Friday, August 29, 2014

Fullbore Friday

When do you accept defeat? When do you allow your morale to be beaten down? Think you have an excuse to complain about things in your military career that are beyond your control? Really?

Pawel sent me a link earlier this week to one of the many unsung (at least in the Anglosphere) heroes from Poland who fought on the Western front.

I've always had a soft spot for their story, but we've discussed them here mostly in their ground component support. Simply an amazing story of so many who fought for their nation only see it liberated from one occupier to be handed to another. Those who survived the war and fought in the West rarely had a chance to go home and had to find their way the best they could, mostly in post-war UK, Canada or the USA.

Not all made it, but their records remain. One such that Pawel rightly points out is worthy of mention is Captain Eugeniusz Horbaczewski, Polish Air Force contingent of the RAF.

Just the start is enough;
On September 17th, with a large group of Polish aviators, he crossed the Romanian border and via Yugoslavia, Greece and France, arrived in Britain. After completing fighter training in British aircraft he was assigned to fly "Spitfires" with the Polish 303rd Squadron. To his squadron mates, Horbaczewski was also known as "Dziubek".
By 1944, at age 27, he took command of 315 squadron and as all good commanders do, set the example;
On 16 February 1944 Horbaczewski took command of Polish 315 Fighter Squadron "City of Deblin," with squadron codes "PK". In March of1944, the Squadron was re-equipped, from "Spitfire" Mk Vs to "Mustang" Mk IIIs. On June 22, 1944 "Dziubek" had a performance of remarkable courage. During a ground attack on German units near Cherbourg, the aircraft piloted by Lt. Tadeusz Tamowicz was damaged and forced to land. Horbaczewski skillfully landed nearby on an airstrip just built by Americans. He found Tamowicz, who had injuries to both legs, and brought him back to "Dziubek's" P-51. Horbaczewski flew the two of them across the Channel to the home base of Coolham.
Read the whole thing - and Wiki has a good entry too.

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