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The Airmen's Stories - P/O W Lokuciewski

 

Witold Lokuciewski was born at Novocherkassk-on-Don, Russia on 1st February 1917 but his family moved to Wilno in Poland in 1918.


In 1935 he entered the Cavalry Reserve Officers School, going on to the Air Force Academy at Deblin in 1936. Lokuciewski graduated in 1938 and joined 112 Fighter Squadron in Warsaw.


In September 1939 he probably destroyed a He111 in the first days of the fighting and destroyed a Ju87 and shared a Do17 on the 6th.

Lokuciewski flew his aircraft to Romania on 17th September. He then made his way to France via Yugoslavia and Italy.

He joined l’Armée de l’Air and from 17th May 1940 flew the MS406 in a defence flight based at the huge French Air Force depot at Romorantin, east of Tours. On 6th June 1940 he destroyed a He111.

On 18th June the flight withdrew and Lokuciewicz sailed on the 21st for England from St. Jean de Luz.

He was posted to the Polish Wing at 3 School of Technical Training Blackpool and joined 303 Squadron at Northolt at its formation on 2nd August 1940.

He claimed a Do17 destroyed and probably another on 7th September, destroyed a Do17 and a Me109 on the 11th and a Me109 on the 15th. On this day he was wounded in the leg in combat with Me109's over the Kent coast. His next sortie was made on 5th October 1940, a ‘B’ Flight patrol.


He was awarded the VM (5th Class) (gazetted 23rd December 1940) and the KW (gazetted 1st February 1941).

On 20th April 1941 Lokuciewski destroyed a Me109, on 18th June a Me109, on the 22nd a Me109 and probably another and on 11th July probably another. He was awarded a Bar to the KW (gazetted 10th September 1941) and the DFC (gazetted 30th October 1941).

Lokuciewski was appointed a Flight Commander on 21st November 1941 but was shot down and captured on 13th March 1942.

His Spitfire Vb BL656 was shot down by Me109's on Circus 114 near Hazebrouck. He was held in Stalag Luft 3, took part in the Great Escape and was recaptured. He was freed in late April 1945.

On 22nd September 1945 he went to Andrews Field for a flying refresher course and was posted to 303 Squadron there on 29th November.


Lokuciewski commanded the squadron from 1st February to 11th December 1946 when it was disbanded in Germany.

He returned to Poland in 1947 and was later imprisoned by the communist regime for five years. On release he worked as a taxi driver in Warsaw. He rejoined the Polish Air Force in 1956, rising to senior rank. In 1969–71 he was the Polish Military Attache in London.

He retired in 1974 and in 1989 stood as a parliamentary candidate to the Sejm (lower house) in the first post-communist elections.

Lokuciewski died on 17th April 1990.

 

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