Polish Pilots in British Services

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Kuno, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Polish Pilots in British Services
    Have just read the autobiography of Jean Zumbach ('Mr. Brown') who came to UK after the fall of his home country via Romania,the Mediterranean and France.

    He was flying Hawker Hurricanes, later Spitfires and shot down 13 Germans (plus 5 probable ones) during WW2. Was promoted to Major. He was in service until 1946.

    Then the Poles were told that UK will no longer keep them in their Country and that the have to return to Poland. This although it was already known these days that they would not get a friendly reception by the new rulers of "freed" Poland.

    Since Zumbach's Grandfather was coming from Switzerland, he still had the Swiss nationality and therefore had the chance to obtain a Swiss passport.

    He was given 3 days to leave UK.


    That's what he wrote.
  2. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    P 1382 PO Pilot Polish 303 Squadron

    Zumbach was born in Ursynow, Warsaw on April 14 1915. He joined the Polish Army in 1934, transferred to the Air Force in 1936 and was posted to the Officers' Training School at Deblin. He graduated on November 2 1938 and was posted to 111 Fighter Squadron.

    When Poland was invaded Zumbach was recovering from a flying accident and so was not with his squadron. In mid-September he escaped by air to Roumania, then made his way to the Bulgarian port of Baltchik. With 299 other men he got on a ship bound for Beirut and arrived there on October 21 1939. After three days Zumbach sailed^for Marseilles.

    With other Poles he joined 1'Armee de 1'Air but they were not used by the French. On June 18 1940 Zumbach sailed in a Polish collier for Plymouth and reported to the PAF Depot at Blackpool. He joined 303 Squadron at Northolt at its formation on August 2. Zumbach claimed two Do 17s destroyed on September 7, Bf 109s on the 9th, 11th and 15th, a He 111 and another Bf 109 on the 26th and a Bf 109 on the 27th. He was awarded the VM (5th Class)(23.12.40) and the KW (1.2.41).

    On July 2 1941 Zumbach destroyed a Bf 109 and probably a second and two more on October 13 and 24. He was awarded a Bar to the KW (10.9.41) and the DFC (30.10.41). On December 4 Zumbach was posted to 58 OTU, Grangemouth as an instructor. On March 23 1942 he was promoted and rejoined 303 at Northolt, as a Flight Commander. He probably destroyed a FW 190 on April 27.

    Zumbach took command of 303 on May 18 and over Dieppe on August 19 he destroyed a FW 190, probably shared another and shared a He 111. He was awarded a second Bar to the KW (20.8.42), a third (15.11.42) and a Bar to the DFC (15.11.42). He was posted to HQ 9 Group, Preston on December 1 1942 as Polish Liaison Officer. On April 15 1943 Zumbach was appointed Wing Leader of the Polish Wing at Kirton-in-Lindsey. Later in the year he went on a course to the Polish Staff College, after which he went to Coltishall to resume leading his Wing. He probably destroyed a FW 190 on September 25 1944.

    Zumbach was posted to HQ 84 Group on January 30 1945 as an operations officer. He was eventually released from the PAF in October 1946. Although born in Poland Zumbach had a paternal grandfather who had come from Switzerland and after he was released he obtained a Swiss passport.

    The immediate post-war years were occupied with smuggling watches and other scarce commodities. Zumbach later flew in the wars in the Congo and Biafra. He finally gave up in 1967 and retired to France. He died there in 1986.

    'Men of the Battle of Britain' - Wynn.
  3. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    That's him. Yes.
  4. David Layne

    David Layne Well-Known Member

    I would be interested if anyone has knowledge of a Polish pilot by the name of Zuromski.
  5. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Sorry its not much David, the following is taken from 308 Squadron ORB


    Circus 266. 303 and 308 Squadrons protect 12 Venturas bombers over target area at Dunkirk (some ships lying in the harbor). Start at 13.05 hours and land at 14.50 hours. The English coast was crossed on the way out at North Foreland and the French coast crossed at 15 -16,000’ at a point west of Dunkirk. Fairly heavy ack-ack was encountered when the bombs were being released. On the way back. While over Channel, Ops. Give warning that two groups of Focke-Wolf’s are approaching from the reara at a height of 21,000’. Another swuadron, acting as top cover turn to the attack and are joined by two sections of 308 Squadron. W.O. Piatkowski claims one F.W. probably destroyed and F/O Zuromski damages another. F/O Zuromski lands and re-fuells at Rochester, causing some consternation at the base when is considered missing.
  6. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

  7. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    [​IMG] Peshawar, 1950 - Part of first fighter-bomber wing: Nos 5 and 14 Fury Squadrons
    Front row (L to R): 4th: R D Rollo, OC 14 Squadron - 5th: A Mannan, CTO - 6th: Garrod Cole, RAF, OC Wing - 7th: Khyber Khan, Stn Cdr - 8th: J K Z Zuromski, OC 5 Squadron.
  8. leoncondor

    leoncondor Junior Member

    FO J. Zuromski
    F/Lt Juliusz Żuromski :D

    Żuromski Juliusz
    Before Sept 1939 fighter pilot in Poland,probably first combat missions in France 1940.
    In England squadrons: 306,308 i 66.
    Shot down in 1943,wounded.
    Escaped form POW camp and joined some partisans.

    After the war kind of soldier of fortune, fighter pilot in Pakistani Air Force.
    He was among many polish pilots demobilised after the war, anyway Pakistani Military Mission came to England looking for pilots to replace British ones.
    It happened in 1948, when they signed contracts for 3 years.

    Major (squadron leader)
    Julian K. Żuromski

    835 No 9 FB Sqn, No 14 FB Sqn, No 5 FB Sqn, HQ No 1 Group, AHQ Karachi, No 12 Sqn
    Historia polskich lotników w PAF – Wikipedia, wolna encyklopedia

    PS. I found something about Juliusz and Julian so it may be one dude or two of them. really dont know, found wee wee info about it.:huh::confused:
  9. leoncondor

    leoncondor Junior Member

  10. leoncondor

    leoncondor Junior Member

  11. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    It was disgraceful the way our government treated the polish airmen atthe end of the war.

    The friction between east and west was well known by the government at that time but still they left the Polish airmen to a very difficult future after the same men had gave their all for our freedom.

  12. Oggie2620

    Oggie2620 Senior Member

    Harry thanks for the clarification. I learn something new every day!
    ww2ni I agree with you totally... The Polish Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum is lovely and goes a little way towards making up for that! BBC iPlayer - Today: 16/08/2010
  13. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I'm sure that those who served with the Poles during the Second World War will remember their valour and dedication in the fight against the Third Reich.

    The Poles who stayed in this country assimilated well into their new homeland and many served with the RAF well after the war.I served with a NCO who was a technical wizz kid and his story was typical of many.Soviet invasion of eastern Poland,transported to Siberia and then after the Russian invasion,left for England via Persia.Joined the RAF as a youth and went on to flying training,then remustered as groundcrew.Awarded the BEM for radar servicing at 21 years of age,he left us for a technical commission.

    His father was one of those who made their way to England from the Soviet Union,again via Persia and my friend was only able to know his father had survived,sometime later.HIs father joined the Polish Army and fought at Cassino as many did who served in the west.

    I find it difficult to see now that the contribution of the Poles in wartime is forgotten.A question of the erosion of knowledge and facts over a few generations.During the war,we welcomed to these islands,anybody who would join the fight against one of the most evil of regimes,especially at a time when we stood alone.
  14. Herbee3

    Herbee3 Junior Member

    I hope one of you will be able to help me to identify a Polish Pilot from WW2 on VERY scant information..
    I found 2 photographs in a 2nd hand shop.
    One is of a gentleman in a leather coat on the back of which it says "Meitek. Nov 1940. Taken in our garden at Cheviot Road" the 2nd shows a group of men - Meitek included standing around in the cold, smoking & in flying jackets - there is no description on the back.
    I know it's a long shot - but I thought I would ask as I find it so sad that someone's just chucked these photos out.
    Hope you can help. (I will also try to find a way to scan and upload them)
  15. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  16. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    David are you still interested in Zuromski?

  17. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Wonder if this is the same guy?

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
    Name: Julian Kazimierz Zuromski
    Death Age: 80
    Birth Date: 6 Nov 1918
    Registration Date: May 1999
    Registration district: Kingston Upon Thames
    Inferred County: Greater London
    Register Number: A66
    District and Subdistrict: 2401A

    Birth age would be about right

  18. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Yes that is him TD. Here's the top of his POW liberation questionnaire.

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  19. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Any thoughts on this pleas
  20. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    Mietek is a nickname/shortened form of Mieczyslaw which is a very common forename in Poland. If you can scan the pictures, please post them here. I specialise in the Polish Air Force and will do my very best to help you. Also do you know the town in which Cheviot Road was standing. Blackpool area by any chance? The date suggests he was one of the first Poles to arrive in this country.
    CL1 likes this.

Share This Page