The Airmen's Stories - F/O M J Steborowski
Michal Jan Steborowski was born on 7th June 1909 in the village of Regnow near Rawa Mazowsze in Poland. In 1929 he graduated from High School and immediately went into the army, moving to the Aviation Cadet School in Deblin on 13th October 1930. He qualified initially as an Observer and was posted to 11 Squadron of the 1st Air Regiment in Warsaw. He volunteered for pilot training and after gaining his wings was posted to 113 Fighter Squadron on 1st October 1933.
In March 1936 he took up instructing duties and was still serving in this role at the outbreak of war in September 1939. An ad-hoc fighter squadron was formed by the instructors using obsolete P-7 aircraft. After being overwhelmed they withdrew to Romania, Steborowski made his way to Bucharest and obtained travel documents from the Polish Embassy there.
Using these he was able to travel through Yugoslavia and Greece from where he embarked on a ship for Marseilles, arriving there on 16th October 1939. After making himself known to the Polish authorities in Paris he was posted to the Polish detachment at Le Bourget.
Steborowski volunteered for service in the RAF and in February 1940 arrived at the Polish reception centre at Eastchurch. He was commissioned and after studying English and RAF procedures went to No. 1 School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum for flying training. He was next posted to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 14th July to convert to Hurricanes.
On 3rd August 1940 he arrived at 238 Squadron at Middle Wallop. He claimed a Me110 destroyed on the 8th.
He was shot down into the sea and killed in Hurricane P3819 on the 11th in air combat above Portland.
Steborowski was 31. He is commemorated Polish Air Force Memorial at Northolt.
He was awarded the KW (gazetted 10th September 1941).