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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. E Paterek


Edward Paterek was born on 30th May 1910 in Obojna, Poland. He was an instructor as the Polish Air Academy at Deblin at the time of the German attack and served in the scratch fighter squadron defending the airfield.

He escaped through Romania to France and flew the obsolete Caudron C714 with the Polish unit GC I/145 of the Armee de l'Air at Dreux. After the French collapse he escaped through La Rochelle in late June 1940 to England.


Above image courtesy of


He joined 302 Squadron at Leconfield on 23rd July 1940. He claimed a He111 probably destroyed on 15th September and a Ju88 on the 18th. It is believed that his aircraft was hit by debris from this enemy aircraft, causing him to make a crash-landing in Hurricane P3086 at Sandon Lodge Farm, Danbury, Essex unhurt.

On 23rd September Paterek was posted to 303 Squadron at Northolt. He went to 315 Squadron at Acklington at its formation on 21st January 1941. He was awarded the KW (gazetted 1st February 1941).

On a training flight on 27th March 1941 Paterek collided with another aircraft and crashed into the sea near the Bar Lightship in the River Mersey. He was in Hurricane V7187. He was never found and is presumed to have drowned.

The other aircraft, V7188, also went into the Mersey. The body of the pilot, F/O W Szulkowski, was washed up north of Liverpool over three weeks later.

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



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