The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. M Belc
Marian Belc was born in Paplin, NE of Warsaw, Poland on 27th January 1914. He began flying training in 1935 and after
qualifying, in 1936, he joined 143 Eskadra at Mysliwska.
When the unit was disbanded in 1937, he went to 152
Eskadra at Wilno. He was still serving with 152 in September 1939 and
on the 3rd he destroyed a Me110.
Following Poland’s collapse Belc escaped through Romania to France, where he served in the Armee de l’Air, flying Morane 406s with Groupe de Chasse II/1.
After the fall of France Belc escaped to England, arriving
there on 22nd June 1940, and was enlisted into the RAFVR. He went to the Polish Wing at 3 School of Technical Training at Blackpool
to await a posting.
Belc joined 303 Squadron when it was
formed at Northolt on 2nd August.
After a routine training flight on the 8th, he crashed on landing in Hurricane R 4100.
Belc was taken off flying for a while.
Belc’s first operational sortie was made on 15th September and his first victory was a Me109, claimed on the 26th.
Four days later he was himself shot down during combat with Me109s and baled out, unhurt. On 5th October he claimed a Me110 and on the 7th a Me109.
In late 1940 he was sent to the Cadet Officers School and after being commissioned
in May 1941, he rejoined 303 Squadron.
On 15th April 1941 Belc married Audrey Stephenson, their son Marian Edward would be born on 27th October 1941 (below).
Belc had been awarded the KW (gazetted 1st February 1941). He shared in damaging a Ju52 taxying on an aerodrome near St. Inglevert on 15th May 1941 and on the
same sortie he damaged a minelayer and another vessel.
He claimed a Me109 on 24th June and another on the 28th.
He was awarded a Bar to the KW (gazetted 15th July 1941) and the VM (5th Class)( gazetted 10th September 1941). Belc's final victory, a Me109, was claimed on 24th October 1941.
He was posted away to 58 OTU Grangemouth in late April 1942. Belc was at Baladown, Gloucestershire on No. 3 Instructors Course on 27th August 1942 when he was detailed to fly dual with another instructor, F/Lt. MH Holder, in Master W8664. They made too low an approach and the aircraft crashed, both men being killed.
Above: his DFC was presented to his wife and son (both images courtesy of the Pilsudski Institute of America).
Belc is buried at Northwood cemetery.
He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 15th November 1942) and a further two bars to the KW (gazetted 31st October 1947).
(Above) Belc is also commemorated on the Polish War Memorial at Northolt, his entry shows the award of a DFM, although we have been unable to confirm the award or its date.