The Airmen's Stories - F/O J Topolnicki
Juliusz Topolnicki was born in Kiwerce, Poland on 3rd July 1910. He enrolled in the Cavalry Cadet School and after graduating went to the Fighter School at Deblin in 1935. The following year he completed an advanced course at the Officer’s School at Grudziadz. By March 1938 he had seen service with 133 and 161 Squadrons of the Polish Air Force, he was then promoted to lieutenant and assigned to instructing duties.
His first posting was the school at Deblin, he then went on to the school at Ulez and was at another training establishment at Deblinskiej when the German attack was launched in September 1939. The school was evacuated through Hungary, Yugoslavia and Greece before arriving in France. Topolnicki went on to the UK, arriving in January 1940.
He was commissioned in the RAF and after conversion training he joined 601 Squadron at Tangmere on 18th August 1940.
He shared in the destruction of a Me109 on 6th September but was then shot down himself in combat over Mayfield. He baled out, slightly wounded, and was admitted to Leeds Castle Hospital. His Hurricane, P3382, crashed at Boyton Court, Sutton Valence.
Recovered and having returned to 601, Topolnicki was killed on 21st September. It is thought that his Hurricane, L1894, struck another on take-off at Exeter. It crashed and burned out.
Topolnicki was 30. He is buried in Exeter High Cemetery. He was awarded the KW (gazetted 1st February 1941).