No. 316 Squadron in 1943.
On January 8, 1943, F/Sgt Sztuka crashlanded this Spitfire. The cowling painted sign shows presentation name Owerri Province of Nigeria. Notice also bent metal three-blade propellers. Later they were replaced by wooden ones, what resulted in many Merlin engines avoiding serious damage in situation as the one photographed above.This aircraft started its life as a Mk Ia, converted to Mk Ib and then finally a Mk Vb. Sgt Sztuka swung on take-off to avoid a collision and hit a snow bank but still managed to take-off. The crash landing happened on his return to the airfield. The Spitfire was repaired but damaged again on 9th March. After being repaired again it was allocated to 306 Squadron where, on 26th May, Sgt Walzak tipped the aircraft on its nose when he swung on landing. After leaving Polish hands it eventually wound up with 57 OU where the undercarriage collapsed at Sgt Kolinski (Czech) landed in a snowstorm at Boulmer. At long last it was SOC
Below: Spitfire IX BS463 usually flown by F/O Maciejowski, who before became POW in August 1943, recorded 10 enemy aircraft destroyed. Colour profile courtesy of Robert Grudzien.
Northolt, April 11, 1943. The same a/c with its undercarriage collapsed, after being flown by F/Lt Falkowski.
P/O Maciejowski. Before joining the 316, already a recipient of Cross of Valour with bar, DFM and DFC.
Between February and September 1943, F/Lt Gnys commanded a Flight.
Photo: Barbara Simmons-Gnys "Pierwsze spotkanie", Kagero 1996
Left: F/O Zakrzewski. Rigfht: F/O Steinborn.
F/Sgt A. Pietrzak. In 1943, he scored twice flying 316th Spitfires. The presence of the Wing Commander’s pennant (two bars) and fighting dog motiove, suggests that this is SZ-G, the personal Spitifre of W/Cdr Gabszewicz. Photo: www.aircrewremembrancesociety.com
W/O Wlodarski. Killed in flying accident in 1944 (delivering a Hawker Typhoon) when serving on DF Unit. Photo: www.aircrewremembrancesociety.com
F/O H. Malinowski (317 Sqdn) and F/O Wyrozemski (315 sqdn) by the Spitfire SZ-Y. Time and location uncertain.
This Spitfire was a usual mount of F/Lt Jeka, at that commander of the Flight "A". In August 1943, he recored two kills fluing that a/c. Colour profile courtesy of Robert Grudzien.
Spitfire XVI, TD240, the last personal aircraft of W/Cdr Gabszewicz, 131 Wing CO. Picture taken probably at one of the airfields in Europe. Contrary to common practise, Gabszewicz choose to code this aircraft SZ-G and adorn it with a fighting bulldog. Although commanding completely different unit, W/Cdr Gabszewicz was emotionally attached to his old unit, No. 316 Squadron. However he was not the first Polish senior officer to forgo using his initials to identify his aircraft. W/Cdr Kolaczkowski (Northolt Wing) used his old 303 Squadron codes RF-K and badge below the windscreen. W/Cdr Janus had his Spitfire coded UZ-J for the 306 Squadron.
This painting appeared on previous planes flown by Gabszewicz. Notice a part of this logo on the picture presenting Alex Pietrzak above.