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I liej Belcarz BLUE GC 1/145 in France 1940 3 emnOrn 3. ee eee 4 No 7102 rh Artur Juszeza blished in Poland in 2002 by STRA'TUS ik, Po. Box 123, 27-600 Sandomierz 1, Poland e-mail: arturj@mmpbooks.biz for Mushroom Model Publi 36 Ver Road, Redbou AL3 7PE, UK. e-mail: rogerw@waitrose.com © 2002 Mushroom Model Publications. http://mmpbooks. biz All rights reserved. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of pri research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copy Act, 1988, no part of this publication may be reprodu any form or by any means, electronic, electrical, ch cal, optical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior w All enquiries should be addressed to the publisher, ISBN 83-917178-1-X te study, Patents ced, stored in a retrieval system, Editor in chief Roger Wallsgrove Editors Bartlomiej Belearz Robert Peczkowski Artur Juszezak Edited by Robert Peczkowski Page design by Artur Juszczak Robert Peczkowski Cover Layout Artur Juszezak DIP Robert Peczkowski Artur Juszezak Translation Leszek Hol Proofreading Roger Wallsgrove Colour Drawings Artur Juszczak Scale Plans Marek Rys Map Copyright © 1993 Digital Wisdom®, Printed by PRINTED IN POLAND GC 1/145 allocation map. ‘The Road to freedom Organi Wartime - Day by Day First starts ~ Lyon Bron ~ Lyon Mions B Before combat - Villacoublay.... In the line of duty - Dreux — Maison la Blanche 21 Waiting for new planes — Sermaises. Without any idea ~ Chateauroux ‘The gate to freedom ~ Roch Last Musketeers ~ GC 1/145 pilots in the French squadron GC I/I is 39 Victories and Loses Caudron C 714 Cyclone - Colours and Marking: Marking and numbe Full list of GC 1/145 Caudron € 714 Full list of the produced Caudrons C714. Polish Air Force ranks. GC 1/145 equipment after the French Campaign.. Footnotes Renault R12 Engine Caudron € 714 Scale Plans. Caudron € 714 in Detail Fuselage Cockpit. Wing Tail. co re “ : 82 Undercarriage... 85 Colour Profiles ion of the Unit. ireralt. ‘Many Thanks to the staff of Les Ailes Anciennes at Le Bourget in Paris for their help. Special thanks to my friend Many Soufan Author as 3 The Road to Freedom 1. Lyon-Bron until 10.03.1940 atte 2. Lyon Mions 10. 15.05.1940 3. Villacoublay 20,08 - 02.06.1940 4. Dreux 03-10.06.1940 5. Sermaises 11-13.06.1940 6. Chiteauroux 14-17.06.1940 7. Rochefort 17-19.06.1940 transfer to GC V1 (Wezelk) 14.06.1940 8, Janville-Grandvile 7, Rochefort 1796.1940 10, Royan-Medis 18.06.1940 GC 1/145 + Pilots of kpt. Wezelik (GC I/1) 4GC 4s The Road ro Freedom fier the September defeat, the majority of Polish flying personnel had Ase Due to the progress of the military situation, most found their sway to Romania, Some also ended up Hungary and the Baltic: Lithuania and Latvia. In terms of evacuating military personnel further afield, the Romanian and Hungarian governments made no major obstacles to the Poles, despite pressure from the German side, The situation in the Baltic countries was ‘uch worse, where the governments did not want to risk worsening theirreation- ships with the Soviet Union, and so observed rigorously the internment condi- tions, Consequently, only 7% of the flying personnel interned in these territories managed to escape to the west, After the seizure of Lithuania and Latvia by the Soviet Union, out 800 Poles were taken away far into Russian territory, Almost 100% ofthe staf was evacuated from Hungary, but in Romania in the spring 1940, ‘when camp regulations were tightened, a thousand flying personnel still remained, A few dozen of them managed to avoid being imprisoned by the Germans. The ‘evacuation itself proceeded quite efficiently. The major problem for the Polish forces was the transport of soldiers to France rather than to actually organise the escape. Until 6° February 1940, the evacuation from Romania was directed by gen. bryg, Stanistaw Ujejski', as he found his way to France and was appointed Inspector of the Air Force (actually, being gen. Zajqc’s Deputy Commander of the Air Force). In the middle of the evacuation, significant aid was given by the Polish consulates operating on the tertories of the above-mentioned countries, with considerable assistance from the Allies’ consulates. In particular, it referred tothe question ofthe issuing of false identification papers o enable departure, In the course ofthe evacuation, a few dozen cases were reported of impersonation of flying personnel by soldiers of other armed forces, It was common knowle ountries, that flying personnel took precedence over others during the evacuation, Also reported were cases of giving false information regarding military ranks, as well a the course of service, According to the official data presented by gen. Za inhis memorandum dated 26% July 1940, the total number of persons admitted to the air force and vetted was 9,161, this including 1,754 officers, 382 officer trainees, 3,351 non-commissioned officers and 3,674 privates, Of this number, 2,229 left for Great Britain to be trained (232 officers, 66 officer trainees, 92: non-commissioned officers, 1,006 privates). For work in industry, 69 officers and about 300 privates were released, Furthermore, 753 (168 officers, 225 non- commissioned officers and 360 privates) were headed for service in anti-aircraft antllery divisions’, and 385 (33 officers, 3 officer trainees, 154 non-commissioned officers and 195 privates) ended up in air communication. As of 1 June 1940, the Polish Air Force in France incorporated a total of 10,299 soldiers (9,165 in the air force, 753 in anti-aircraft artillery and 385 in communication).* Commander of GC 1/145, mjr Jézef Kepifiski (1900- 1964), J. Pawlak Deputy and, as of 9th June 1940, acting Commander of GC 1/145 - kpt. Piotr Laguna (1905-1941). SHAA Paris: GC 1/14 5 vate n 30° November 1939, the Soviet Union attacked Finland, thus Ow if an armed conflict that later went down in history as the “Winter War”. Due to a motion made by Finland, the Soviet Union was disqualified from the League of Nations as of 14" December 1939, and the Allies’ wait-and-see policy fr the Finnish. The opportunity to take advanta, cause was also seen by gen. Sikorski, He counted on the fact that a possible participation of the Poles in fighting on the Finnish side could influence the Finns and their recognition of the Polish government in exile.* On 19% 1 now on became favourable to of this conflict for Poland's, December the Supreme Allied Council was discussing the possibility of establishing intervention forces to support the Finns. At the beginning of January 1940, more concrete proposals began to come up, considering the use of a Polish infantry battalion, ‘The question of Polish aid to Finland turned out to be convenient to the French.* Visiting Gen. Denain on 22* January 1940, Gen. Zajac met with a warm welcome and promises of significant ai The enlistment for Finland announced in the Polish Air Force exceeded all expectations. The appeal resulted in 150 volunteers.” They were supposed to form the Third Fighter Squadron, and mjr Jézef Kgpiiski* was appointed its Commanding Officer. On February 12", the Commander of the Air Force, Gen, Zajac, forwarded a letter’ to the military attaché in Stockholm, pplk Tadeusz Rudnicki, with the following information: “In consultation with the respective French authorities, a two-flight fighter squadron will be established, to participate in combats on Finland's Onganisarion of the Veit Firsts Caudron C714 planes delivered to the newly-formed “Finnish Squadron” in February 1940. SHAA Paris GC IN45 7 Presenting the trainee pilots of the “Finnish Squadron” with the French pilot’s medal. Medals are presented by Col. Hug, Among the pilots are: por. R, Janota (first right to Col. Hug), and, in turn, from left to ppor. C. Gléwezyfiski, ppor. M, Szalewicz, ppor. L. : ppor. B. Gladych and ppor. L. Lachowi Czechowit SHAA Paris territory as a unit of the Polish Air Force and to report, with regard to its utilisation, to the Finnish Command-in-Chief. ‘This fighter squadron will be equipped entirely by the French authorities, plus necessary reserves, and organised according to French procedures. As the cadre of this squadron, the following will be trained in France on the Caudron aft with the Rhone 450 engine: + 30 pilots I technical officer 24 mechanics 2 gunsmiths 1 searchlight operator Then they will be sent to Finland with their equipment. In order to complete this personnel full-time, Mr. Colonel will utilise the personnel now in Sweden and the personnel that can be evacuated from Latvia, and, possibly, Lithuania, It is necessary to treat the personnel surplus as reserve to complement Due to the aforesaid, I authorise you, Mr. Colonel, to hold negotiations with the Finnish government in order to arrange the wording of an agreement regarding the conditions of using the Polish Air Force in combat on Finland's territory. During the unit's training, on the night of 12-13% March 1940, an armistice between Finland and the Soviet Union was signed, effective as of 13 March, 12.00 hrs. With this new military situation, sending the Polish 8 GC 1/45 urd to its ron will ves, and quadron, with the order to ersonnel via, and, sreserve Colonel, ange the olish Air 1940, an ive as of 1e Polish Fs i 5 ! j : vi i bi Onganisarion nding from left to right are: Onganisar Cat, Alexandre Lionel de Marmier (marked wi arrow) among the Polish and French mechanics. Second from the left; kpt. M. Wiorkiewiez. SHAA Paris 10.Ge 1/145 squadron was now pointless. On 15" March, gen, Zajac signed two dispatches. The first one was sent to pplk Rudnicki in Stockholm. It informed him that, due to the peace made", it was necessary to expect new guidelines from the moment of its ratification, The second dispatch, which was forwarded to plk Pawlikowski, appointed the Polish Commander of the Air Training Centre (CWL) in Lyon, read “In view of the peace made between Finland and Russia, ! command the existing trained personnel of the fighter squadron 10 be established full-time as the Third Fighter Squadron," The moment the operations in Finland were finished, the squadron's position became complicated. On one hand, the Polish Command-in-Chief was aiming consistently at establishing the first and entirely Polish air u con the other, the French zeal seemed to have faded. Besides, the question of sending Flight Montpellier to the front was being finalised then. Finally, the organisational questions were settled on 6" April 1940, when gen. Picard signed Order No. 1.115 1/1-S concerning the establishing of the first! Polish fighter squadron, ‘The order reads, “This squadron will be nbered No. 1/145 and assigned to the Base (CWL) in Lyon (Air Battalion No, 145)." This order came to the Polish Command-in-Chief on 158 Apri and was registered as item 1087/tjn/40. In accordance with the decision of the Commander-in-Chief, gen. Sikorski, the Poles addressed a request to the French Ministry of Aviation for taking into consideration the question of naming the squadrons. An endorsement reads “In this connection, request nu for complement of this regulation in order that the squadron can be named Onganisation patches. im that, es from warded raining Finland juadlron adron’s n-Chief air unit; stion of 0, when 2 of the will be attalion 5" April ision of tothe stion of request > named the Polish Fighter Squadron Warsaw No. 1/143." This request!’ was accepted by the French, which was confirmed by the response of the French Ministry of Aviation dated 2! May 1940." GC 1/145 was organised accord- ing to the French regulations (type I: T.E.G. No. 41 - Fase. IV), However, some modifications were made with regard to the number of officers and non-commissioned officers. This related to the actual number of the trained personnel at the Lyon-Bron base. Accordingly, the number of squadron officers could be increased up to 10, and the number of non-commissioned officers could be reduced to 5. The squadron personnel was to be assigned by the Commander of the Lyon base, primarily from the pilots prepared to leave for Finland, and then from those who were trained on the Morane MS.406 aircraft. ‘The organisation of administration personnel was supposed to meet the ministerial directives No. 190-1/3-S/EMAA dated 19" January 1940, regarding the organisation and administration of the Polish Air Force in France, Initially, the flying personnel were assumed to be trained on the MS 406. Until mid-May, training was based mainly on this model. In his, memoirs, gen, Zajqc describes the difficulties accompanying the air equip- ment, The entry dated 14" May 1940, reads “The current situation: a) due to the ongoing battle, the French have not enough time to take care of us at the moment; b) gen. Vouillemin cannot give equipment in the rear. They have the Moranes, bu fall short of engines; have the Blochs, monoplanes and engines, but no sufficient quantity of armament. Thus the French final proposals are as follows us the equipment; c) there’s no On 27th March 1940, Lyon-Bron, the trainee personnel of the ex-Finn- ish Squadron participated in a ceremony to bid ight Montpellier fare- well on its departure to the front, Photo: the guard of honour being led by por. C. Gloweryiiski PI&SM London GCI45 Onganisation Por. Witold Dobrzynis (1913 - 1940). PI&SM London Funeral cortege escorting the coffin with the body of por. Dobrzytiski to the Guillotiere cemetery, Lyon, PI&SM London 12.GC 1/145 J. The fighter squadron receives the Caudron 714, The following fighter squadrons will have the Blochs; 4 double patrols will go to defend the rear 2. The issue of the dispersion of Lyon has been already initiated and it is 10 be worked out shortly. The fighter units are supposed to stay in Lyon. The rest, according to their specialities, will be divided among schools and courses, which, in principle, is advantageous.""7 Following the suggestion of the French, the date of 10 May 1940 was set as the day when the report was to be drawn up with information on the readiness status of both flights. ‘The French authorities assumed that later on the flights would receive training in front-line units, Of course, these plans were thwarted by the German attack. In the course of formalising the questions connected with the establish- ment of the squadron, the training of pilots was continued. During training, they were familiarised with the Caudron C-714, which was to form the unit's equipment. ‘The first planes of this type found their way to the French Air Force at the end of January 1940. They were delivered to CWL in February'* the same year. Then the pilots from the Finnish squadron started their training on them. Unfortunately, some casualties could not be avoided during the course, On 19" April, ppor. Witold Dobrzyriski"® perished during a train- ing flight. His accident was described by ppor. Feric in his memoirs. “On returning from aerobatics, and circling normally over the airfield around to the lefi before landing; lacking fuel, the prop stopped suddenly, the machine went down into the ground, as because of its small lifting surface and low altitude there was no way to get to the airfield. The machine hit the ditch by an asphalt road with its engine ~ that was the most tragic moment for the pilot - then jumped, bounced and fell down a few metres away.” ‘One month earlier, landing his Caudron, ppor. Lanowski was luckier when -ylinder exploded, and, in addition, the undercarriage would not open until the last minute, ‘The pilot escaped the accident unharmed. Close on his setting out to the front, on 17" May 1940, plut. Marian Wedzik damaged another Caudron (military No. an ox; en die We = day wy dey dand it ystay in lamong First starts — Lyon Bron — Lyon Mions 10" May - 18 May 140 was non the The German attack found the squadron personnel still being trained at later on Lyon-Bron airfield, which was the main base of the Polish Air Force in France. se plans ‘On 10" May 1940, Bron airfield was raided by German bombers. As a result ofthis air raid, nine soldiers were Killed and seventeen others were wounded. tablish- On the same day, the decision was made to establish alert sections that were raining, supposed to cover the base and the town, Due to the lack of any supervision re unit's network, a primitive method of alert take-offs was applied, which was based ich Air on the wail of sirens heard from the town. After take-off, the planes would bruary"* teach an altitude of 5000 metres and circle over a fixed area, The events of training that day and the danger of the following air raids caused the Commander-in- ring the Chief to make a decision, in the evening, to move the planes used for atrain- to the airfield of St. Symphorie d’Ozon (Mions) irs. “On ‘The disposition of the alert section started on 10 May in the evening, and round to the next morning the planes commenced their duty hours atthe new airfield. _Kpr. Jerzy Zielifiski machine Since it was more distant than Bron, the audibility of the alarm sirens was (1920-1942), and low poor. As a matter of fact, the squadron had been equipped with Sadir-type Section 5, Flight 11. he ditch radio stations, however, due to their fragility, their effectiveness left a Lot to SHAA Paris itfor the bedesired. In order to remedy this situation, a system of visual communica- tion had been implemented in the form of signs put outside on the airfield. ier when Unfortunately, they were hardly visible from high altitude. not open rhe pilot rarmed g out to y 1940, lamaged tary No. ling near Last farewell by the comrades. Third left: ppor. Daszewski, four ppor, Gléwezytiski, sixth: por, Januszewicz. PI&SM London GC INAS 13 War Time MS 406 3” fr ‘om DIAP Lyon, In the background, a Bloch 131 landing, J. Pawlak One of the most “defi- ant” officers in the Pol Air Force, ppor. Witold Lanowski (1915-1988). At the end of May 1940, he sme into conflict with the GC 1/145 Commanding Officer, mjr Kgpifiski, by whose motion and gen. J. Zajac’ 's consent, he was arrested and dispatched to Lyon. No that this led to a wors ing of the relationship between Zajac and the Commander: gen, Sikorski in-Chief, who took Lanowski’s side. 14.GC 1/145 SHAA Paris When the first shock was over, the equipment and outfit started to be replenished. It was difficult in that period to differentiate GC 1/145 personnel from DIAP ones, as both appeared in the line-up of the alert sections. The first moments ofthe campaign were described by the commander of the DIAP training flight, kpt. Mieezyslaw Widrkiewiez, in his brief report The work was done in extremely difficult conditions, due to the lack of regular flying personnel and tremendous technical deficiencies (lack of planes, spare parts, communication equipment, munitions organisation and. provisioning - the squadron lacked the equipment that task forces were entitled: to). Depending on the number of the planes in possession, from dawn till dusk, the alert consisted of three to six Morane 406 aircraft. "*" Around the 15" May, it was rumoured that the French Commander-in Chief was going to change his intentions. The GC 1/145 squadron, which had not achieved combat readiness, was supposed to be dissolved, and the personnel moved as complement tothe French units. However, due to strong objections raised by the Poles and through Cne, Pierre Rougevin Baville's intercession (French commander of the DIAP training fighter flight), this idea was abandoned. It was decided that the pilots of the DIAP training fighter flight would stay at Mions airfield, and GC 1/145 would be sent to the fronty During their stay at Mions, GC 1/145 pilots accomplished in total six sorties ‘Their technical capabilities permitted them only to perform three-aireraft-sized patrols, The first Caudron C 714s were taken over from the DIAP only of 17® May 19402 On this day some decisions were also made with regard dispatching the unit to the front the following day. ‘The unit was divided int three sections: the road section commanded by kpt. Adam Jaworski, thera section commanded by kpt. J6zef Grzebalski, and the airborne one, whi was manned by the pilots, probably, of Flight I (flight commander plus pilots), The main group left for the new airfield by train on 18" May I at 23.20 hrs. Four Caudrons were supposed to take off on the same day at middaj weather conditions permitting. During the stay at Lyon, flights were performed entirely with MS 406 ed to be ersonnel ns, The he DIAP the lack (lack of ion and entirled dawn till ander-in- mn, which . and the tostrong Baville’s this idea 2 fighter the front. x sorties, raftsized > only on regard to r plus ten yy 1940, { midday, with the War Tine Above: Kpr. Edward Uchto in front of MS 406 No. 901, at Lyon airfield, Below: Kpr. Ernest Watolski and kpr. Andrzej Niewiara. Lyon-Bron, April 1940, K. Choloniewski Gc 4s 1S War Time On 23rd May 1940, mjr Stefan Pawlikowski (1896-1943) joined GC 1/145, being appointed liaison officer between the squadron and the French headquarters, after his leaving CWL Lyon. B. Belcarz 16 Ge 1/145 Before combat — Villacoublay — 19" May - 1* June The rail section reached Villacoublay on 19*May, the next day the road section joined the group. On 20 May, the first order of the day appeared, and defined the unit's activities for the following day After their arrival, Squadron GC 1/145 was included in the 23 Fighter Group Formation, with the task of protecting Villacoublay airfield and the south sector of Paris. The commencement of duties was possible only afier receiving the planes. Equipment supplies started on 21" May 1940, when sixteen new Caudrons were taken over from the factory, which increased the unit’s stock in possession up to 20 aircraft On 22 May, the next two Caudrons were delivered to the squadron, which were allocated to the commander, mr J6zef Kepitiski, and his deputy kpt. Piotr Laguna. Also the French fighter squadron GC 1/4, flying the American Curtis H 75A, was based at the same airfield. Since GC 1/145 lacked the means of communication, it was GC 1/4 that was responsible for informing the Poles about alert take-off. On 23° May, pik Stefan Pawlikowski reported to Vil lacoublay airfield, having been dismissed a few days earlier from his position as the Polish commanding officer of DIAP Lyon-Bron. From the squadron's viewpoint, nothing could have been more advanta geous, Being a veteran of the French Air Force during World War I, plk Pawlikowski had known perfectly its customs, and, in addition, he spoke French superbly.”” To a large extent, it improved the unit's work. Thanks “3” and a Caudron C 445 of CWL (DIAP) Lyon ne the road ppeared, ) Fighter }and the nly after 10, when ased the quadron, s deputy, Curtis H means of he Poles to Vile position advanta- rar I, plk he spoke Thanks War Tine tohim, closer contacts with the French authorities were made, which resulted ina faster flow of information. On 24" May, the squadron was visited by Air Foree Commanding Officer, Gen. Zajqc, who wrote down in his memoirs the poor condition of the anti-aircraft defences of Villacoublay airfield. The next day, the squadron received another visit. This time it was the Minister of Aviation, Gi Chambre. During the visit, the Minister was informed of “deficiencies and defects in the design of the Caudron aircrafi, a were suspended from combat flights.” However, because of the shortage ‘ofany other fighting equipment, the next day at the pilots’ own risk. ‘The Caudron C 714 aircraft were causing a lot of technical problems, indeed. The main cause was the fact that the Cyclones found their way to the unit straight from the assembly line, and there was no time to carry out type tests. ‘Therefore, the majority of faults that are typical of a new desig ‘The aircraft eng Was very sensitive to ex ontwo planes. Happily enough, no engine crankshaft cracks were reported Which the Caudron representatives had warned about. With a shortage of de d due to this, the planes hts with them were resumed n appeared only at the squadroi ne ding its rpm limit, which caused engine seizure maintenance equipment, the Caudron unreliability was a significant difficulty in GC 1/145 operations. On 25" May, the next three planes were put into Flight Il stock and found their way to the unit ‘On the same day, the pilots who were supposed to form a fighter patrol tocover the seat of the Polish government at Angers left. The commander of this section was por. Robert Janota, and sergeants Antoni Siudak and Marian Wedik departed with this group. ‘The majority of the ‘audron C7H4s delivered tothe French Air Force served in the Polish Air Force (DIAP and GC 1/145). SHAA Paris Leader of Section 2, Flight I, por, Jan Obuchowski (1909-1940), SHAA Paris GC N45 17 War Time Above: Commander of Flight I, kpt. Antoni Wezelik (1906-1942); during flights, he flew in the line- up of Section 1, Flight I. SHAA Paris ight: The only known ori “Carnet Indiyiduel’ belonging toa of GC 1/145. This one belonged to ppor. M. Lukasze via B. Belearz Ppor. Bronistaw Skibin- ski (1915-1969), Section 2, Flight SHAA Paris 18 GC 1/145 Besncre years Hovtew Mes O/H Sse MRE — Mite we 2.) a 2 } Orogne a Unatieetiinen fol. ag CARNET INDIVIDUEL des services aériens / ° 3 2 0) aced Ceeclenurerl hat CAnaeg 7 Le présent comet contenont(4) @ srgccande seg | 54). euMatela #16 G5t8 oF See pAE por omiisin naznleint ee Te Maren, a eon i) Noni de cule ) Grade ot onetons "du Command cole Sods service On 27" May, the squadron was joined by Ct. A. L. de Marmier, who was appointed technical director’, and Cne, M. Bessault as a liaison officer. ‘The arrival of de Marmier was the beginning of trouble for one of the squadron pilots, ppor. Witold Lanowski, He was arrested by personal order of the Commander of the Air Force, gen. Zajgc. It was in response to the report that had been filed the previous day by the Commander of GC 1/145, mir Kepitiski: “On 28" May 1940, 10.40 hrs., staying at the Villacoublay airfield, mjr Marmier of CWL at Lyén advised me that ppor. Witold Lanowski, whom I dispatched on business to Lyon on 24% May, spoke ill of me in his conversation with his colleagues from Lyon. Called to account by me on 288 May, 12.00 hrs., he testified as follows: “During my stay at Lyon, 1 said in mj conversation with my colleagues that mjr Kepiriski, the squadron commanding officer, had not been on duty with the alert sections meant for fighting agains War Time who was fier. mne of the mal order nse to the 5C 1/145, lacoublay Lanowski, me in his me on 28% said in my nmanding ng against enemy raids during the stay at Mions, and that he had escaped first during theair-raid alarms at Villacoublay. In the above-mentioned subject matter, hewas called to account by plk lwaszkiewicz, the CWL commanding officer, due tothe intervention of mir Suiss, the Bron inspection officer, who had heard that conversation. Fhave no knowledge of the outcome ofthe report By these conversations, I have been accused of cowardice and negligence ‘ofmy duties, and spreading of such groundless news is a breach of military Aiscipline, undermines my authority as a commander and may affect the entire squadron personnel, which will have an impact on combat action Having reported the aforesaid, I request, General, Sir, for bringing a suit, ‘suspending from duty and direct transfer of ppor. Witold Lanowski.’"6 Ppor. Lanowski was arrested and taken to the Chief of the Field Court Martial No.7 in Lyon. According to Article 67, Paragraph | and 2 of the Mili- tary Criminal Code, he was charged with misdemeanours against discipline. Asa result of the trial on 11" June 1940, he was sentenced to disciplinary punishment of 21 days of close arrest. ‘The ppor. Lanowski case was the subject of a conversation between gen. Sikorski, and gen. Zajqc on 7 June. At the same time, it was the pretext of criticism of the personnel policy of the Commander of the Air Force, who was accused by gen. Sikorski to the effect that “it’s clear again that there are cliques inthe Air Forces, and that I (ie., gen. Zajqc) support the worse (ies; furthermore, he reproached me for the promotions to have been alleg- edly arranged for the ones who shouldn't have been promoted, while those who should have been promoted were struck off the list.” 1-204 No. 8546 crashed during training at Lyon, The photo was wrongly ferpreted as the aircraft crashed at Villacoublay by ppor. Fiedorezuk, The aircraft with this number had never been in the GC 1/145 invento Note the Polish chequ- er marking on the fuse- lage, through which the original French roundel can be seen. This is not seen on photos of ope- rational C 714s from GC 1/145. Z. Gorska GC 4s 19 War Time Denuded by the loss of four pilots, the GC 1/145 line-up required eplenishment, On the basis of the French Ministry of Aviation letter dated! 29" May 1940, the next day Col, Hug issued Order No. 5349/S/D.1. listing the personnel that were supposed to form the squadron replenishment. The group consisted of five people: three pilots and two translators. The pilot ‘group were ppor. Zbigniew Wroblewski, plut. Ladislav Uher (Czech) and kpr. Antoni Joda. The translators were ppor. Ludwik Dziadosz and ppor. Stefan Stenocki?”. They d Villacoublay the next day ‘Thus the squadron li into two flights, five sections each parted Lyon in the eveni g of 30" May, and reached up crystallised. The flying personnel were divided Flight 1 Flight IL Commander — Kpt- Antoni Wezelik Kpt Juliuse Frey 1. Ppor. Jerzy Godlewski 1. Ppor. Lech Lachowicki Section 1 2. Plut, Antoni Markiewice 2. Ppor. Boleslaw Gladych 3. 3. _Kpr. Andrzej Niewiara | 1, Por. jan Obuchowski | 1. Por. Waclaw Wilezewski | | Section 2 |2. por. Bronislaw Skibinski 2. Ppor Leon Jaugsch 3.__Kpt. Miecryslaw Parafinski 3. _Plut. Edward Paterek 1. Por, Tadeusz Czerwinski 1. Por, Zdzislaw Zadrozitski Section 3 2. Ppor.Eugeniuse Fiedorezuk 2. Plut Jan Palak 3. _ Plut. Ladislav Uhe 3. _Kpt. Edward Uchto 1. Por Julian Kowalski 1. Ppor. Czesaw Glowezyiiski Section 4 2. Ppor. Marian Lulkaszewice 2. Ppor, Jerzy Czerniak j 3. Plt. Lujan Szemplinski 3._Kpr Emest Watolskt 1. por. Aleksy Zukowski 1. por. Marian Szalewicz Section 5 2. Kpr Antoni Joda 2. Ppor. Zbigniew Wroblewski Kpr. Piotr Zaniewski 3. _Kpr.Jerey Zieliski Below: 1 After plu A. Siudak’s leave. Temporarily, his place inthe section was taken o Leader of Section 1, Dy the flight leader, hpt. Antoni Weeelik Flight I, ppor. Jerzy 2 Plut. M. Wedeik's replacement Maria Godlewski (1916-3 Ppor. W. Lanowski's replacement 1941), Both photos SHAA Paris 20GC 1/145 4 Por. R, Janota’s replacement On 30 May, preparations were commenced for moving to the new bi and, finally, the squadron was moved there on 2* July.” Generally, twenl three fi de from Villacoublay airfield, with a total flight i of 92 hours. In this period of time, the squadron was supplied with their next twel ghts wer planes. ‘Top of the page: Plut. Antoni Markiewicz (1915), Section 1, Flight I. ) required etter dated D.L. listing ment, The The pilot h) and kpr. vor. Stefan \d reached sre divided s taken over new base, lly, twenty flight time ext twelve In the line of duty - Dreux — Maison la Blanche 2™! June-10" June ‘The new air base of GC 1/145 was Dreux, a locality situated about 30 Kilometres west of Paris. The planes were located along the line of trees and carefully camouflaged. As early as the next day, ie., 3¥ July, ns were posted. Until 1 p.m. the alert consisted of one section each from Flight 1 and Flight Tl. After 1 p.m. two sections of Flight I were on duty, while Flight If was being on stand-by (attendre). The take-off was supposed to begin when a hooter sounded! On 4* June the squadron was equipped with a radio station, and, thanks to this, there was the opportunity to receive announcements of the German airraids, which were broadcast from the Biffel Tower in Paris. However, the announcements were ofien late, even by 10 minutes, so their effectiveness Was not very great. On June 5%, the patrol of Flight II assisted GC 11/10 operations in the tea over Rouen, and the planes of Flight I were dispatched temporarily to Bretigny-sur-Orge airficld in order to cover Paris. The planes returned to Dreux in the evening Since 6" June, GC 1/145 had been assigned to the newly formed Sous Groupement de Chasse 42 that fought within the confines of the Groupements de Chasse 21. The Polish unit had been assigned to defend the valley of the Seine along the stretch Vernon-Meulan four alert set Another example of a wrongly interpreted photograph, According to Polish sources, it was sup- posedly taken in Dreux, on 9th June 1940; accord- ing to German ones, in Rouen, on 15th June 1940. In my opinion, it represents one of very few 714s that had remained in Lyon-Bron (testimony to this is the character ng of the hangars in the background). In the foreground, C714 No. 8559, 1-217 white ““6’, photographed after the Germans seized the airfield, H. J. Nowarra via J. L. Roba GC 145 21 War Time Ppor. Marian Eukaszewicx (1916-1941), Section 4, Flight I. SHAA Paris Kpr. Mieezystaw Parafiiski (1914 - 1941), Section 2, Flight I B. Belearz 22. GC 1145 On 7 June, single sections of GC 1/145 were patrolling the sector assigned tothe unit. The first patrol with two 3-aircraft sections was made from 15. to 16.35 hrs, The area of Dreux-Meulan-Magny-Flevry-Vernon was patroll at an altitude of 6.500 metres. The second flight was made in the evening also by two 3-plane sections, along the route of Dreux-Mantes-Vernon-Dreuty During both flights, there were no encounters with the enemy On June 8" like the previous days, Squadron I was assigned to the Fred Squadron GC II/10, being stationed at Berney. On this day, three flights were made from this airfield. The first and second went smoothly, while during the third one® a group of several German Messerschmitt Bf 110 figh were encountered. The Poles were flying five planes under the command kpt. Wezelik. Apart from him, the others participating in this fight were poq Czerwitiski, ppor. Godlewski, ppor. Zukowski and kpr. Zaniewski. The Pok managed to take the Germans by surprise, and as a result of their combat th shot down one enemy plane, According to the GC 1/145 victory list dra up on 13" June 1940, kpt. Wezelik and por. Czerwiriski®’ were credited wi a presumed victory over one BF 110. A report on this was then made by Commander of GC 1/145, kpt. Eaguna. In this report, the following h written note by ptk Pawlikowski appeared, which was made in Black on 9" July 1940: “According to the statements of French officers-pilots wl were watching from the ground the fight on 8* June 1940, five Messerschmil fell, which were found in the woods north of Rouen. In that case, five eneti planes were shot down in this fight.” In accordance with pik Pawlikowskl War Tine rassigned om 15.40 patrolled evening, m-Dreux. he French, nts were uring ) fighters nmand of were por, The Poles mbat they ist drawn lited with de by the ing hand- slackpool ilots who rschmitts ve enemy: ikowski's The first production Caudron C 714 no, 8533 (1-191) went to > 1/145. Photo: a C714 from the Caudron Company statement, in the “Shoot-down Re nittee, the following pilots were credited with victories: por. Czerwinski ~2 victories, kpt. Wezelik ~ I victory, ppor. Zukowski ~ 1 vietory, and, jointly, ppor. Godlewski and kpr. Zaniewski. Confirmation of these victories cannot be found, as the only Messerschmitt Bf 110s lost by the Germans on this day were shot down over the Swiss-German border“, in a quite different region. We may be dealing here with wrongly identified Dorniers, though German Josses in this region were limited to one plane only."* On June 8" lots of speculation appeared about the question of the further independent existence of GC 1/145. Their sources were suspected to be circles made by the so-called Bajan Com- B. Belearz One of the GC 1/145 Cyclones at an unknown airfield, Probably, Villacoublay. PI&SM London GC W145 23 Two photos of ppor. ‘Zukowski’s Caudron No. 8549 (1-207), Flight I, GC 1/145 captured by the Germans. SHAA Paris and P. Taghon (lower photo) Leader of Section 5, Flight I, ppor. Aleksy Zukowski (1911-1940), SHAA Paris 24.GC 1145 within the French Ministry of Aviation. On this day, gen. Ujejski reported to gen. Zajge that the Commander of the Fighter Air Force, gen, Pinsard, had been dissatisfied with the Polish squadron. The arguments raised by the French were concentrated on the following points: 1. The aircraft of GC 1/145 are not suitable for combat Due to this, the squadron was not capable of establishing its reputation among other fighting squadrons. ‘There are difficulties connected with management of the squadron because of insufficient knowledge of the French language among the Polish commanding officers. It would be more useful to divide the Polish flying personnel among the units of the French Air Force, due to the latter's shortage of personnel In this connection, gen. Zajqe ordered gen. Ujejski to immediately meet gen. Pinsard, as well as gen, Picard. At the same time, plk Pawlikowski arrived at the Polish headquarters in Paris, and he was informed that it was the Commander of the Sous Groupement de Chasse 42 "” who had demanded the Polish pilots to be dispatched to the French units. ‘This was given gen, @ Astier’s support, who was the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force Zone North,". One should suppose thatthe arguments for the Poles” lack of success were rather a pretext; as it appeared, from his part that gen, Pinsard did not raise any objections regarding GC 1/145's efforts. War Time eported vutation yuadron ong the among tage of ly meet kowski tit was manded en gen. ‘one success did not Before their visit to headquarters, the squadron officers had been familiarised with the same arguments by pik Pawlikowski, ‘The response to this information was a letter written by mjr Kepiriski and addressed to the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, gen. Zajgc™. In his letter, he expressed a strong protest against, in practice, the actual disbandment of the Unit, It was not an act of insubordination but a dramatic gesture aimed at the Command-in-Chief in order to make them realise that despite the equipment difficulties with the Caudrons C714, the squadron pilots were still ready to fight by all means, He also argued that further functioning of the squadron a8 a compact unit would have a greater propaganda effect than dividing it into smaller sections. Asa result of gen. 2 ng with pik Pawlikowski, the Com- mander-in-Chief of the Air Force decided to go to gen. d’ Astier to demand** that he should “dispatch one flight to some French squadron, provided that Ppor. Zukowski’s ‘Caudron captured by the Germans. The fuselage had been cut out around the Polish chessboard as a war trophy. Villacoublay airfield, JL. Roba Photos taken by the German soldiers in lacoublay shows design and camouflage details. ee also next pages. T. Rajkowski War Tie A series of photos taken by the German soldiers in Villacoublay shows design and camouflage details. T. Rajkowski the other will stay, and the whole squadron will be united after the awaited fight." According to gen. Zajqe, it was the only solution that was supposed to preserve the unit's independence. The meeting with gen. d’Astier was held on 9" June in Nogent s/Seine. After the agreements with gen. d’ Arcour, who was the Inspector of the Fighter Air Force, gen. d’Astier agreed to the proposal of the Polish party 9® June also became the day of the greatest success of GC 1/145, as well as of the heaviest losses. On this day, the squadron was assigned to sweeps cover the valley of the Seine between Meulan and Rouen. In the morning, al approximately 5 a.m., Flight | flew to Berney airfield," from where it maded number of patrol flights. At about 2 p.m., six sections took off to patrol again seventeen machines in total under mjr Kepiriski's command.‘ After about thirty minutes, over the region of Vernon, the Polish formation encountered 26 GC I/145 awaited upposed as held Arcourt, ed to the as well » sweeps ning, at it made a olagain, ier about ountered 4 group of approximately twenty Messerschmitt Bf 109s belonging to IMIG 27; as it appeared later, they were covering some Dornier Do 17Zs. The sun behind their back, the Poles were flying at an altitude of 6,000 metres, the Ger: mans about 2,000 metres below. ‘The advantage of surprise was on the Polish side. However, mjr Kepiriski did not take the initiative. Ppor. Glowezytiski Who took part in this flight, mentions him as follows: “I asked with a gesture my right flank, Czerniak, to fl cockpit, I point down with my hand. He gives a nod to signal that he sees. 0 the left, flying myselfto Kepiriski. From the Task myself another question, What's going on?", How can't we attack in this ideal position; soon we will have no chance and many ofus will lie down there, on the Seine. One more time, I repeat a series of gestures, and the response is the same. Then I show the commander that Lam going for them, cand Kepitiski, saluting me, gives his consent to this, and God bless you! (...) So I didn't look back, just diving towards the Messerschmitts. I didn’t even notice that nobody was following me. Even my wingman, Czerniak, joined ime after the Messerschmitt formation had scattered in the sky.”* ‘The Germans were totally surprised by Glowezyriski’s attack. As a result, the right wingman of the German formation fell down to earth in flames. A moment later, the lone Pole himself became a target for the Messerschmits. It was ppor. Czerniak who let him off the hook; following the progress of events, he stepped in and shot down the BF 109% that was attacking Gléwezyriski’s plane. Czerniak relates the final part of this fight as follows: “I was flying War Tine Kpr. Antoni Joda (1915- 1941), Section 5, Flight I. He found his way to GC 1/145, replacing the arrested ppor. Lanowski. PI&SM London War Time Above: Villacoublay, June 1940. Ppor. Zukowski’s C714 deprived of its wings. Below, rigl ings lying near the fuselage. Both photos T. Kopariski Below: Leader of Section 3, and, as of 9th June 1940, also of Flight 1, por. Tadeusz, Crerwitiski (1910-1942), 28 GC 1/145 behind Czesio all the time, specially paying my attention to one Messerschmitt that had decided to slay my friend. When his insolence became risky, I decided to.curb this gambolling. The Messerschmitt attacked Czesio and even shota burst of fire. Iwent for him and shota sizeable dose at his cockpit, I bettered itagain, and the Me decided to withdraw from fight. Too late, I didn't let the friend” go until he had crashed into some French farmer's yard.”** During the Bf 109 attack, ppor. Glowezysiski’s aircraft was damaged. Being covered by Czemiak’s Caudron, Glowezyfiski landed at Evreux, He had the oil pipes shot and the instrumental panel partially broken, ‘The planes shot down by the Poles fell to the ground in the vicinity of Les Andelys. War Time While the two lone Caudrons were attacking the escorting Messerschmitts, Ppor. the rest of GC 1/145's planes were making for a group of fifty Dornier Do Caudron C714 (°2’) schmitt 17Zs belonging to IIV/KG 2." With por. Kowalski and plut, Markiewiez being photographed at unknown lecided pattof it, the section under kpt. Wezelik’s command was credited with one airfield seized by the | shot a Do 17 that crashed in the vicinity of Louviers. ermans. ettered In the same region, plut. Parafitiski** won a victory in his duel with a Musée de V'Air via t let the Bi 109. Unfortunately, there were losses also on the Polish side. The fol- L. Persyn During lowing did not return from the flight: por. Obuchowski, ppor. Lachowicki covered and plut. Uchto.® Furthermore, por. Kowalski was wounded in the arm, and i pipes por. Godlewski had to make a forced landing at Villacoublay airfield. Dwn by Alter the fight, GC 1/145°s planes landed at Dreux. On the same day after 8.00 pm.,a five-plane patrol took off to intercept German bombers attacking ‘The Cyclone was a particularly defective aireraft. GC 1/145 had lost more planes due to failures than in its fights with the enemy. Photo: an unidentified crashed C714 camouflaged with branches after its forced landing, T. Rajkowski GC 1/145 29 War Time Ppor. Cz. Gléwezyniski’s identity card of GC 1/145 Flight I. Cz, Gtowezyiiski via R. Gretzyngier Leadr of the Section 4, Flight 1, por. Julian Kowalski. (1910-1986) SHAA Paris Leader of Section 4, Flight II, ppor. Czestaw Gléwezyiiski (1913-2000). T. J. Kopatiski 30 GC 1/45 me Nt tod UNIES D'AVIATION POLONAISE — POLSKIE —— LOTNICZE ‘sacceyh mi re hin ante | Pinna Drapes Laeger! ae ee ee yp, Verde Mart > Chavo the railway station at Dreux. The interception did not happen. Al the victories won by the Poles on this day were confirmed by the French Command. Por, Godlewski landed at Villacoublay, of which he informed the GC 1/145 command by phone the following day. He was supposed to take off for Dreux after receiving a new plane, His take-off was unsuccessful, the plang overturned. This accident was reported on by phone from Villacoublay. The pilot did not rejoin his unit before the end of the campaign On 9 June, in the evening, the squadron commander, mjr Kepifiski pros moted the following pilots, effective as of the following day: plut. Anton Markiewicz, plut. Lucjan Szemplitiski, plut. Jan Palak and plut. Edward Paterek — to the rank of full regular sergeant; and kpr. Piotr Zaniewski, ke Micezystaw Jan Parafiiski and kpr. Andrzej Niewiara® — to the rank of plutonowy AAs a result of the fights of 8°-9* June, there was a considerable drop the number of serviceable aircraft in the unit. It was chiefly due to batt raecey victories and. | the GC off for he plane lay. The iski pro- Antoni Edward ski, kpr rank of > drop in to battle damage, Consequently, on 10 June, in the morning, barely twelve planes in working order could be posted. They were taken off in the alert mode at approximately 8,00 a.m, The section in the air was under mjr Kepiriski’s command, Flying with him were kpt. Laguna, kpt. Wezelik, kpt. Frey, por. Zairozinski, ppor. Czerniak, ppor. Zukowski, ppor. Lukaszewiez, ppor. Wroblewski, sierz, Paterek, plut. Niewiara and kpr. Joda. South of Dreus, they encountered a formation of aircraft that consisted of Dornier bombers being covered by twelve Messerschmitt Bf 109s, In the ensuing fight, two Do 17Ps from 2(F)/11 and 4(F/11 and one Bf 109" were shot down, The Victory over the first Do 17 was credited to ppor. Czemniak, the second one was credited to ppor. Aleksy Zukowski. The only Bf 109 shot down in this fight was credited to kpt. Laguna. The course of the fight was over in aninstant. The Polish planes attacked frontally the two German sections, Mir6zef Kepitiski describes this attack as follows: “The frontal attack took seconds. No sooner had I shot a short burst of fire at the machine that was leading the formation, than the tw speed. turned lefi sharply. 1 spotted wo Dorniers smoking. Shi close to the wings of my plane ren 1¢ German fighters would not permit me to shoot further at their bombers with impunity.”® After the aitack, the planes dispersed in the sky. Trying to rejoin his group, Kepitiski wrongly recognised the planes and joined the Messerschmitts instead of the Caudrons, Before long he experienced the result, He remembers this unpleasant moment, “Here they are. I reduced the rpm instinctively... and atthe moment my heart beats like mad. They weren't the planes from my Squadron but the Nazi Messerschmitts. 1 try to leave. Maybe they haven't groups passed each other at an enormous trails inded me that 1 War Tine jority of damaged C714s fell into German hands at Dreux airfield. B. Belearz Ppor. Eugeniusz Fiedore- zuk (1918-1942), Section 3, Flight 1. P. Kornicki Czech pilot plut. Ladislav Uher (1914-1941), Section 3, Flight I. Photo: standing on the left with Sgt, Gutrald, during his service 46 Sqn RAF. January 1941, GC 1/145 31 AC 714 photographed at Villacoublay airfield after it had been seized by the Germans, Left: C 714, right: an MS 406, In the background: a Heinkel He 111 (GIRL) of KG “Greif”, T. Kopariski Below: Section 4, Flight I, plut. Lujan Szemplitiski, (1912-1944) SHAA Paris 32.GC 145 noticed? Suddenly Ieltas if was lashed with whips on my back, At the sand time, some invisible hand smashed to smithereens all the flight instrumen in the cockpit. The burst was accurate. I bank to the opposite side and din My left hand is numb. I grow weaker every moment. To parachute iso ofthe question. The only rescue is to land... feel the plane blow up, the darkness surrounds me. Lopen my eyes slowly and I’m fully conscious. Ut in bed, all swathed in bandages, an elderly gentleman in an overall sti beside me. Being heavily wounded, mjr Kepiviski landed without undercarriage the airfield and was taken to the hospital in Chartres. During the evacuatiog he was then transported to the hospital in Vichy, from where he arrived i Great Britain via Spain in October 1940. Due to the wounds he had sustaing he never returned to combat flying, Ppor. Marian Lukaszewicz recalls this fight somewhat different According to his report, the course of the fight was very chaotic. uti the fight, ppor. Eukaszewicz attacked the German pilot that had shot do mjr Kepiriski’s plane and shot him down, However, he was so reckle that he did not pay attention to the fact that he was comered. “He wo have killed me, probably, if my engine hadn't caught fire. On seeing tra cartridges intersecting around me, | thought momentarily that Iwas hit, opened the cockpit and prepared to jump out, but the fire went out, andi German let me off, being sure that I was still on fire. 1 could see that ill situation wasn't dangerous, so I got to the airfield and landed with a trail smoke dragging behind me all the time."® In Eukaszewicz’s report wit eighteen months after these facts, many errors appeared (with reference the date and the circumstances of the fight), which probably occurred as| War Tine tthe same struments ‘and dive, jute is out v up, then ious. I'm all sitting atriage on. vacuation, arrived in sustained, fferently. e. During shot down 0 reckless He would: ing tracer as hit, sol ut, and the 1e that the h a trail of ort written ference to ed as time Went by. ‘The pilot himself claimed that he had won a victory, however it as not confirmed in official reports, and, incidentally, he did not write it down in his flight log. The rest ofthe squadron’s planes returned without further losses to Dreux aitield. From now on, kpt, Piotr Laguna was appointed commanding officer and replaced mir Kgpitiski. The position of the deputy commanding officer of 1/145 was given to kpt. Wezelik, and por. Czerwinski took over his position asthe commanding officer of Flight I AL10.40 a.m, GC 1/145" planes took off again, The target was a German formation flying from the direction of Chartres. Twelve pilots participated inthe flight: plk Pawlikowski, kpt. Frey, kpt. Wezelik, por, Wilezewski, por Kowalski, por. Czerwitiski, ppor. Czemiak, ppor. Glwezyriski, ppor. Jaugsch, set Palak, put. Parafifiski and kpr. Zielifiski, ‘There was no encounter with the enemy, and the Polish planes returned to Dreux. In{otal, flying from Maison la Blanche airfield (Dreux), GC 1/145 pilots performed nineteen combat flights (fourteen patrol flights in the appointed seotor along the Seine and within the confines of anti-aircraft defence of Dreux and the airfield), Another view of the same machine, H. Thiele via S. Joanne Section 4, Flight 1, ppor. Marian Lukaszewicz (1916-1941), SHAA Paris GC INAS 33 War Time Kpr. Piotr Witold Zani- ewski (1917- ) Section 5, Flight I SHAA Paris An unidentified Caudron captured probably at Villacoublay. T. Rajkowski Waiting for new planes - Sermaises - 11" June-13" June On 11" June 1940, the squadron was ordered to move to Sermaises, sou of Etampes, and, concurrently, to defer to the commanding officer of the Groupement de Chasse 23. Executing this order caused the squadron tobe lft again without a radio station, which essentially imited its combat capabilites By the way, these were not too high anyway, since the unit had barely eleven planes in working order at this time. On 11® and 12" June, only two flight in defence of the zone were carried out, each section-sized. On 12* June, the resolutions established between the Commander-in-Chiel of the Air Force, gen. Zajac, and the Commander of the Air Force Zone North, gen. d’Astier, came into effect, regarding the training of GC 1/145 pilots on new type of plane, the Bloch MB152, According to them, three planes of this type reached the unit on this day, along with the order to form two groups pilots that were supposed to be dispatched to the French squadrons in order be trained on this new type of plane. ‘The units selected to receive this trainin appeared to be GC VI, which was stationed at Janvilie-Grandville, and GC: at Malesherbes-Cesarville, Before the realisation of these plans commenced GC 1/145 had been dispatched to Chateauroux. Two flights were only ma from the Sermaises airfield, each of the size of a three-aircraft s » June ses, south er of the to be left ly eleven vo flights -in-Chief ne North, lots ona nes of this groups of norder to straining nd GCIS nmenced, mnly made, ion, Without any idea - Chéteauroux - 14" June-17" June ‘The frst group of the two dispatched from the squadron was the group under command of kpt. Antoni Wezelik. It left for GC 1/1 on 14° June 1940. Its line-up were the pilots of Flight I: ppor. Bronistaw Skibitisk, ppor. Aleksy Zukowski, sierd. Antoni Markiewicz, sier2. Lucjan Szemplitiski plut. Mieczystaw Parafiiski, plut, Piotr Zaniewski and kpr. Antoni Joda.®* However, the departure of this group was made from Chateauroux, where GC 1/145 was moved at night on 13 June 1940, On their way to the new airfield, pik Stefan Pawlikowski and kpt. J6zef Grzebalski were supposed to fake mir J6zef Kepiriski with them from the hospital in Chartres. On theit arrival there, it appeared that the town had been already deserted, and the hospital had been evacuated. The second group were kpt. Juliusz Frey, por. Waclaw Wilezewski, por Zdzislaw Zadrozitiski, ppor. Leon Jaugsch, ppor. Czestaw Glowezytiski ppor. Jerzy Czerniak, plut, Andrzej Niewiara and kpr. Emest Watolski, and, according to the order of 13% June, they were supposed to leave for training With GC 1/8. However, due to the changing situation on the front, this part ofthe order was not executed. Tn Chitearoux, GC 1/145 was assigned the task of anti-aircraft defence of the town and the airfield. During the execution of this task on 144-17 June, Seven combat flights were performed, with a total time of thirty four hours Wan Time nest Watolski, Section 4, Flight II. B. Belcarz Kpr. Ernest Watolski's C714 (3") of GC 1/145 Flight IL, next to the tail of ppor. Jerzy Godlewski’s aireraft (“2”), Hi. Thiele via S. Joanne GC 14S 35 War Time Por. Z. Zadrozitiski’s C 714 “7” at the Evereux airfield. A Wehrmacht soldier in the cockpit. JL. Roba Leader of Section 3 On 14" June, in the evening, three patrols took off in the alert mot Flight Il, por. Zdzislaw There being no encounter with the enemy, the planes patrolled the aif Zadrozifiski (1914-1990). neighbourhoo: altitude of 4,000-4,500 metres. On 15" June, GC If SHAA Paris planes took off three times: two patrols in the mémning, and later at mid ‘one patrol twice patrolled the airfield neighbourhood. On 15 June, plut. Jan Marciniak, a mechanic from Flight I, was taker the hospital in Chateauroux with a fractured leg. The next day, two one-patrol take-offs were performed, however, a the previous day, there was no encounter with the enemy ‘The course of war meant that the squadron had to move again od necessity 36 GC 1/145 The gate to freedom — Rochefort — 17" June - 19" June C714s captured by Ger- mans. On 17" June, the unit was situated at Rochefort, where it was assigned JV. Crow the task of anti-aircraft defence of the airfield, ‘The unit’s road group had experienced far more difficulties on its way to the new destination, as it had fostruggle through roads overcrowded with refugees. On the last days of their combat activity, the soldiers were on sentry duty, guarding the planes The C 714 aireraft of GC atthe airfield, which was cause by growing danger from the German side. 1/145 Flight I left at the Pik Pawlikowski, who had established contact with the French authorities, airfield. In the fore- Feeeived from them some contradictory orders with regard to GC 1/145°s ground, kpr. Mieczystaw tasks. In this situation, he made an attempt to establish contact with the Parafifiski’s 4 Polish authorities, which he managed to accomplish On 17" and 18* June, by pik Pawlikowski’s order, the squadron was joined by the following DAT sections: GC /55 Chateaudun under mjr Zdzislaw H. Thiele via S. Joanne ert mode, \e airfield GC 1/145 t mid-day s taken to) ver, as on) sin out of GC 1145 37 War Time ‘The C714 1/145 Flight I, belonging to ppor. E. Fiedorezuk. The Germans cut out the chessboards from the fuselage. R. Gretzyngier Commander of GC 1/1 Flight I, kpt. Juliusz Frey (1907-). SHAA Paris 38 GC 1/145 Krasnodgbski, GC IV/8 under por. Ludwik Paszkiewicz, and La Roche under kpt. Adam Kowalezyk The squadron was in the alert mode until 9.00 a.m., 19 June 1940, eg though the French authorities had already evacuated from La Rochelle night before. In this situation, preparations for evacuation commenced. In the morning of 19° June 1940, the squadron left the airfield lav thirteen planes in working order: eleven Caudron 714s and two Bloch 1528 On its arrival at La Rochelle harbour, the squadron embarked on a Fre ship. About two hours later, its captain received new orders and the Pal had to leave the ship. In this situation, plk Pawlikowski made for the Bi consulate, where he was assured that the very same day he would received Indeed, at about 18,00 p.m. a ship arrived, and embarkation of the sol began, this including the GC 1/145 pilots. In total, the group consis 225 embarked soldiers. The embarkation continued by night, and, in the morning of 20*J the ship weighed anchor and set off for Great Britain, where it arived following day. Together with the Poles was evacuated Cat. Alexandre de Marmier.® Last Musketeers — GC 1/145 pilots in the French squadron GC 1/1 Rochelle According to prior arrangements, a group of eight pilots was dispatched 940, even to the French squadron GC V/1, under command of kpt. Antoni Wezelik chelle the They arrived at the destination unit in the evening of the same day. In the enced morning of 15% June, they were familiarised with a new type, the Bloch Id leaving MBIS2 plane. As early as in the afternoon of the same day, they took part ch 152s, in the unit's combat flights to cover the bridges over the Loire 1a French On 16% June, covering the bridges over the Loire was continued, this ‘the Poles time in the Beaugency-Gien sector. On 17 June, GC I/1 was transferred to he British Rochefort, where the Poles met their mother squadron GC 1/145. eive aid On 18" June, GC 1/1 was moved again, this time to Royan-Medis, Taking © off from this airfield, the Poles won their last victory during the French campaign. At about 17.40 hrs, a patrol consisting of kpt. Wezelik, st. sierz Markiewicz.and a Frenchman, Adj. Delegay, came across a single Heinkel He 111 that had probably turned up in this area completely by accident. Three times the fighters attacked. The Heinkel’s right engine was hit and burst into flames. ‘The German plane continued its flight to the west, but, at the same time, itlost altitude, Finally, it crashed into the Bay of Biscay. For the pilots tf Squadron 1/145, this was the last vietory that fell to their lot. The next day, the Poles left the unit, commencing their evacuation. Itis probable that the group evacuated from one of Atlantic ports located south of Royan (Bordeaux or Sain Jean de Luz). ie soldiers nsisted of 20" June, utived the dre Lionel A group of three Caudrons of GC 1/145 Flight I. In the foreground, ppor. B. Gladych’s “13” and kpr. A. Niewiara’s “10” aircraft, ‘These planes were also immortalised ina German propaganda im, where they were blown up with grenades. Photo was taken at Dreux airfield Leader of Sectio® 1Belearz Flight 11, ppor. Lech Lachowicki-Czechowiez (1915-1940), SHAA Paris GC 1/145 39

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