Sergeant Mieczyslaw Stanislaw Marcinkowski
Mieczyslaw Stanislaw Marcinkowski was born on 24th February 1919 in Rytwiany in the Staszow district of Poland.
He joined the Polish Air Force in 1936 and qualified as a bomber pilot at Krosno, in 1939. From there, Mieczyslaw was posted to the Training Squadron of the 1st Air Regiment in Warsaw and saw combat during September 1939, before escaping to Romania on 18th.
He succeeded in reaching France but decided to head for England and the RAF, arriving on these shores in February 1940, via Beirut and Marseilles. On 6th August, he joined the Polish Air Force in Britain and was then posted to No.1 School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum. However, at the beginning of September, Marcinkowski went to No.6 Operational Training Unit to convert to Hurricanes and joined 151 Squadron at Digby, later that month.
Marcinkowski’s time at Kenley was brief. It isn’t clear when he joined 501 Squadron, but he appears to have flown with them for the first time on 29th October, taking off at 13.25hrs and force landing with engine trouble, in Hurricane P3714. In the Squadron Operations Record Book, he seems to be referred to as “Sgt. Michael” or “Sgt. Michail.”
Sgt. Marcinkowski was posted missing after his second operational flight with 501 – an afternoon patrol on 1st November, flying Hurricane V7405. According to the Operations Record Book:
One Hurricane (Sgt. Marcinkowski) was seen heading towards the sea and failed to return. Nothing further has been heard of this pilot.
The cause of his death is unknown but may be attributable to the oxygen system freezing, causing Mieczyslaw to lose consciousness. No trace of him was ever found.
Rest in peace Sir and thank you for your service.