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Thread: RAF (Polish) records

  1. #1
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    Default RAF (Polish) records

    My father-in-law, Czeslaw Raczkowski, was on a SOE mission the night of Feb. 15-16, 1941. He was a political courier. The idea was to drop him and two others near Krakow to link up with the underground there. Unfortunately, a navigation error caused them to be dropped in German territory instead of Poland. One of the others broke an ankle in the jump and the team split up to make their separate ways to Krakow. My father-in-law was captured trying to cross a river. He spent time in Gross-Rosen (Gestapo tortured the hell out of him) before escaping during a bombing raid while out on work detail.

    The problem is that like so many others of his generation he never talked about any of this stuff. I managed to get him to tell me a few things because I was curious and he appreciated that I was genuinely interested in history. It was extremely painful for him to talk about it. My wife has no knowledge of his activities. I'd like my kids to have some idea of what their grandfather did during the war. I can pass along only the most basic details. I was wondering if there are RAF records that the public can access.

    I'm not sure whether he was actually a member of the Polish RAF, or attached to the government in exile. I'm pretty sure he went thru some kind of training with the SOE.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

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    Hello,

    If you write to:-
    The Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum
    20 Princes gate
    London
    SW7 1PT

    They are very helpful, they will only respond to letters.

    also:-
    Contact the Air Historical Branch:

    Postal Address:
    Air Historical Branch (RAF) and Publications Clearance Branch (Air) (Polish section)
    Building 824
    RAF Northolt
    West End Road
    Ruislip
    Middlesex
    HA4 6NG.


    these people are very helpful as well.

    regards

    Chris

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    Thanks for the information. I will send them each a letter.

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    Hi Skarp!
    There is very good book in Polish written by Kajetan Bieniecki, which covers all SOE missions in support of Polish Home Army.
    There are detailed descrition of the first flight to Poland in which Czeslaw Raczkiewicz took part.
    The mission was carried out by RAF 419 Flight on 15/16 Feb. 1941.
    Whitley Z-6473 was sent to Cieszyn in order to drop 3 couriers including your father-in-law.
    As the British crew was not experienced in navigation over Poland, the drop took place over German territory.

    If you need more details I can send you the scans of the appropriate pages from this book.

    I think that you can also find some information in Studium Polski Podziemnej in London.

    Regards,
    Greg

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    Studium Polski Podziemnej in London is also called Polish Underground Movement Study Trust
    Address:
    11 Leopold Rd
    London W5 3PB
    tel. 02089926057

    other useful sources are:
    1.
    MOD (Polish Section)
    APC Polish Enquiries
    Building 28B
    RAF Northolt
    West End Rd
    Ruislip
    HA4 6NG
    tel.02088338603
    (they can provide service details)

    2.
    "Station 43 Audley End House and SOE's Polish Section" by Ian Valentine, Sutton Publishing 2004

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    Thanks Grexx and Peter S. I don't read Polish. My wife was born in the U.S. and spoke Polish till she went to school. She can understand some spoken Polish, but cannot read it. I'd still appreciate the scans from the book. I could run them through a translator.

    The tail number of the Whitley is new information for me.

    I'm in the States so I can't visit the Studium Polski Podziemnej in London, but I will contact them.

    You guys are all very helpful. Thanks again.

    skarp-hedin@comcast.net

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    Hi
    No wonder your father in law did not like to talk about the war. It seems he was one of the so called Kitties, and this has always been a very touchy subject. This is not a RAF related subject, so if you do not mind, I will contact you off board.
    Last edited by Franek Grabowski; 8th August 2010 at 16:27.

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    Default RAF (Polish) records

    Skarp

    A little more, from 'Agents by Moonlight' Page 9 by author Freddie Clark.

    "The next night ( 15/16th Feb ) S/Ldr Keast flew to Poland. A round trip of 1800 miles and 11 hours 20 minutes flying time. Extra fuel tanks were put in the bomb bays and inside the fuselage. Their destination was in the Cracow region. They parachuted three Polish agents S Krzymowski, C Raczkowski and J Zabieski inside Germany some 95 km from the Polish border, their supply containers were lost. It took the three of them some time to reach their destination and reported it had been an extremely hazardous flight"


    John

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