The Airmen's Stories - P/O J M Czerniak
Jerzy Michal Czerniak was born on 21st March 1913 and was commissioned as a pilot in the Polish Air Force on 15th October 1938. At the time of the German attack he was serving with Fighter Squadron 123, operating the PZL P7. He destroyed a Me110, shared in the probable destruction of another and also shared in destroying a He111.
After the fall of Poland, Czerniak went to France and joined l'Armee de l'Air. By June 1940 he was with Groupe de Chasse 1/145. On the 9th his Caudron C-714 force landed at Evereux after combat with Do17's escorted by Me109's. The next day he shared in destroying a Do17 of 2.F/11 that came down near Limours.
When France capitulated Czerniak made his way to England. He joined 302 Squadron on 20th August, was attached to 5 OTU Aston Down on 2nd September and rejoined the squadron on the 26th.
Awarded the KW (gazetted 23rd December 1940), Czerniak moved to the newly-formed 315 Squadron at Leconfield on 25th January 1941. He was killed over France on 9th August 1941, shot down in combat three miles from the French coast in Spitfire P8506.
Czerniak is remembered on the Polish Air Force Memorial at Northolt. He was awarded two Bars to the KW (gazetted 31st October 1947).