the Russians attacked, 17 days later, they were evacuated to Romania where they were interned.

    The Romanian authorities turned a blind eye to escapes and he would have simply walked out of the camp during the night. He would then have made his way to Bucarest where the Polish Embassy would give them money, false papers and practical assistance to get to Lyon-Bron in France, where the Polish Air Force was reforming. There is no documentation on how he got there but the most common routes were overland through Jugoslavia and Italy or through Greece and then by sea to Marseilles.

    When France capitulated, in late June 1940, they were ordered to make their way to England. Because of the speed of his arrival in this country, he must have come by the shortest route from where he was. This involved an overland journey to Port Vendres, near Marseilles, and then on to the MV Apapa, whose normal run was Liverpool to West Africa. At the time it had been commandeered as a troop/refugee carrier. The vessel docked in Liverpool on 7th July 1940.

    From Liverpool it was just a short train journey to the Polish Air Force Depot at RAF Blackpool. There is no doubt that he was there as all Air Force personnel were sent there for assessment and further training before being allocated to a squadron. In his case 304 Squadron and he was still with them in August 1942.

    He was present at RAF Dale when Wellington HX384 (NZ-L) crashed on 12th August 1942 after being struck by ferocious cross winds as it tried to take off. It was blown into the sea and the entire crew were killed. His gruesome task was to watch over the wreckage, which was just offshore in shallow water, until the weather abated and the bodies could be recovered.

    He survived the war and remained in England; the London Gazette records that he became a British citizen on 11th February 1950. At this time he was living in Horden, Co Durham and was working as a powerloader on the coal face of the local mine. He died on 28th September 1999 and is buried in Horden Cemetery, Peterlee near Sunderland.

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    Two more little snippets for you:
    1.) Photograph of Stefan Piasecki
    2.) Snapshot of the original hand written entry recording him as a member of 304 Squadron from 7th April 1941
    Sorry this forum will not allow me to post them without an URL - I don't have an URL but if you send me your email address to nevillebougourd@gmail.com I will email them to you.

    One word of caution in your research; there was also a Stanislaw Piasecki in 304 Squadron so you will have to be cautious

    Regards
    Neville

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    Neville,

    The information I do have on Stefan, you found for me in 2011. I have tried to email you before to thank you for the info but got no reply. Many thanks Neville

    Very Best Regards

    Geoff Griffiths

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    Thank you Pete, already have that info

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