Sergeant Tadeusz Nastorowicz
Tadeusz Nastorowicz hailed from Lodz in Poland, being born there on 1 May 1914. Little information is available on his early and any service with the Polish Air Force.
Nastorowicz joined 302 (City of Poznan) Squadron at RAF Westhampnett, on 6 January 1941, from No.56 Operational Training Unit (OTU) at RAF Sutton Bridge. This unit had originally formed on 9 March 1940 as 6 OTU from the 11 Group Fighter Pilot Pool and was tasked with training replacement pilots on the Hurricane.
At the time of his posting, 302 Squadron were nominally based at RAF Northolt but had transferred to the satellite airfield at RAF West Hampnett (now more familiarly known as Goodwood aerodrome) on 23 November 1940. West Hampnett offered only basic facilities, with personnel initially living in bell-tents until Nissen huts were erected at the end of the year. Aircraft maintenance facilities eventually comprised one Blister and seven Extra Over-Blister hangars although not sufficient to accommodate all the squadron aircraft. Early in 1941, off-duty personnel were housed overnight at Rusmans in nearby Oving. This move was brought about by Luftwaffe nuisance raids on Tangmere. Nastorowicz joined the routine of squadron patrols, predominantly of the base, from early February, accumulating nineteen sorties by the end of March.
On 7 April, 302 Squadron relocated to Kenley from Tangmere, they had moved there on 1 April but there was “Nothing of importance to report” during their stay, although Nastorowicz took part in two patrols. Once 302 Squadron had familiarised itself with the Kenley Sector area of operations, the routine of patrols resumed, this time covering Maidstone, Dungeness, Shoreham and Beachy Head. It was during one such patrol, on 26 April, that Nastorowicz was:
…at 30,000ft in formation with the rest of 302 Squadron off Dungeness, when his aircraft was seen to climb steeply, turn over and nosedive towards the sea.
Neither Nastorowicz or his Hurricane Mk.IIa (Z2814, coded WX*K) were seen again. It is likely he was a victim of the oxygen system problems prevalent in the Hurricane at high altitudes and cold weather.
Sergeant Tadeusz Nastorowicz is commemorated on the Polish Air Force Memorial in Northolt, the inscriptions on it read:
To the Memory of Fallen Polish Airmen
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith –IITIM.IV.7.-
Rest in peace Sir and thank you for your service.