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The Airmen's Stories - P/O T W Kawalecki


Tadeusz Wilhelm Kawalecki was born on 12th March 1915 at Stanislawow, Poland. In 1932 he entered Lwow University of Technology and three years later joined the Air Force Academy at Deblin.

He was commissioned in 1938 and then posted to 2 Air Regiment. In 1939 he was serving with 121 Squadron, operating the PZL P11c. In the confused situation following the German attack on Poland there are reports that he shot down a Do17E of 7/KG77, which afterwards collided with another.

He escaped, like many other Polish airmen, to France but instead of enrolling in the Polish contingent there he made his way to England, arriving in early 1940.

He was processed through the Polish depot at RAF Eastchurch and commissioned in the RAFVR. He went to the Polish Wing at 3 School of Technical Training, Blackpool, on 1st June 1940 to await a posting.


Later in June Kawalecki went to 15 EFTS Carlisle for testing and grading after which he arrived at 7 OTU Hawarden on 15th July. After converting to Hurricanes he joined 151 Squadron at North Weald on 7th August 1940. His last flight with 151 was made on 24th August and, although he remained with the squadron, he made no further flights before being posted away to HQ No. 1 AACU Farnborough on 22nd January 1941.

On 25th October 1941 he went for training to 4 Flying Instructors School after which he instructed at 15 EFTS Carlisle and 25 (Polish) EFTS Hucknall. He went on a course to the PAF Staff College 17th April 1943 and on 16th January 1944 he was posted to HQ 84 Group.

While on a tour of 84 Group units in Holland on 7th April 1945 he was listed as the pilot of missing Auster NX532 when flying with W/Cdr. JEL Zumbach in Auster MT440. The aircraft became lost and landed in German-held territory, both men being taken prisoner. They were released when the Germans surrendered on 6th May. There is a well-researched account of this incident at:

Kawalecki returned to the Staff College on 11th June 1945 as an instructor before being released from the PAF in May 1946 as a Squadron Leader.

He emigrated to Canada. Kawalecki was tragically killed on 19th April 1971 at Stratford, Ontario and lies in Avondale Cemetery.


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