The Airmen's Stories - P/O T Nowak
Tadeusz Nowak was born on 2nd June 1914. He was in the Polish Air Force pre-war and served with its 121 Squadron. On the 3rd September he shared in the destruction of a He111.
Escaping to England in late 1939 he was commissioned in the RAF in January 1940 and posted to 18 OTU followed by 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 23rd June where he converted to Hurricanes. He then joined 253 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey on 16th July 1940.
He claimed a He111 destroyed on 31st August and a Me110 on 4th September. Nowak crashed at Gains Hill, Yalding on 17th October in Hurricane P3537 due to engine failure. He claimed a Do17 destroyed on the 29th. Nowak was posted to 303 Squadron at Leconfield on 13th November and then moved to 315 Squadron at Acklington on its formation on 21st January 1941. He was awarded the VM (5th Class)(gazetted 1st February 1941).
On 19th August 1941 Nowak destroyed a Me109.
On 21st September 1941 the squadron was flying as part of the Polish Wing on a circus operation covering bombers to Gosnay. The Spitfires met Me109’s and a combat developed over Fruges and moved over the Channel towards Dover. Nowak was shot down, in Spitfire PK-S AB927, and went into the sea near Dover. All efforts to save him failed and he was drowned.
His body was later washed up near Dieppe and buried in Quiberville
Communal Cemetery, France.
Nowak was awarded the KW and Bar (gazetted 30th October 1941) and a second Bar (gazetted 31st October 1947). He is commemorated on the Polish War Memorial at Northolt.