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The Airmen's Stories - P/O J P Pfeiffer


Jan Piotr Pfeiffer was born on 25th November 1909 in Poland. He arrived in England in late 1939 and was commissioned in the RAF in January 1940. As he was then a qualified pilot he must have served in the Polish Air Force but no record of his service has yet come to light.

His first posting was to No. 1 School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum in July 1940. On the 14th he was sent to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge to convert to Hurricanes, he was then posted to 32 Squadron at Biggin Hill on 3rd August.

Above image courtesy of the Sikorski Institute

Pfeiffer crashed on landing at Hawkinge on the 22nd, unhurt. The next day he again crashed at Hawkinge, landing on one wheel after his Hurricane, P2795, was damaged in combat. On 14th September Pfeiffer moved to 257 Squadron at Martlesham Heath but was posted away to 5 BGS on the 28th as a staff pilot. He was later an instructor at 12(P)AFU at Grantham.

Above: P/O JP Pfeiffer F/Lt. JBW Humpherson F/Lt. PM Gardner S/Ldr. MN Crossley F/O DH Grice P/O JF Pain
F/O AF Eckford P/O K Pniak P/O BA Wlasnowolski

To prepare for a return to operations Pfeiffer went to 54 OTU Charter Hall on 13th July 1943. He joined 307 Squadron at Predannack on 12th October.

He was killed on 20th December on a training flight from Sumburgh. His Mosquito II DD618 was seen to dive into the sea, perhaps as a result of engine failure though this was never proved. Pfeiffer’s body was not recovered and he is commemorated on the Northolt Memorial. His navigator P/O KE Kesicki was also killed though his body was recovered.


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