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Thread: Researching Polish pilot - F/O Aleksander Monkiewicz, PAF

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    Default Researching Polish pilot - F/O Aleksander Monkiewicz, PAF

    F/O Aleksander Monkiewicz, PAF, P1569, was lost on a ferry flight on 6 Nov 1943 (Mitchell FW138). In an earlier thread, someone said he was listed on a Polish memorial in Northolt.

    Can anyone tell me how one goes about researching Polish Air Force files?
    David

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    Depends on what files you're interested in.
    You can try Polish Institute & Sikorski Museum in London for WW2 period files, or Centralne Archiwum Wojskowe (Central Military Archives) in Warsaw for pre-WW2 files. In both these cases the documents will most likely be in Polish.
    If you're next of kin you can call Ministry of Defence, APC Polish Enquiries at Northolt for personal records of a particular serviceman.

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    Who can contact and receive information from the APC is a contenious issue. Many* people have said that the files are only available to NoK etc but I KNOW that this isn't completely true. Because we received the complete file of someone myself and another person were researching, and we had no relationship to this pilot at all.

    So, basically, it's best just to enquire and see what they say. Seems to be that they decide on a case-by-case basis.

    * not pointing at you VoyTech ;) I meant others with whom I have had this discussion before

    A
    Last edited by Amrit; 24th March 2010 at 13:30.
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Thanks Amrit, VoyTech, nice to know a seemingly innocent request can lead me into controversy... never a dull moment, eh?

    I doubt I will be able to consult the files, being all the way over here in Toronto. He was the pilot of the plane one of my Malvern guys was in as navigator so I was curious about who he was but I don't need a lot of detail. Hometown, years in the service... that's about all really.
    David

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    Ah, that's where you should have started...

    Aleksander Cezary Monkiewicz (service no. P.1569) was born on 13 July 1920 at Chelyabinsk, Russia, to a Polish family: Tomasz and Boleslawa nee Skulska. In 1937 he joined the Polish Army Reserve Artillery College. Upon graduation in 1938 he joined the Polish Air Force College - Engineering Group. During the Polish campaign of 1939 he was a cadet officer in the Polish AF. He managed to get to France, whence he volunteered to join Polish units formed alongside the RAF. He arrived in Britain in February 1940. He volunteered for pilot training which he completed at No. 15 EFTS and No. 3 SFTS. He was commissioned in August 1941. In September 1941 he was posted to No. 18 OTU for operational training. In January 1942 he was posted to No. 301 (Polish) Squadron on Wellingtons. Having completed a tour, in October 1942 he was posted to No. 18 OTU as an instructor. In April 1943 he transferred to ferry operations. Apparently he completed a navigator's course at No. 2 SAN, and then joined No. 112 (T) Wing RAF. His Polish combat awards included the Silver Cross of Virtuti Militari, and the Cross of Valour (Krzyz Walecznych) and Bar.
    Killed on 6 November 1943 with F/O Derrick Joseph Oswald Pyne RAF (service no. 114477), F/O William Lionel Halperin RCAF (C/4234) and F/O Stewart James Hansen RAAF (405408).

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    Thanks very much VoyTech, that's wonderful and how complete. Were you did you get all that?

    Halperin, whose daughter has just recently contacted me, was a math professor at the University of Manitoba and was on his first flight with 45 ATG after spending a year or more teaching at navigators' school. His brother Israel, also a mathematician, became involved in the infamous Igor Gouzenko case here in Canada and was accused of giving up army secrets to the Russians. He was acquitted (even Albert Einstein wrote a letter on his behalf) and became an activist for the wrongfully imprisoned.

    I found Hansen's file at the NAA has been digitized, so there is more info on the crew there too. I also have Halperin's file, so if there's any more info you'd like, send me an e-mail or a PM.
    David

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