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The Airmen's Stories - P/O J P Pfeiffer


Jan Piotr Pfeiffer was born on 25th November 1909 in Lodz, Poland. He enlisted in the Polish Air Force and after graduating in 1938 was assigned to the 62nd Squadron of the 6th Air Regiment.

In March 1939 he was posted as an instructor at the flying school at Krosno. After the September campaign he escaped to Romania and went to England via France, arriving in late 1939.


Above image courtesy of the Sikorski Institute


He was commissioned in the RAFVR in January 1940 at RAF Eastchurch.

From 1st June 1940 Pfeiffer was at the Polish Wing at 3 School of Technical Training at Blackpool, awaiting a posting.

He went to No. 1 School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum on 5th July on the 1st Polish Pilots Course, for testing and grading. On the 14th he was sent to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge and after converting to Hurricanes he was posted to 32 Squadron at Biggin Hill on 3rd August.

Pfeiffer crashed on landing at Hawkinge on the 22nd, unhurt. The next day he again crashed at Hawkinge, landing on one wheel after his Hurricane, P2795, was damaged in combat.

On 14th September Pfeiffer moved to 257 Squadron at Martlesham Heath but was posted away to 5 BGS on the 28th as a staff pilot. He was later an instructor at 12(P)AFU at Grantham.


Above: P/O JP Pfeiffer, F/Lt. JBW Humpherson, F/Lt. PM Gardner, S/Ldr. MN Crossley, F/O DH Grice, P/O JF Pain

F/O AF Eckford, P/O K Pniak, P/O BA Wlasnowolski


To prepare for a return to operations Pfeiffer went to 54 OTU Charter Hall on 13th July 1943. He joined 307 Squadron at Predannack on 12th October.

He was killed on 20th December on a training flight from Sumburgh. His Mosquito II DD618 was seen to dive into the sea, perhaps as a result of engine failure though this was never proved. Pfeiffer’s body was not recovered and he is commemorated on the Northolt Memorial. His navigator P/O KE Kesicki was also killed though his body was recovered.




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