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Thread: Sgt Mikolajczak

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    Default Sgt Mikolajczak

    I've just acquired a copy of the 1945 edition of Atlantic Bridge: The official account of RAF Transport Command's Ocean Ferry. It is not inclusive of oceanic operations in that it concludes with a chapter on the Middle East supply routes. Included is an account of the last days of a Polish pilot, Sgt Mikolajczak, who force-landed during a ferry sortie and died from thirst and starvation. The accident happened in May 1942 and as the end approached he left messages which were subsequently found on his body, the last being written at 13.45 hours on 10 May.

    The messages are heart-wrenching: at 0900 hours 10 May "Oh God, shorten my sufferings, there will be no help for me, let nobody land in the desert where there are no people, as there is no way out. Just like me, it is better to be killed. The sand storm was so thick that I could see nothing."

    Other than the approximation of the date, and that he appears to have been forced down by a sand storm, there are no other details although it is clear the aircraft, and his body, were later found.

    I'm curious as to what happened and who Mikolajczak was and wonder if anyone can complete his story? He does not appear on the CWGC website and although I've found a small number of men with the same surname none of them fit the details described above.

    Brian

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    Ignacy Mikolajczak of the Aircraft Delivery Unit? His aircraft is listed as Kittyhawk ET242 here:

    http://www.aircrewremembered.com/Pol...?q=Mikolajczak

    Simon

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    Thank you for finding him, Simon. Strangely he is not listed by the CWGC - I've searched using both spellings, Mikolajczyk and Mikolajczak, although Antoni Jan Mikolajczyk (Mikolajczak) is. Which raises the obvious question - Why is he missing?

    The little we know to date puts me in mind of a very long thread about Dennis Copping and his P-40 which started on Key Publishing in 2012; he must have suffered terribly as well ( http://forum.keypublishing.com/showt...hlight=Copping).

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 18th July 2015 at 20:36. Reason: Spelling of Mikolajczyk

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    I guess the reason why he's not listed on CWGC might be because he doesn't have a CWGC listed grave.
    When his body was found, he was buried at his crashsite and, I understand, he still rests there, in the desert.

    BTW, "Mikołajczk" couldn't possibly be a name in Polish. "Mikołajczak" and "Mikołajczyk" are two alternative spellings you're likely to find.

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    Thank you VoyTech, but I don't think you are correct. Irrespective of where he was buried his name should be remembered by the CWGC; his being buried at the crash site is no different to an airman lost at sea - or whose grave has been lost - their names would either be on the Runnymede memorial or some other memorial reprepresenting the theatre of operations.

    Thank you for pointing out my spelling error, typo on my part having misread the link posted by Simon. #3 corrected.

    Brian

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    Thanks to VoyTech correcting my spelling I've found him at http://listakrzystka.pl/en/?p=187330

    He was born on 11 Jan 1907 in Polwica-Zaniemyśl, Poland, and was flying with 1 ADU, Ferry Command, at the time of his death. According to the above website his RAF Service Number was 783685, and he had been awarded an AFM at some time during the war. Mikolajczyk was buried in the desert some 220 km from Wadi Halfa, so there is little doubt in my mind that his name should be recorded by the CWGC.

    According to a Wiki link (http://translate.google.co.uk/transl...wa&prev=search) he was a pilot with 215 Bomber Squadron at the beginning of the war:

    The squadron formed was in March 1939, composed of 215 Bomber Squadron . Flying and technical personnel squadron pilots were reversed: 11 and 12 Squadrons liner .

    In August 1939, during the mobilization alarm squadron was included in the Bomber Brigade and renamed the 16 Bomb Squadron. The composition of Bomb Brigade fought in the September 1939 campaign . stationed at the airport for ice fishing . It was equipped with a 9 aircraft PZL.37B moose and 2 aircraft Fokker F.VIIb / 3m


    That seems to be the basics of the story, can anyone add to his RAF service please - perhaps a F1180 or citation for the AFM?

    Brian

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    Found the whole story at http://cyfroteka.pl/catalog/ebooki/8...n007-001.xhtml. There's also a photo of Mikolajczak on the same link; scroll down to Section 1.3 (During WW2) and he appears in the third photo. Although the author of this version describes Mikolajczak as flying a Tomahawk, the serial number ET242 is definitely that allocated to a Kittyhawk (http://www.mts.net/~royb/raf_kittyhawK_codes.html)


    Although each incident ended tragically deeply shook the Polish pilots environment in Africa, is particularly strongly etched in their memories circumstances of the death of st. Sgt. Ignatius pilot Mikolajczyk 18 . Transporting single-engine Tomahawk flew in a convoy of other airplanes routine, multi-day and multi-stage route, leading from Takoradi by Nigeria, Chad and Sudan. To the next stage he took off from the airport in Khartoum 9.V.1942 Sammit r. In the chair. 9 am towards Wadi-Halfa on the border with Egypt, where nothing came the. On the way, during a violent sandstorm he had lost contact with the convoy, forced landing in the desert some 220 ​​km south of destination.

    As he passed the scheduled flight time I. Mikolajczyk and it became clear that it had run out of fuel in the plane, we initiated the search, sending aircraft rescue route leading over the Nubian Desert. Only after many days of 19 to guarded, away from the actual routes, partially buried under sand plane, and next to the body of the late pilot, who died of thirst, probably 28 hours after landing. He lay under the wings of an airplane, where presumably protect themselves from deadly rays of the African sun. Next to him was found a notebook in a green frame with a monogram, stuck in the sand next to a pencil with a broken tip. In the notebook were, among others, The following notes taken in the last hours of life AVIATOR 20 :

    " engine defect. Lands forcibly. I water the whole day, [... sentence deleted ...] I'm going to the Nile. "On the second sheet, the same, but changed handwriting," Never I get. I did 500 meters per hour. The sun will kill ... Water shortage complete ... "Next magazine becomes more and more broken and stretched: "... terribly drink ... what a pain. I heard the machine at night ... I do not have the strength to give sygnału..To I think the greatest suffering that a person can survive ... ... I believe the biggest yet God ... to this ... it's not suicide ... but no longer have the strength ... "The bias shapely no sign letters:" Long live Poland ... " And yet exclamation mark, which put the weakening hand, somewhere underneath.

    On separate sheets of notebook pilot wrote his farewell letter and testament:

    " I doubt whether the morning on May 10 will live to see, I am getting weaker by the minute. I still have water with three sips, and so you want to drink, go somewhere, but where, I'm totally lost. To see where everyone must go. Please deliver these few pennies my parents. I'm dying with them in mind and Poland. I would recommend to God.

    h. 20, May 9 Ignatius

    " Yesterday I walked for three hours to the west, but farther I could not back this way lasted 5 hours, barely came. The rest of the water I drank at night, at five last drop. While it's cool somehow alive, as it will be hot stand it no longer. Death is already close, I wanted to somehow start is 10 gallons, but the battery exhausted ... I was looking for help, but I do not get it. I feel that I can not stand long.

    H. 7 am, May 10. Write a cousin of my death, the address on the calendar, to Grzebulskiego too.

    Hours. 8 am, May 10. So I waited.

    Hours 10 am, had some assurance that at this time will help. Dreams dying of thirst and hunger. God shorten my passion, salvation, and so I do not get, let no one ends up in the wilderness, where there is no one that you have no choice but to me, it is better to kill. Harmattan was so thick that I could not see.

    H. 12, May 10. Terribly hot, drink, or rather lick their stingy sweat, suffer tremendously.

    13.45 I hear a plane, flying south to the right of me, the last hope, I can not stand to see. The last of my minutes. God have mercy on me.

    H. 16.00. Amen. "

    On the side of the card write: "Money and everything else, please deliver cousin in England. Ignatius Mikolajczyk hours. 15.00. "


    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 19th July 2015 at 12:25.

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    That is an absolutely heartbreaking story.

    Magda

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    Default Air 29_454

    I've asked Hendon if there is a F1180 for ET242, but in the meantime would anyone have a copy of the 1 ADU ORB (AIR 29/454) for May 1942?

    Brian

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    Default Form 1180 for ET242

    The F1180 summary for this accident reads:

    A/C caught in sandstorm. Pilot lost bearings and force-landed due to lack of fuel. A/C and pilot found 20 days later by Bombay.

    Stn/Co remarks. Pilot not to blame, although he did not lay out his parachute or attempt to drink the glycol which is drinkable in an emergency.


    Having used Google Earth to look the area where the Kittyhawk probably came down it seems remarkable Mickolajczak (as spelt on the F1180) was ever found. One is left with the impression he was unaware the glycol was drinkable.

    Whatever, there is little doubt his name should be recorded by the CWGC.

    Brian

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