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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. E Szaposznikow


Eugeniusz Szaposznikow was born on 17th July 1916 and was serving in the Polish Air Force before the war. In the fighting in Poland in September 1939 he was serving with 111 Squadron and was credited with the probable destruction of a He111.

After the fall of Poland, Szaposznikow made his way to France and joined l'Armee de l'Air. In June 1940 he was serving with Groupe de Chasse II/6, operating the MS406 from Anglure-Vouarces near Troyes. On the 15th he shared in the destruction of a Hs126.



When the French collapsed, Szaposznikow escaped to England. He was processed into the RAF as a Sergeant and sent to 3 School of Technical Training at Blackpool for assessment.



He joined 303 Squadron at Northolt at its formation on 2nd August 1940. He claimed a Me109 destroyed on the 31st, a Do17 and another Me109 on 7th September, two Me110's on the 11th, Me109's on the 23rd and 27th and a Me109 and probably another on 7th October.

Szaposznikow was awarded both the KW and the VM (5th Class)(gazetted 23rd December 1940) and a Bar to the KW (gazetted 1st February 1941).

On 14th May 1941 he was posted to 8 FTS Montrose, as an instructor.

Szaposznikow was awarded the DFM (gazetted 30th October 1941) and commissioned in November.

On 4th January 1942 he was sent to the FIS Church Lawford for an instructors course, after which he was posted to 16 FTS Newton.

Szaposznikow returned to operations on 14th December 1943. He joined 316 Squadron at Acklington but moved to 303 Squadron at Ballyhalbert on the 21st.

He was appointed a Flight Commander on 6th July 1944 and was posted away to the PAF Depot at Blackpool on 17th October. Szaposznikow returned to 16 FTS on 15th November. He was awarded a second Bar to the KW (gazetted 30th December 1944).

He was released from the PAF in late 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant. Szaposznikow was awarded a third Bar to the KW (gazetted 31st october 1947) and the Silver Cross of Merit (gazetted 16th May 1948).

After the war he settled in Britain and changed his name to Sharman.

Szaposznikow died in Nottingham on 8th July 1991.

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