R.A.F. Polish

photo: Alison Head

Date of death
Today buried
P 1466
3.7.1909 Suwałki
R.A.F. Polish
317 Sqdn.
Exeter Higher Cemetery, U.K.
Plot Section ZK, Grave 52

More rain in the morning clearing to fair weather with low cloud. 
Although the weather was still bad instructions were received for the squadron 
accompanied by No. 306 squadron to provide bomber escort to five bombers 
and to proceed towards the French coast in search of shipping. 
Both squadron took off from Exeter at 15.40 hours and rendezvoused with bombers 
over base and course was set on a vector of 200 The ships were seen about 
5 to10 miles from the French Coast in the vicinity of Tregastel but no attack was
seen by our pilots owing to the state of the weather i.e. 10/10 cloud at 200 feet. 

At approx. 16.30 hours the fighters turned for home and when in the vicinity of 
Falmouth at 17.10 hours where the weather was the some as over the French Coast 
they steered course for Predannack where they intended to land. On arrival in the 
vicinity the cloud and mist being so low they searched for 15 minutes in an effort 
to find the drome, but without success. It was decided to proceed to Bolthead 
although the pilots were now losing sight of the another owing to the poor visibility. 

On arrival in the vicinity conditions were very bad the drome being completely 
covered with thick cloud. In fact one pilot F/O Koc with the aid of instruments flew
over the drome at 20 feet but was unable to see it. 

The pilot although his gauge indicated that he had only 7 gallons of fuel left decided 
to make for Exeter where he made a successful landing at 18.04 hours. 

All aircraft were now very short of fuel the result was that they had to crash land 
in the vicinity of Bolthead. 

The only other successful landing was made by F/Sgt Brzeski at Newquay. 
The remaining 10 aircraft all crash landed in the Bolthead area. 
In the course of landing all 10 aircraft were damaged six being Cat. E., 
four Cat. B. 
The Squadron Commander, S/Ldr Brzezinski struck the side of a cliff and was 
killed instantly. 
Other casualities were F/Os Kratke and Hrycak slightly injured and admitted 
to R.A.F. Hospital Torquay and F/Lt Niemiec slightly injured, but not admitted to hospital. 

mjr pil. Józef Brzeziński piloted Spitfire V, BL805, code JH-N

Source: http://orb.polishaf.pl/unit/317sqn

[His name is mentioned on the Polish Air Force memorial at Northolt, U.K.]

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