Led by S/Ldr potocki were F/Lt Malczewski, F/S Furman, W/O
Seredyn, F/S Marszycki, F/Lt Wyrozemski, F/O Zaleski, W/O Sztramko, P/O
Pinkowski, F/O Drozdowski and F/O Michalski.
Takeoff: uncertain. Landing: ~12:10 p.m.
Officially, the objective was to destroy the nazi headquarters1 and discouraged them form taking the stand in Bavarian Alps. It
is apparent that the idea of bombing Hitlers den was particularly appealing for every one involved in any way in this
operation. The date coincided with a special day for Australians
and New Zealanders; the Commemorations of the terrible losses at
Gallipoli in 1915. Therefore, this mission must have had an extra
oomph for 460 RAAF Lancaster Squadron. Nor was this any
different for Poles from 300 "Mazowiecki" Lancaster Squadron, as well as Polish fighter squadrons, among them 315
"Deblinski". Altogether, some 240 Mustangs from 11
Group RAF and VIII USAAF, supplied the escort.
Since 300 Squadron flew most of its operations at night, this
flight, with about 50 Mustangs, marked with red and white
checkers, flying close escort, brought a lot of enthusiasm for
the bombers crews. Their target was SS barracks and they
bombed in the second wave. Bomb load: one 4000 lb HC
("Cookie"), four 1000 lb MC, one 500 lb AN-M64 and one
250 lb GP.2 Their route: Faldingworth, Andrews Field,
Cap Gris Nez, Berchtesgaden and back. Total 14 of Polish bombers
went up and 13 returned safely. Lancaster I PD383 BH-Z,
with pilot and flight engineer wounded by a flaks shrapnel, landed at
Juvincourt, NW of
Paris, for medical
F/O Pinkowski in February 1945.
F/O Pinkowski recalls: That morning was
briskly and the weather clear. The beautiful day lay ahead. For
breakfast we had a couple of eggs, bacon, some beans, bread,
margarine and jam. We soaked this with a hot tea.
"Fueled-up" like this we went for a briefing in the
dispersal which, started around 7 a.m. Operations officer
outlined our mission, gave us the route, altitudes, usual
staff... We took off - two a/c at the time - at 8:50 a.m. and
formed around the airfield. I flew in Flight B led F/Lt Malczewski. My wingman was W/O
Sztramko. As a whole Wing we went
over to France where we waited for bombers, circling at 20K. They
came for a rendezvous 30 minutes later. We took our designated
position and with whole shebang headed for Germany.
Weather was fantastic and we had a spectacular panoramic view of
magnificent scenery. Especially, passing over Lake Constance
towards the Alps with its snowy peaks lighted up on sunrise. I
was concentrating on the flight all the time checking the sky for
e/a. We knew that the war was almost over, yet we all wanted to
do our job well. Nobody really expected any German fighters, but
what surprised us a little was a fact that there was virtually no flak. Closing on Berchtesgaden, on our right we had Alps
in a very picturesque scene. Once over the target, we started to
circle and basically watch the show.
In pairs, Lancasters were unloading theirs bombs,
methodically slamming them in the center of a big dark cloud of
dust and debris. Every time one of those big ones (4,000 or 8,000
lbs) went off down there, a huge tongue of fire adorned a dark
whirling mass. Thus, we could not see the target itself. This
lasted for almost an hour, and all the bombs where dropped in one
In the middle of this S/Ldr Potocki noticed some a/c low on the
deck. He R/T to W/Cdr Rutkowski and went down with his section.
Theirs tanks came off with a tiny, glittering streaks of sprayed
fuel. Everybody's attention went up a notch, but the a/c below,
happened to be a silver P-38s messing up something on the ground.
Our coming home was uneventful. Some pilots had to land on the
continent to refuel. I went directly to Andrew's Field like some
other guys who estimated to have enough fuel to do this. My
estimation was right and I landed without any problem. Less lucky
was F/Lt Wyrozemski who landed his a/c about 1 km before airstrip
with a stationary propeller. His a/c hit couple of horses while
landing, and this slowed him down a little bit, probably saving him, at least from
a serious injury. Seeing him approaching the
airfield and then going down, we climbed a jeep a sped toward
him. We found him O.K. Those two horses were O.K. not! Leaving
the scene we even joked a little; somebody pointed to the horse
liver lying around and asked: "Say, Ksawery. Didn't you
forget something?" We all had a good laugh and that
helped to release the tension.
This was the last mission flown during the WWII.
Based on an author's interview
In the cockpit of a
1. At the briefing, three targets were
pointed to the crews: Eagles Nest on a
summit of Kehlstein, Berghof and adjacent
buildings lower down in Obersalzberg and SS guard barracks together with SS Chief Spahn residence
and control center.
2. This combination was known as "Plum
duff" for a pudding of many ingredients.
3. Later, somebody commented that
actually, the mission was to get rid off the bombs.