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Franciszek Antoni Wiza K.V. (Krzyż Walecznych) and 2 bars, D.F.C. Pilot, 302, 315, 316 Squadron (Polish)

We are very interested to hear from any relatives of Franciszek as our colleague, Mr. Alan Scheckenbach in Australia has discovered his ‘unmarked’ grave. How did he die at such a young age (40)? Why is he in an unmarked grave?

Update: 05th May 2017 - distant relatives have now contacted us with further information.

Update: 12th May 2017 - Further information found on 'direct' relatives - further research continues.

Update: September 2017: The Polish Authorities are planning to place a headstone in a ceremony in 2018! Further details to follow.

Born: Monday, 28th February 1916, in Lubeck, Germany. Died: Friday 12th October 1956 New South Wales, Australia

Franek Grabowski, Aircrew Remembered, along with our many friends, have tried to change this, by either having his body exhumed and placed in a military grave in Poland or Australia. Failing this, to place a headstone or other marker on his grave.

The authorities at the Eastern Suburbs memorial Park - (formerly, Botany General Cemetery, New South Wales) have been most helpful, they were keen to assist us in our quest and willing to help in any way that they are able. We have appealed for any next of kin to contact us, in order to obtain their permission. To date, none have been traced! So, sadly we are unable to proceed any further. (note: further research continues)

Above: left to right: Skalski - receiving DSO, Kolubinski - receiving DFC, Wiza - receiving DFC.

Above, same occasion, Bajan, Skalski and Wiza. (courtesy Peter Sikora) Taken at Bentley Priory (Fighter Command H.Q) 4th April 1945.

What we know of Sq/Ldr. Wiza is as follows:

His father, Józef was born in Sweden and his mother was Polish. Escaped to France and during the middle of 1940, made his way to England.

Trained at 58 O.T.U. August 1942 - December 1942
December 1942 - July 1943 315 Squadron
July 1943 - November 1943 316 Squadron
November 1943 - November 1944 302 Squadron
November 1944 - February 1945 315 Squadron
February 1945 - May 1945 61 O.T.U.
25th July transferred to Transport Command - ferried aircraft to India.
Demobbed in June 1947 at R.A.F. Rednal, Shropshire, England.
Returned and stayed in India flying as a commercial airline pilot.
Sunday 27th July 1947, married Thelma Doreen Pell in Calcutta. Thelma was British but born in India on Wednesday, 10th December 1919

Above - wedding to Thelma Doreen Pell. rear: Bohdan 'Dan' Krahelski, Jennifer Pell (Thelma’s step sister). 2nd row: Frank Pell, Thelma, Frank, Dorothy Pell (Thelma's mother), bottom row. Richard and Michael Horley (Thelma's children)

Arrived in Australia on Wednesday,17th March 1948 and flew with New Holland Airways. Became an Australian citizen on Monday, 4th July 1949.

Joined Gibbes Sepik Airways flying with the famous Australian "Ace" Bobby Gibbes
Tuesday, 26th June 1951 uninjured with his navigator Flanagan, during a forced landing at Jacquinot Bay, Papua, New Ginea due to fuel exhaustion and navigational errors. Aircraft suffered minor damage

Married again just prior to his death in 1956 to Vera Lydia Ena Putney in Calcutta, India. After his death she remarried in 1958.

Died aged 40, on, Friday 12th October 1956. Last known address: 11 Waratah Street, Rushcutters Bay, New South Wales, Australia.

Buried: 'Unmarked' grave, (in space shown above) Eastern Suburbs memorial Park - formerly, Botany General Cemetery, New South Wales, Section 14, Row 28, Grave 1355.

V1 Claims:

Thursday 27th July 1944 Fl/Lt. Wiza 315 Squadron Mustang III FX995 PK-E V1 Destroyed 16.35 hrs. Off Dieppe, northern France.
Tuesday 1st August 1944 Fl/Lt. Wiza 315 Squadron Mustang III FX995 PK-E V1 Destroyed 14.35 hrs. Intercepted over the Channel at 2,800 ft, firing two short bursts from 300 yards the diver dived steeply and exploded in the sea.
Tuesday 29th August 1944 Fl/Lt. Wiza 315 Squadron Mustang III FX8785 PK-F V1 Destroyed 13.49 hrs. Newchurch area, England Shared with P/O. Hall of 486 Squadron.

Aircraft Claims:

Friday 18th August 1943 F/O. Wiza 316 Squadron Spitfire MA235 Destroyed 1 Fw190 - Amiens area, northern France.
Friday 18th August 1943 F/O. Wiza 316 Squadron Spitfire MA235 Damaged 1 Fw190 - Amiens area, northern France.
Friday 7th December 1945 Fl/Lt. Wiza 315 Squadron Mustang III HB885 PK-I Destroyed 1 Bf109 Gossen Island, Norway.
Friday 7th December 1945 Fl/Lt. Wiza 315 Squadron Mustang III HB885 PK-I Destroyed 1 Bf109 Gossen Island, Norway.

With thanks to Alan Scheckenbach, Franek Grabowski, Peter Sikora, Brian and Diane Ramsey, Gilian Lewis, Fiona Stace, Kate Tame, Gail Tuffield, Linda Ibrom. Brian Cull/Bruce Lander "Diver! Diver! Diver!", Jerzy Bogdan Cynk - "The Polish Airforce At War" Vol. 2. Also to Elise Neilson from Australia, granddaughter of Thelma Doreen Pell who contacted us in May 2017. Plus many others who have and continue to assist us with this.

Also to Ian D. Martyn founder and website administrator of Medals Reunited New Zealand, who managed to find details of the relatives for us in May 2017.

Below; our friends from New Zealand representing Medals Reunited visited Franks grave in September 2017 and paid their respects. He described his visit:

"We located Franks site and laid flowers and a poppy plus recited the Ode for our man.
A great view looking East over Botany Bay towards the airport, so Frank can count them all out and count them all in.
I briefed the lady on reception at the cemetery and left her my Medals Reunited NZ card. Gave her a brief back ground on why I was there and what is planned for the future".

Above: His last known address, 11 Waratah Street, Rushcutters Bay, New South Wales, Australia.

KTY - 10.05.2017 Relatives contacted us. 13.05.2017 further information added. KTY - 24.09.2017 Photo of grave visit added.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon

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Last Modified: 29 September 2017, 23:07