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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. W Szafraniec


Wilhelm Szafraniec was born in Krakow, Poland on 1st December 1915. He had trained as a pilot before being released to the Reserve and taking up his studies at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

In September 1939 he was mobilized, sent to the 2nd Air Regiment and assigned to the Reserve Spare Squadron.



After the Polish collapse he escaped to England, probably via Romania and France.

He enlisted in the RAFVR on 12th March at RAF Eastchurch. From 1st June 1940 he 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 for the 4th Polish Pilots Course on 12th August for testing and grading. He arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down on 19th August, converted to Hurricanes and joined 151 Squadron at Stapleford Tawney on 12th September.

He was next posted to 607 Squadron at Tangmere on 29th Setptember and finally to 56 Squadron at Boscombe Down on 14th October.

He was killed on 23rd November 1940 after colliding with P/O TF Guest during a formation practice near Middle Wallop. Szafraniec was in Hurricane V7569 and Guest, who survived, in Hurricane P2910.

Szafraniec is buried in Amesbury Cemetery, Wiltshire and also commemorated on the Polish War Memorial at Northolt.











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