The Airmen's Stories - P/O F Czajkowski
Franciszek Czajkowski was born in Poland on 20th September 1916 and served in the Polish Air Force before the war. A graduate of the Fighter School at Deblin, on the outbreak of war he served in 141 Squadron supporting Army Group ‘Pomerania’ before escaping through Romania and France to England. He was commissioned in April 1940 and joined 151 Squadron at Martlesham Heath in early August.
On the 24th Czajkowski probably destroyed a Me109 and on 31st August he claimed another probable Me109 but was himself shot down in combat over the Thames Estuary. He made a forced-landing at Foulness, wounded in the right shoulder, and was admitted to Shoeburyness Hospital. His Hurricane, P3301, was a write-off.
Czajkowski was with 43 Squadron when he made a forced-landing at Longtown aerodrome, near Carlisle, on 19th April 1941 after his engine blew up when he was climbing on high boost. He was badly injured on 2nd June 1941 in another crash.
He died on 25th October 1942 from injuries received when the hospital he was in at Torquay was bombed.
Fw190 ‘hit and run’ raiders struck the Palace Hotel, serving as an RAF hospital, causing 19 fatalities with 43 injured.
Czajkowski is buried in Exeter High Cemetery. He was awarded the KW (gazetted 10th September 1941) and a Bar (gazetted 20th February 1943).