The Airmen's Stories - P/O B Bernas
Bronislaw Bernas was born in Lwow on 6th August 1906 and qualified for an engineering degree in the University there. In 1929 he learned to fly and from September 1931 to August 1932 attended the Polish Air Force Officers School at Deblin. He took part in annual exercises from 1932.
Bernas was called up on 24th August 1939 and fought in Poland until 17th September, escaping then and going to France.
He finally reached England, the circumstances currently unknown, on 9th April 1940 and was commissioned in the RAFVR in early May.
Above: P/O M Neyder, F/O WS Krol, Bernas
After spells at RAF Eastchurch and at the Polish Wing at 3 School of Technical Training Blackpool, Bernas was posted to No. 1 School of Army Co-operation Old Sarum on 23rd August. He was on the 5th Polish Pilots Course, for testing and grading.
At the end of the short course, he was posted to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 1st September for conversion to Hurricanes. On the 23rd Bernas joined 302 Squadron at Leconfleld.
Over Selsey Bill on 13th March 1941 he shared in damaging a Ju88. He was posted to 58 OTU Grangemouth on 15th April as an instructor.
Bernas joined the newly-formed 288 (Anti-Aircraft Co-operation) Squadron at Digby on 24th November 1941. He remained with the unit until 4th August 1943 when he came off flying duties and joined 5010 Airfield Construction Squadron.
Bernas spent the rest of his RAF service with the Directorate of Works and Airfield Construction. He married and remained in Britain after the war.
He died in Folkestone on 1st September 1980.