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Thread: Karol Pniak, 32 Squadron 24/8/40

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    Default Karol Pniak, 32 Squadron 24/8/40

    Browsing through my copy of BobT&N Mk V I note that for the 32 Squadron entry for 24th August, Pniak is recorded as baling out of two different a/c within an hour. Once in an unidentified a/c that fell into Dover harbour and again in V6572 which fell at Rhodes Minnis. It is clear from other sources that Pniak's a/c was V6572. So what is the id of the a/c in Dover Harbour and who was the pilot?

    Regards

    DaveW
    Last edited by davew; 8th October 2009 at 14:49. Reason: correction of seriAL nO

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    Hi DaveW,

    P6572 = Fairey Battle I - 142/15 EFTS/16 PFTS/239 SOC 11.3.44

    Col.

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    Hi Dave
    2 sources have V6572 as a Hurricane I of 32 Sqn.Air Britain Serials record it as abandoned at Rhodes Minnis,Kent on 24.8.40 and Norman Franks FCL Vol1(revised) has the same with the pilot recorded as P/O K Pniak bailing out with slight wounds at 1615 on 24.8.40.Pniak clearly survived as Franks records him as crash-landing a Spitfire IIb P8465 "P",306 Sqn in Richmond Park,Surrey after running out of fuel from a Circus op on 23.7.41.He was then a F/O
    I can find 2 remote possibles for the Dover Harbour a/c from Franks. 1015,501 Sqn, Hurricane I,P3141,"W" P/O P Zenker(Polish) lost during combat with Do17,NW of Dover,No Grave Known and c1130 610 Sqn Spitfire I,X4102,"K",Written off after shot down by Me109 over Dover.P/O D McL Gray wounded
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 8th October 2009 at 14:43.

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    Default PNIAK August 24, 1940.

    Hello Dave,

    You can delete the first entry relating to PNIAK on P374 of BoBT&N (1980). This is an error based upon my confused reading of entries for August 24, 1940, in the No.32 Squadron ORB. Check it for yourself to see exactly what I mean. Though doubtful at the time, I was persuaded by Frank Mason's Battle Over Britain (1969) which reached the same conclusion - so I was not alone in making this particular gaff. Mea Culpe.

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    Peter

    Thanks for that, also Dick and Col for their input.

    regards

    DaveW

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    Default 32 sqn august 24 1940

    I don't know if the following adds extra information (copied as handwritten by the intelligence officer, Sir Richard Leighton).

    "Intelligence Patrol Report, 32 Squadron, Aug. 24th (1) (OFF 14.40).
    "12 Hurricanes of 32 Squadron took off from Hawkinge at 14.40 hrs to patrol, they were attacked by 12 Me 109's who were flying at 20,000', N.W. of Dover, as the patrol climbed after them the Me 109's climbed away, then when an opportune moment arrived they dived on to the Hurricanes. F/Lt Brothers, DF.C. shot one down into the sea. Sergt. Aslin saw an ME 109 heading out to sea with smoke pouring from it, but does not claim it. F/O Smythe, D.F.C., was shot down, & crashed he is hospital (Royal Masonic) wounded. P/O Pniac was also shot up & baled & is injured in hospital. 10 a/c landed at Hawkinge at 15.41. The other 2 having crashed.
    "F/Lt Brothers was leading Blue Sec., when the Me. 109's dived on them, he fired several short bursts at two or three, and then lost them through "blacking out." Climbing to 20,000 he engaged them again & getting on the tail of one gave him two 3 sec. bursts. Part of the starboard wing came away & he dived into the sea about 10 miles S.E. of Dover. He followed him down & then returned to base.
    "1 Me109 destroyed.
    "P/O Pniac was flying No. 3 of Blue Section, he was attacked by one of the 12 Me109's from above & head on. Circling round he got on the e/a's tail and gave him 2 two second bursts from 150 yards. The engine started to smoke, following him he gave him 2 more bursts of 2 secs, much black smoke poured out *(see over). At this moment he was himself attacked & set on fire, he put his a/c into a dive to land, but had to bale out at 5,000'. He landed very fast as his parachute did not open properly & was also full of large holes, his knee and ankle were injured & he was taken to hospital but has now returned.
    "1 Me109 probably destroyed."

    Overleaf is "* This was probably the Me109 seen by Sgt Aslin"

    I cannot explain why this report refers to "F/O Smythe DFC", when other sources seem to point to him actually getting the DFC a few days later.

    hellcat1839

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    Default P/O Pniak, 24 August 1940

    Hi,

    P/O Pniak made two sorties on 24 August 1940. The first one (13.00-14.20) over Dover with landing in Hawkinge. To the second one he started at 14.30 with the order patroling Dover area. He was shot down and taken to hospital as it was wrote in the Intelligence Patrol Report you can read ahead. In the next combat he didn't take place as we can find in ORB. There is nothing about him in the Intelligence Report of this combat. So I think it's mean there is a mistake in ORB.

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