The Airmen's Stories - P/O J Gil
Jozef Gil was born on 30th January 1914 in Poland. He must have served in the Polish Air Force as he was a pilot when he arrived in England in early 1940 but no details are known. He was commissioned in the RAFVR and later went to No. 1 School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum for flying assessment. He arrived at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 1st September to convert to Hurricanes.
Gil was posted to 43 Squadron on the 21st. He moved to 229 Squadron on 19th October and then joined 145 Squadron on the 30th. He was injured on 29th December 1940 when he crashed at East Dean, Sussex, whilst flying low after dark looking for Tangmere.
On 12th March 1941 Gil was posted to 53 OTU at Heston. His next posting was 315 (Polish) Squadron at Speke on 13th April. Flying from Northolt he claimed a Me109 probably destroyed on 9th August and another destroyed on the 14th. He was awarded the KW (gazetted 10th September 1941).
On 24th October 1941 he probably shot down a Me109. Gil was awarded a Bar to the KW (gazetted 15th February 1942) and on 13th June 1942 he joined 306 (Polish) Squadron at Northolt. He destroyed a Fw190 and damaged a Me109 on 9th October and was awarded a second Bar to the KW (gazetted 15th November 1942).
On a high cover operation over the Abbeville area on 31st December 1942 Gil was shot down by a Fw190 in Spitfire BS455. He was last seen heading towards the Channel and almost certainly he crashed into the sea.
His body was not recovered. Gil is remembered on the Polish Air Force Memorial at Northolt.
He was awarded the VM (5th Class) (gazetted 20th February 1943).