The Airmen's Stories - F/O M Pisarek
Marian Pisarek was born on 3rd January 1912 at Losie near Radzymin, east of Warsaw in Poland. He was educated at Radzymin, Chelm and Warsaw. In 1932 he commenced his military service and spent two years in the infantry.
He volunteered for the air force in 1934 and a year later graduated from flying school and was posted to the 6th Aviation Regiment in Lviv. He was later sent for further training at the Air Firing and Bombing School at Grudziadz. He then went to the 4th Aviation Regiment in Torun.
At the time of the German attack on 1st September 1939 he was serving with the 141st Fighter Squadron, operating the PZL P-11C. On the 1st he shot down a Hs126. On 4th September he shot down a Ju87.
He escaped to Romania and made his way to France via Yugoslavia and Italy. He was involved there with the training of Polish airmen and did not fly operationally. Moving from airfield to airfield as the Germans advanced, Pisarek ended up at Gaillac near Toulouse. He was part of a group of Polish airmen who flew in a Caudron Goeland aircraft to Oran via Perpignan. They then travelled via Casablanca and Gibraltar to the UK.
Pisarek arrived in England on 23rd June 1940. After assessment and converting to the Hurricane he was posted to 303 Squadron at Northolt on 21st August.
He claimed a Me109 destroyed on 7th September. On this day Pisarek was himself shot down by a Me109 and baled out, unhurt. His Hurricane, R4173, crashed in the back garden of 40 Roding Road, Loughton, Essex, killing three civilians in an air raid shelter:
Mrs. EM Gurden aged 60, Mr. EGB Brockwell aged 37 and Mrs. OH Brockwell aged 37.
On 15th September Pisarek claimed a Me109 destroyed, on 5th October destroyed a Me110 and damaged another and on the 7th destroyed another Me109.
He was awarded the VM (5th Class)(gazetted 23rd December 1940).
Pisarek was posted to 315 Squadron at Acklington at its formation on 21st January 1941.
He was awarded the KW (gazetted 1st February 1941).
On 30th March Pisarek was posted to 308 Squadron at Baginton as a Flight Commander. He took command of the squadron on 23rd June 1941. He destroyed Me109s on 2nd and 17th July, probably destroyed one on the 22nd and destroyed another four Me109s on 14th August, 20th and 21st September and 13th October.
Pisarek was awarded three Bars to the KW and the DFC (gazetted 30th October 1941).
He was posted away to HQ 11 Group on 8th December 1941 as Polish Liaison Officer. Pisarek was appointed Wing Leader of the Northolt Polish Wing on 17th April 1942.
He was killed on 29th April leading the Wing over France in Spitfire BM307. He was shot down by a Fw190. His body was not recovered.
Pisarek is remembered on the Polish Air Force Memorial at Northolt (below).
He was awarded the VM (4th Class)(gazetted 31st October 1947).
His portrait was made by Eric Kennington (below) and Cuthbert Orde (bottom).