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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

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302 Squadron Crest
24.04.1943 302 Squadron Spitfire Vb AR385 WX-J Fg.Off. Józef W. Dec

Operation: Training

Date: 24th April 1943

Unit: 302 Squadron (Polish)

Type: Supermarine Spitfire VB

Serial: AR385

Code: WX-J

Location: North Cotes, Lincolnshire

Pilot: Fg.Off. Józef Wincenty Dec P-0808 PAF Age 29. Killed


There is not a great deal of information about the loss of this aircraft. In a mid-air incident the tail of AR385 was struck by the propeller of the Spitfire flown by of Plt.Off. Nowak, who managed to bail out. AR385 crashed at North Cotes in Lincolnshire killing the pilot.

Fg.Off. Czesław Jan Nowak P.2070, PAF, Age 20, was shot down whilst flying in a Spitfire VIII of 241 Sqn whilst strafing enemy vehicles on the 30th August 1944. He is buried at the Mądre - cmentarz parafialny in Poland.

In the foreground the airman to the left of Fg.Off. Józef Dec is aircraft mechanic Cpl. Josef Dawidek. In the background is AR385

(Note: Józef Dawidek emigrated to Canada where his name was anglicised to Joseph Davidek. He passed away in July 2019)

Left and above, Northwood Cemetery as visited by Aircrew Remembered in 2013. Any relative / friend who would like a higher resolution copy of the grave we would be happy to email you a copy.

Burial Details:

Fg.Off. Józef Wincenty. Northwood Cemetery. Grave Nr. H401. From Prawnik, Poland. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

With thanks to Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945’, Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Jerzy Bogdan Cynk - 'The Polish Airforce At War' Vol's 1 and 2. Thanks to Brian C. Thorne for the identity of the mechanic in the photograph.

RS 30.01.2020 - Update to include the identification of mechanic and additional research information

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 30 January 2020, 07:13

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