Archive Report: Allied Forces
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01.11.1944 No. 303 Squadron Spitfire F.IX MH910 RF-G Sgt. Jan Wierchowicz
Operation: Armed Recce
Date: 1st November 1944
Unit: No. 303 Squadron (Polish)
Type: Spitfire F.IX
Base RAF Coltishall
Location: West of Amsterdam.
Pilot: Sgt. Jan Wierchowicz 794984 PAF Age 27. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Shot down at 15.30hrs when attacking barges.
Report by W/O. Sznapka Władtsław (1):
'I was assigned on this rec. as commander of 2 section. Jan was my wing man. We were at 7,500 ft whilst the leading section were at 6,500 ft.
To the west of Amsterdam the leading section attacked two small ships flying from west to east.
We jettisoned our reserve tanks and with Jan along side me we also attacked. After I pulled up, I couldn’t see Jan but recall I saw a strip of fire under his aircraft during the attack. I tried to call him, but he failed to reply. The time of the attack was 15.30 hrs.'
(1) It is understood that W/O. Sznapka Władtsław survived the war, remaining in England.
Sgt. Jan Wierchowicz. Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery. Grave D.3. Row 69. No. 82. Further information: Born on 1st April 1918 at Sebastianów, Poland. First imprisoned by the USSR, after release he fled to England, arriving on 2nd January 1942. Trained at 61 OTU before being posted to 303 squadron. Awarded the Cross of Valour (x2) posthumously.
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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), 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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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