Battle of Britain Monument Home THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN LONDON MONUMENT Battle of Britain London Monument
The Battle of Britain London Monument "Never in the field of human
conflict was so much owed
by so many to so few
Site of Battleof Britain London Monument Work in Progress London Monument Site Drawing of Battle of Britain London Monument
Battle of Britain London Monument Home    

The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. W Pankratz


Wilhelm Pankratz was born on 1st October 1903 in Lomianki, Warsaw, Poland. He was commissioned in the Polish Air Force before the war and served at the Air Force Academy at Deblin from 1928 to 1938. After the German invasion he was one of the first Polish airmen to escape to England, arriving in late 1939.



He was commissioned in the RAFVR in January 1940 at RAF Eastchurch. Pankrantz went to 15 EFTS Redhill in mid-March 1940 and remained there as a flying instructor. On 23d April he joined the Polish Training Unit at Hucknall, which was redesignated 18 OTU on 15th June 1940.

Pankratz was posted from 18 OTU to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge and arrived there on 23rd June 1940 as an Acting Flight Lieutenant.

After converting to Hurricanes, he joined 145 Squadron at Tangmere on 16th July. Pankratz was reported ‘Missing’ after a combat south of the Isle of Wight on 12th August 1940 in Hurricane R4176.

He had shared in the destruction of a Me110 and damaged a Me109. No claim was made because Pankratz and the other two pilots in his section, Sergeants J Kwiecinski and JH Harrison were both shot down immediately afterwards.

He is remembered on the Polish Air Force Memorial at Northolt.

Pankratz was awarded the KW (gazetted 1st February 1941).




Battle of Britain Monument