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No. 300 (Masovia) Polish Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- No. 300 (Masovia) Polish Squadron Royal Air Force during the Second World War -

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No. 300 (Masovia) Polish Squadron Royal Air Force

   No 300 squadron was formed at Bramcote, in July 1940, with Polish personnel. To start it was a light bomber squadron equipped with Battles; by October 1940, now at Swinderby, it converted to a Wellington squadron. no 300 took part in night raids until March 1944, and then was re-equipped with Lancasters for the rest of the war. It was part of the main force of Bomber Command and disbanded in January 1947.

Airfields No. 300 Squadron flew from:
  • RAF Bramcote, Warwickshire, formed 1st July 1940 (Battle I)
  • RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire from the 22nd August 1940 (Wellington Ic)
  • RAF Hemswell, Lincolnshire from the 18th July 1941 (Wellington IV)
  • RAF Ingham, Lincolnshire from the 18th May 1942
  • RAF Hemswell from the 31st January 1943 (Wellington III, Wellington X)
  • RAF Ingham from the 22nd June 1943
  • RAF Faldingworth, Lincolnshire from the 1st of March 1944 (Lancaster I, Lancaster III)


14th Oct 1940 300 Squadron Battle lost

23rd Mar 1941 Bomber Command on Ops

11th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

18th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

18th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

3rd Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

25th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

6th Aug 1941 Aircraft Lost

24th Sep 1941 Quiet Night

7th Nov 1941 Aircraft Lost

15th Jan 1942 Aircraft Lost

18th Aug 1942 300 squadron Wellington lost

21st Aug 1942 300 squadron Wellington lost

25th Nov 1942 300 squadron Wellington lost

3rd Aug 1944 300 squadron Wellington lost

24th Feb 1945 300 Squadron Lancaster lost

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have served with

No. 300 (Masovia) Polish Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Drozdz Henryk. Flt.Sgt.
  • Jarkowski. . S/Ldr
  • Karbowy E.. Sgt.
  • Magierowski. . P/O (d.24th Feb 1945 )
  • Misselbroock. . S/Ldr
  • Olszewski .
  • Pialucha. J. . Sgt.
  • Pozyczka . W/Cdr
  • Pryse. Doug .
  • Unknown Dennis.
  • Vandalli W.. Sgt.
  • Wasik. . F/Lt
  • Wolczek Zygmunt. WO.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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WO. Zygmunt Wolczek 300 squadron

My father, Zygmunt Wolczek was born in Poland on October 29th 1915 and died on 6th August 2009 at the grand old age of 93. Like most servicemen and women who survived the war, he never said much about his time in the RAF apart from one particular story that I will always remember. After coming to England in 1940 he joined 300 Squadron as a bombaimer. Because of the shortage of pilots he trained as a pilot flying Wellingtons. Between 1943 and 1944 he carried out 29 operational flights with 300 squadron. On one particular mission coming back from a raid at daybreak his aircraft had been followed by a German ME110. Tired, but ready for action my dad and his crew prepared themselves only to find the German flying along side the Wellington waving his wings and waving. My Dad acknowledged in the same way and both aircraft departed safely for home.

Paul Winton

Dennis Unknown 300 Sqd.

A number of years ago I knew a gentleman known as Dennis the Pole. He had escaped the German occupation of his homeland, made his way to Britain by circuitous means, and eventually becoming a navigator on 300 Masovian Squadron in Lancasters flying out of RAF Faldingworth. Dennis never really talked much about his wartime service to anyone, although he did discuss some things with me - like getting lost for several hours and landing very short of fuel. However one evening in the late 70's I was sharing a pint with Dennis when in came my cousin, himself very interested in bomber command history. Knowing that Dennis had been in 5 group bomber command asked what did you do in the war, Dennis replied "I made car parks in Germany" and quietly carried on drinking his pint. Great understatement from a man that saw much.

Adrian Larder

Flt.Sgt. Henryk Drozdz 300 Squadron

My father, Flight Sergeant Henryk Drozdz 780262, of 300 Polish Squadron, based at Faldingworth airfield in 1944 and 1945, kept a war diary for the whole of the war. For the rest of his life until 2008, it has remained an inscrutable record. His family never learnt Polish to a sufficient level to translate the diaries and they have lain in a bottom drawer of my father's writing desk for all those years. After my father's death in 2008, I became interested in having the diaries translated to see what I could discover about my father's wartime exploits. By the most gracious kindness of Halina Kwiatkowska my voyage of discovery could begin. As a historian by university degree and inclination, I was aware that precious few records exist from the brave Polish airmen who took the war from these shores to continental Europe from which they had fled as refugees. Imagine my pride and choking emotion as I read the translation for the first time. Here was the part of my father that I never knew but had always tried to imagine.

I trust that anyone who reads this account will realise just what these young eagles went through. My father is quite clear about his feelings of fear and yet his unbridled Polish spirit of righting the wrongs of September 1939 shines through. His bitterness of what he sees as betrayal by the allies is indicative of the still lingering resentment at the agreement at Yalta.

I hope that this account will be read by all generations and we are grateful to the village of Faldingworth for everything that they do to perpetuate the ties with the Poles forged in the crucible of war. Those ties bind us together forever:

27th November, 1944 - Faldingworth

Twenty days in the wing. It means a long time full of various events and experiences, whether it be in the line of duty or personal views. In the case of my official duties a lot happened in that time. After many training flights, e.g. cross-country in the 'V-Victoria', then so-called 'Fighter Affiliation', and various other flights together with yesterday's night flight I became a member of so-called 'family' i.e. air force personnel fully trained and ready for operations. I remember it vividly - it started in March of this year and after less than 9 months it reached the stage that I am capable to take part, together with thousands of others, in operational flights. And soon the days of the baptism of fire will arrive, may God bless my endeavours so that my dreams may come true. On personal level that period was also varied and eventful.

29th November, 1944 - Faldingworth

Operations Record Book - Detail of Work Carried Out
Lancaster 1 LL 804 "F"
F/O J Kozicki, Sgt Drozdz H, P/O M Ziegenhirte, P/O W Kossowski, Sgt Uchman B, Sgt Zbarawski H and Sgt Januc W
Took off 12.06, Returned 17.41
Primary attacked from 19000 feet at 15.02 hours in good visibility. Target identified by Red and Green TI's. 1x4,000lb HC 6x1,000lbAN TD and 8x500lb MC TD were released on Red TI. Bombing concentrated in two areas about one mile apart. Black smoke rising up to 5,000ft. Starboard inner engine U/S after bombing. Returned to base on three engines. Moderate to intense flak encountered over the target. Four engine aircraft seen to be engaged in target area by heavy flak, set on fire and went down leaving trail in the clouds.

Operations Record Book - Summary of Events
Operations were ordered and briefing was carried out at 09.00 hours. Fourteen crews were allotted the target being "Dortmund". Crews reported 8/10 clouds cover over the target area and Air Bombers bombed Sky Markers and visually. The bombing was carried out on the Master Bomber's order. Flak was intensive and accurate. No enemy fighters were seen. All crews returned to base safely.

And so arrived the day of the Great Adventure - my first operational flight. My legs shook when I learned that today will be my first sortie. My God! How many fears, emotions and nerves, how many conjectures and dreams are bound up in this day. When I write this it is already in the past, but before that all the various emotions are so short-lived and elusive. My heart stopped when in the briefing room I saw on the map eight sinister letters of our destination - Dortmund. It gave me a very unpleasant feeling - it meant we had to fly over the entire 'Ruhr' and this my first combat flight. What rotten luck! But I pay attention to the rest of the briefing and learn many important things - but will it all matter if bad luck will have its way? But I banish these thoughts from my mind - nothing matters but achieving the objective of my dreams. It is not easy, but we have to go. According to orders we fly in the aircraft 'F', the same that we flew our last cross-country flight. It is not a bad plane, powerful and fast Lancaster "F".

It is a day flight and we take off at 12.05. It is a smooth take-off and it stirs up a variety of emotions before one says goodbye to the airfield and climbs to 2000 feet. Soon after take-off there is assembly of the whole flight. It was a pretty sight; a swarm of planes under the leadership of 'Master Bombers'. They all fly merrily towards Germany. The weather is not bad but when you fly in formation you meet a lot of air pockets, which is very unpleasant. After we crossed the English coast I had a weird feeling - soon we will cross the French coast and so the coast of the Continent - my European home, abandoned several years before. My heart starts beating faster - there it is - the narrow strip of Europe, to which Poland belongs. I feel happy, I can't say why. It is good to be here - it seems a different world. The flock of 'crows' heavy with their load of bombs is moving forward - it must be a magnificent sight from the ground. Where are our friends - perhaps on the ground. Maybe Zenek raised his head up, opened his mouth and stared - it's our planes flying. Yes, they are our planes flying to avenge the wrong. And then the feelings change into fear and helplessness against the air power. Yes, how many such feelings I experienced myself during the memorable September 1939. The worst fear of the defenceless against the air raids. And now the roles have changed. Thanks be to God that I can now avenge this fear of thousands of children, mothers, elderly and other people. I remember it as if it happened today - in fact it is happening today, but to different people. Today we are the perpetrators of this tragedy - today yesterday's heroes and tyrants will howl with pain and fear under the bombing. In a moment we will send down repayment for September 1939, and for the nightmare five years of murderous German occupation, 14,000 pounds of bombs.

On the way to our objective all the time artillery blazes away, here and there little black clouds pop up. Some of them so near they seem to touch the plane. It causes a lot of fear - you want to reach your target - you dodge to the left, then to the right - steady! steady! It's a veritable hell and ... "bombs gone!" Bang, bang - a second of relief, then duck to the left, nose five on full throttle, we are fleeing as quickly and as far as we can. And beneath us on the ground all is confusion and chaos - that's for September and Poland. For a long time artillery still blazes away trying to shoot someone down, but to no avail. In front of us an aircraft is trailing smoke, but it is too far to see what the trouble is, then it turns slowly left over France and disappears from sight. In time, as we get farther away from the target, the artillery subsides into silence. It is time to heave a sigh of relief. The bombs were dropped at 3.02 p.m. from the height of 20,000 feet, i.e. about 6 kilometre.

After crossing the battle front we start descending - over Belgium we are flying quite low, a mere 6,000 feet. Now we pass Antwerp on the right, the beautiful city seems to be dozing, unaware of the flight of the 'birds of prey'. We pass over the coastline, the white ribbon of the sea looks calm and friendly. So we are saying farewell to Europe, but we will be back soon, maybe even tomorrow. After two hours we reach our base. The weather is not good but everything is O.K. We have no trouble landing, I heave a sigh of relief, after all I was not on my own. "Happy landing" marks the end of my first combat mission. Modest pride and satisfaction fill my breast-from now on I am a combat airman, my destiny had been fulfilled - thanks be to God, let his will be done. We climb down from the plane in a happy mood, the "fed up" feeling of the last few days completely gone. In the log book I will write tomorrow: 'Dortmund operational flight 3040'. I wish that this beginning is the happy start of my air force career. God's peace.

Bomber Command War Diary - Bad weather caused the marking and the resultant bombing to be scattered but fresh damage was caused in Dortmund.

3rd December, 1944 - Faldingworth

Operations Record Book - Detail of Work carried out
Lancaster 1 PA 160 "E"
F/O J Kozicki, Sgt Drozdz H, P/O M Ziegenhirte, P/O W Kossowski, Sgt Uchman B, Sgt Zbarawski H and Sgt Januc W
Took off 7.45
Returned 12.15
Mission abandoned on the Master Bomber's instructions over target at 9.04 hours. 14 x 1,000 lb AN TD brought back to base.

Operational Record Book - Summary of Events
Early morning briefing was carried out at 05.00 hours. Thirteen crews were allotted for the operations. The target being "Heimbach Dam" near Duren ahead of the invading troops. The weather along the route and over the target was very bad and the target could not be identified and the Master Bomber ordered all crews back to base with their bombs. All crew with the exception of W/O Bakanacz and crew carried out this order. W/O Bakanacz did not receive the Master's order.

His Diary

Greg Drozdz

Olszewski 300 Sqdn.

My dad was with 300 Sqdn working as an airframe fitter on Wellingtons. He was also at Ingham and finished at Faldingworth on Lancasters. In between, he worked with other Polish units on Hurricanes and Spitfires (his favourite). He went to Blackpool on arrival in the UK for RAF training and learning the language. He met my mum at the Tower Ballroom.

Les Olszewski

Sgt. E. Karbowy 300 Sqdn.

I am trying to trace the following, who were part of a Lancaster crew posted to 300 Squadron at Faldingworth in April 1945:
  • Sgt. WOP/Air E. Karbowy
  • Sgt. A/G K. Walczewski
  • Sgt. F/E Z. Stefaniak
  • Sgt. A/G J. Wierzbicki
  • P/O Nav Z. Sajkiewicz

  • Rodney Byles

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