The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. J T Czerny
Jan Czerny was born on 2nd January 1908 in Strzemieszyce, east of Katowice, Poland.
He joined the Polish Air Force in 1927 and commenced training at the academy at Deblin. He was commissioned as an observer on 15th August 1929 and was posted to the 6th Air Regiment at Lviv. He retrained as a pilot in 1932 and served in the 2nd Air Regiment at Krakow. He was promoted to captain in 1938 and on the outbreak of war was chief pilot back at Deblin.
Escaping like many Polish airmen to Romania he went on via Syria to Marseilles and joined the Polish contingent of the Armee de l'Air at Salon. Perhaps as he was above average age he was posted to the Anglo-Polish Mission in Paris in early 1940 and was evacuated with them to England after the French collapse.
For some reason after being commissioned into the RAF he was posted to 3 (Polish) Wing, 3 School of Technical Training but on 20th August 1940 he joined 302 Squadron. After assessment he was sent on 3rd September with a group of other Polish airmen to 5 OTU Aston Down to convert to Hurricanes. Back with 302 on the 26th September he flew with them until June 1941 when he was posted to CFS Upavon to train as an instructor.
He was with it until posted to CFS, Upavon for an instructor's course in mid-1941. On 27th October 1941 Czerny was posted to 25 EFTS Hucknall and instructed there until 15th November 1945 when he went to 16 FTS Newton.
Czerny relinquished flying duties in September 1946 and was repatriated to Poland in February 1947. He was awarded the KW (gazetted 29th May 1943) and the AFC (gazetted 9th February 1945).
Czerny died in Poland on 18th February 1981.
Additional research and photo courtesy of Blue Squadron website.