The Airmen's Stories - P/O B Mierzwa
Boguslaw Mierzwa was born in Warsaw on 14th March 1918 and was serving in the 114th Squadron of the Polish Air Force when war broke out. He flew in combat against the Luftwaffe but escaped after the fall of Poland.
Recent research shows him as serving with the Polish-manned Groupe de Chasse I/145 of the French Air Force, equipped with the obsolete Caudron Renault CR.714 'Cyclone'.
He then made his way to England and joined 303 Squadron at Northolt on 21st August 1940 from the Polish Wing of 3 School of Technical Training.
He was attached to 5 OTU Aston Down from 2nd September. On the 6th he crashed in Master N7956 but was unhurt. After converting to Hurricanes, he rejoined 303 Squadron on 27th September.
Mierzwa landed at a decoy aerodrome at Borstal, Chatham after a combat with Me109s on 7th October in Hurricane P3089. He crashed and caught fire taking off again. He was unhurt.
On 16th April 1941 303 and 601 Squadrons escorted six Blenheims of 21 Squadron detailed to bomb the fighter airfield at Berck-sur-Mer.As they turned for home 303 was jumped by Me109s over the Channel.
Mierzwa and another pilot, P/O M Waszkiewicz, who were acting as weavers, were shot
Mierzwa was killed when he crashed and burned out on the shore at Dungeness in Spitfire P7819.
He is buried in Northwood Cemetery and commemorated on the Polish War Memorial at Northolt.
Mierzwa was awarded the KW (gazetted 1st February 1941) and Bar (gazetted 31st October 1947).
Below: both pilots are commemorated at a memorial at Dungeness.